Monday, June 23, 2008

Name Change Pain

CNN had an article recently called "Name Change Tricky For Working Women". This was definitely something I ran into, but not in the working the academic world. I have published papers under two different names:
Lynellen D.S. Perry
Lynellen D.S.P. Smith

Yes, in my first marriage, I kept "Perry" as a third middle name and added Smith onto the end. Then when I got divorced I went back to Perry as a last name. Well, you say, "Lyn, you're married now and have your maiden name Perry as your last name...what up with that?" Do we have separate names? No, we're both Perry. Did I marry another Perry? Sort of. Upon getting engaged again, I asked forced convinced Mike that he should change HIS name. So he did. Like...36 hours before our wedding. We had to get the marriage license changed to have his new name...the clerks were very confused by that. But I'm very grateful to Mike for the mess...he had to change his name with the Navy and all the other places you'd normally think of (Social security, driver's license, etc. etc. etc.). When he applied for a security clearance he had to explain his name change about a zillion and ten times.

Once when I told this basic tale to some guy (can't remember who, or why), he said solemnly, "Wow, you are a very powerful woman." :)


Janie said...

Wow. I'm very very impressed.

Bianca Reagan said...

I wrote about this, too!: How about this? Don't change your name.

Gwynne said...

This is a dilemma I've faced and still struggle with a my first marriage, my husband actually encouraged me to keep my maiden name and was even willing to entertain taking on my last name as well. We ultimately kept our respective names and 7 years later, in marriage counseling, essentially concluded that separate names permeated our relationship. When I remarried, I vowed to take my husband's name, but when it came to my professional life and changing to his more difficult name for my clients, I've resorted to a hybrid. As a writer, I can understand your need to preserve some continuity with your name. And I would say your husband must be a very strong man. ;-)

Lynellen said...

Janie - You impress waaaaay too easily, girl!

Bianca - Thanks for stopping by!

Gwynne - I've never understood families that have a bunch of different names in them; but even more have never understood couples that have separate bank accounts and each pay half of the mortgage and utilities as if they were simple roommates. To me, these actions send the message that they aren't completely committed to each other. I know one couple who has this arrangement and they've been married almost 15 years, so obviously it can be successful...I just don't get it myself though.