To Change or Not to Change

That is the question my friends. 

You see, tomorrow I shall change my beloved yet funny last name to that of my husband’s.  This is big.  So big in fact, that when my BFF Amy just called and I told her my plans, she asked “So..what are you going to do – will you hyphenate?”  I replied…”Nope.  No hyphenating.  I’ve decided I’m going to just be Lindsay Wxxxxx. (pause) I think.”  Aww crap.  I said “I think”. 

So it seems that I might be experiencing a little separation anxiety.  This is new for me.  The last time I felt separation anxiety was when my parents left me in my college dorm room freshman year and the ache in my throat was so immense I can still feel it now.   

I was never a blankie kinda kid.  Wasn’t desperately attached to a doll or stuffed animal.  I’ve never even had that favorite pair of jeans.  But my name…it’s been with me for exactly 32 years and 278 days.  Even though I used to fantasize about changing “Millsap” to “Mills” in case I ever got famous (Mills is cooler), now that I’m faced with saying farewell to this funny yet familiar and wonderful name… well, it’s got me in a bit of a panic really.  Suddenly, I think it’s the best name ever!  How could I part with the best name ever, I beg you?!

Me signing our marriage license on our wedding day.

Signing our marriage licence with my new name for the first time. Photo by Erin Hearts Court.

I realize no one is holding a gun to my head forcing me to change my name.  This is my decision.  My husband stands by whatever I decide to do.  And you may recall, I’ve already harped on the subject before about changing my name and how easy I got off on this one.  His name is a lovely one!  His name is practically mine with just a few letter changes.  It’s so simple!

The reason I’m doing it is simple.  On the surface, I may not seem that traditional.  But there are some traditions I find so endearing and time-honored, that I respect the sheer power in their meaning.  I am also a hopeless romantic, and I am so very proud to be married to my husband that to share a name with him truly is an honor and a source of great pride for me. 

And so tomorrow I shall go to the Social Security office, stand in line for hours with my fellow name changers, and get my new blue card.  And at the DMV, a new license with, hopefully, a better photo this time.  I cannot promise that I will learn to sign my new name well, or look up when someone calls my name from across the room.  But I will know that I have made this commitment in the name of love and pride and tradition and romance.  And that makes this separation a little bit easier to handle.

But Lenzo, please don’t stop calling me Millsap.  Or Millslap. Or Millslut.  I would miss that too much.

4 thoughts on “To Change or Not to Change

  1. Kate Hartung says:

    Don’t worry Lindsay, my friends still call me Olie (for Olson). I love being a Hartung, even though it’s much harder to pronounce. Go on with your bad “Williams” self.

  2. nancy says:

    Linds, I totally understand and hear all of your arguments for changing. I felt the same way as my wedding approached – I was always going to be a name changer! But then that separation anxiety (and laziness) got too overwhelming for me. And suddenly it didn’t sit well with me anymore – “But I AM a Luedke,” I thought! I still don’t consider it a done deal…I may up and change it someday…but there just doesn’t seem to be anything else that feels more right right now than being nancy luedke.

    So – if being LIndsay W**** feels right, do it. No hyphen. While you will feel uneasy about it, I’m sure, tomorrow, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  3. kelly says:

    I hear ya, girl! It is really tough…and I have to admit that 2 years later, it still kind of is. my maiden name was also hard to spell and pronounce. I should have been happy to be rid of it! many people still call me kelgriz though – which was my maiden name nickname. I love it and would hate if that stopped. I’ll probably still call you Millsap 🙂

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