My name is…

Posted on February 2, 2009. Filed under: deciding |

I did it.  I made a name decision, AND got an email account in my new name.  Scary and super exciting!  Then I told Mr. Cheese about it all… in reverse order. *cue the confused man look*

A friend recently changed her email address due to a divorce-induced name change and was unable to get one with her more common maiden name.  Uh, oh.  I’m going from less common to more common.  Way more common.  Off to Gmail I went to see what name combos were still available, and firstname+maidennameinitial+newlastname was still available.  I hit the Submit button on that puppy and pumped my fist in triumph!

Oh.  I think I just committed to changing my name.  Hmmm.  *the thoughtful cheese look comes out*  Neat!

Here’s how I decided:
1 – I am obviously not too attached to my maiden name given that I changed it the first time I got married.

2 – The only reason I wouldn’t change it this time is because of the emotional mess I experienced when I got divorced – and I’m not getting divorced again.

3 – I don’t want to be defined for the next decades of my life by my first marriage, and if I don’t change my name as a result of the mess that came out of my first marriage, I will be.

4 – Setting issues from my first marriage aside, my kids will have his last name and I want to have the same last name as my kids.

5 – My first name is “ethnic” enough that I don’t feel like I’m losing the hispanic quality to my name.

6 – I like symmetry, and my last initial will be the same as my first initial. Cheesy.

One of Dave Ramsey‘s (do you read/ listen to him?) tricks for helping people make financial decisions is to ask them what they would do if they were starting from scratch today.  Not sure if you should sell a rental property to pay off your home mortgage?  Well, would you mortgage your home to buy a rental property?

So I asked myself, if this was my first marriage, would I keep my maiden name, hyphenate, or change my name?  After some quiet reflection, my excitement at being a family of Cheeses was greater than my concern and annoyance at having to change my name.  It also helped that Mr. Cheese has stopped saying things like, “What’s the big deal?” and “Of course you need to change your name!” and started saying things like, “I really can’t relate to the idea of changing my name, it seems so absurd and strange to me, so this needs to be your decision.”  Smart Mr. Cheese.

I practiced writing my new name last night, and while I conjured up crazy images of what FirstName + LastName woman would look like (long dark curly hair with glasses, and too-dark lipstick), I felt better after a few tries.  What?  Don’t tell me you haven’t written your new name at least once.  It’s okay!  This isn’t like secretly writing “Kate + Michael = Forever” in your Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper binder.  It’s a rite of passage, an important step in your engagement journey, a necessity… this book says so.

Have you “saved” an email address in your new name yet?  ‘Fess up – have you practiced saying, writing, doodling your new name?


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One Response to “My name is…”

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I hadn’t even thought about doing it until closer to the date. But I just checked, and someone else already has my new name! Uncool… Now I just have to find a combo that I like, and isn’t too long!!

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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