Sure, most would say that committing out loud in front of family and friends to love, honor, and cherish one another til death do us part is a pretty big "new life chapter" signal. And I do agree. But you know what really brought it home for me? Filling out a little form called SS-5: "Application for a Social Security Card". ie. changing my last name.
I've spent a great deal of time over the past year thinking about this issue. And I went back and forth on what I thought I wanted to do several times. On the one hand, I felt so tied to my birth name - more specifically, the feeling it gave me of connection to my birth family. With both my parents deceased, there was a part of me that felt keeping my name would keep me tied to them. Plus, throw on top of that the feminist argument raging around in my head asking "why does the woman have to make the change?" I don't think I really need to go into too much detail here on that argument, because I'm pretty certain anyone reading this blog has had a similar debate at one point or another and are familiar with where I'd go with that one...
Then of course there's the whole hyphen two name solution. This was actually Andrew's favored solution. But even for as much as we kept coming back to it - it just didn't feel right to me. And when he pressed me to explain why I didn't want to have both, when that seemed the perfect solution to all my wavering...I simply knew that this was one of those "wedding/marriage" aspects that I fell into the traditionalist category.
And that really shocked me. And it still does. I officially changed it and am now known to the US Government (and my work) as Mrs. Marrvelous. And yet, it is still so incredibly strange to me. Seeing my new name on my work email makes me do a double take. I tried to tag a photo on Facebook and typed in my maiden name and when "I" didn't pop up anymore wondered "What the hell! where am I!?" until it dawned on me, oh yeah - that name no longer exists. And all of those tiny moments of confusion continue to hit me with the enormity of this change (at least for me) and each time I'm left wondering again, so why did I change it?
Now after breaking down and telling you how I got teary eyed filling out the social security application...I do want to say that for every moment of sadness I feel when it dawns on me that the old name is out, I have ten moments of happiness thinking about creating this new family with Mr. Marrv. I know my brothers and sister are still just that...whether we share a last name or not. And I love the connection I now have with my parents in law.
So for those of you who have gone this path before me, it becomes more comfortable, right? And am I the only one who instantly feels 10 years older being called a "mrs"?