Mr. and Mrs…. ????

Let’s do a scandalous post today….

Let’s talk about last names.

I know I know… I can hear everyone get all awkward… or maybe that’s just me being awkward. Maybe everyone else is totally cool with it. If so, can you help me?

So the last name thing is a hot spot for me and I’ve blatantly shrugged it off over the past few weeks and months promising to deal with it later. Well, last weekend we had our last premarital counseling session with one of our officiants and we were working on planning the ceremony. He asked if we had thought about how we want to be introduced at the end of the ceremony (you know, after “You may kiss the bride,” there’s that part where you are announced as “for the first time ever…”). What’ll it be? Mr. and Mrs. [insert Cobalt’s last name here]? Cobalt [Cobalt’s last name] and Potassium [my last name]? Just Cobalt and Potassium, for the first time ever as husband and wife? The short answer is I don’t know.

For the entirety of my life, I always assumed that I would change my name to be my husband’s last name and become “Mrs. Whatever” because that is what you do. Then I even started joking about it and I was like Hey! My last name is cool! If he has a boring last name, then he should change his last name to match my awesome name… but then when it actually happened and I actually got engaged and actually had to think about changing my last name… it broke my heart. I have been Potassium [last name] for so long that it is part of my identity! Some of my nicknames even are based on that last name. It seemed like changing my name would be like changing my identity. Like lopping off my connection with my family and my past life and joining Cobalt’s family. I mean, I want to be a part of Cobalt’s family but not at the risk of completely losing my connection with my own. I know that is not what is going on here but it still seems weird to me that the girl is expected to do that but the guy doesn’t do anything like that for her family. I don’t know. These are the things that I think about.

So I’ve compiled a list of my feelings on this issue.
Reasons why Potassium doesn’t want to change her name

  • Read the above paragraph for all the emotional reasons Potassium is attached to her name: family, identity, etc.
  • I’ve published a paper in the scientific world with this name. And if you look up my last name in a certain scientific database, this paper along with papers published by my uncle and my grandfather pop up as well… Which is kind of cool. A nerdy family legacy if you will… Okay that is sort of a family issue but the real point here is that if I publish any other papers under any other name, then this one paper will be lost in a search for me and so people won’t have my complete paper publishing record… It’s a complicated science thing…
  • It’s a pain in the butt/very expensive to change your name!!!!! I don’t really think anyone LIKES going to the DMV so why would I purposely give myself a reason to have to go back there?

Reasons why Potassium does want to change her name

  • I still do kind of want to be Mrs. [Cobalt’s last name] because marriage is a joining of families and because it makes everything all tidy with kids and mail and checks and bills etc. Plus my mom didn’t change her last name and it made me feel like she didn’t want to be part of the family or something (it sounds stupid but it was kind of weird for me…)
  • I can keep my scientific name my maiden name so my papers could still be published under that name even if I legally had a new name.

I am sure there are plenty of other reasons to go in both categories but there are a few. Let’s discuss!

In other news, it is really exciting to get our RSVP postcards back in the mail every day.

In other other news, we are having problems coming up with the fortune for the inside of our fortune cookies. Any suggestions? Someone suggested that we put “lucky numbers” on the back that are 8, 4, and 12 (wedding date… hahaha) but what about the actual fortune? We have thought of jokes, trivia about the two of us, cute “ice breaker” questions like “When did you first meet Potassium/Cobalt?” and nothing has really stuck. Thoughts about those?

Okay… Here is your mission for today:

  1. What are your feelings about name changing?
  2. Be excited about RSVP postcards (and send yours in if you have one but otherwise just be excited)!!!
  3. Fortune ideas?

One more thing – the picture! It’s the cake for the bride and groom at the wedding Cobalt and I went to last weekend (hopefully a post about that coming soon!). Adorable, right? I love it. The groom’s mom made it too. Nice work!

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10 thoughts on “Mr. and Mrs…. ????

  1. I can definitely see both sides to the name change issue. One of the good things about getting married before finishing law school is that I won’t have to change my name after building a practice with my maiden name. I’m changing my name because I’m not particularly attached to my last name, plus people are going to assume I have his last name anyway, so it will be easier. I also don’t want to have to correct our kids’ friends when they call me Mrs. Carver ;)

    Yay for the RSVPs! Also, I like the idea of having trivia about the two of you as the fortunes.

  2. I took the option of hyphenation. But I used my original birth name all the time, even socially, because I loved it and didn’t want to change – until we had a kid. Then I used my husband’s last name or my original name according to my preference. I used his name (our kid’s last name) at her school, with his friends, etc, and my original name at my work and with my old friends. Both names are used hyphenated for legal stuff. (but do be consistent with the legal and medical stuff if you choose to hyphenate, to avoid confusion)
    It gives you lots of options!
    Also, my hubby’s name is very common, mine is not. So I use his name if I want to be somewhat unnoticed, but I use mine at the dry cleaners, etc. where 20 people might have the same last name as he has.
    I love that both names are still mine.
    It you think hyphenated makes it too long, remember that it is only legal papers that need the whole name. The rest of the time, you have your choice!
    Your hyphenated name would have 12 letters, just like mine.

  3. The last name thing is tough. It was the hardest thing for me about getting married. I think your idea of keeping your maiden name as part of your “official” name is a good idea because that way your professional legacy (if you will) will remain intact. You can be Potassium MaidenName NewLastName in the professional world, and Posassium NewLastName in regular life. Plus the new name is closer to the beginning of the alphabet. Just something to think about also. I went from a “C” name to an “N” name. But I’ve been the “N” name for almost as long as I was the other name and I can’t imagine being anything but That Nolen Chick now.

    Fortunes – favorite movie/song/book quotes and the lucky number. Love that number idea!

  4. Just a thought – you can be introduced at your wedding using his last name, according to convention, and it may be the socially proper thing to do. That would be nice and it doesn’t make it your legal last name. It’s what you put on your wedding certificate! (I think…I’m not a lawyer) I signed the certificate with my hyphenated name of choice, but we were probably introduced as Mr. and Mrs. at the wedding. Can’t really remember – 32 years ago!

    I love the idea of fortune cookie ice breakers.

  5. You know I’ve been struggling with the new last name thing, too. I went through the notions to legally change my name (at the end of the process, it wasn’t all that expensive… like 200 after everything… and about 6 hrs of my time total), but I still miss my maden name. Everyone calls me Efo, which is based on my maden name, and my new last name is all complicated and hard to spell/pronounce. It’s been a hard switch and I still feel weird about it. I hope it’ll eventually grow on me. Maybe in another year?

    However, like you brought up the whole ‘having kids eventually’ thing, my unease for the new last name will be largely trumped by how glad I’ll be my last name matches any future childrens’ last names. We’re a unit, and the shared name encourages it in my opinion.

  6. I vote for keep your maiden name for scientific stuff, but legally take his name for everything else. Just think…you could be like a super hero with two identities. The awesome wife and the superpower scientist! Each equally deserving of their own last name. Getting everything changed is actually super easy and I think it’s only really expensive if you do it without getting married.

  7. The last name thing is tough. I choose to not legally change mine since my husband and I were well into our 30’s when we got married. Socially, I use his and professionally I use mine. The kids of course have his name. Sorry for the confusion when your were young Potassium, it just never seemed worth the effort.

  8. You should totally have fun/interesting science facts in your fortune cookies!!!

    I didn’t realize you were so torn on the name change issue. For me, it was never an option to change my name. I feel like it’s an outdated relic of a patriarchal society. It really drives me insane that women are expected to change their name when they get married, and men aren’t. I know that some men do actually take their wife’s name, and for some reason they seem to have it so much harder. Even just with the legal name change aspect, which I think is crazy. Anyway, there’s no way I would even have considered changing my name unless Kim was equally open to changing his. But I feel very happy with us both keeping our own names.

    I also think the issue of having your own name on published papers is really important. Even if you do go for a legal name change, I think you should keep your own last name professionally. But really, a name can mean so much to a person’s identity, and professional issues aside, I just think it’s plain unfair to expect anyone to give it up. Have you talked to Cobalt about this? Would he be offended if you didn’t take his name?

  9. The last name thing is indeed a thorny issue. There are so many schools of thought on this one that it can be almost a political decision, no matter which side you end up on. I would definitely keep family Lastname for the science/professional realm at least (btw how cool is it that your grandfather published?! So awesome). For everything else it can get so complicated. My mom ended up changing her middle name to her maiden last name, if that helps at all. It’s still part of her official identity and not in a complicated way, but it also tends to disappear in everyday life completely (how often is your middle name relevant?).

    Is it completely off the table for you both to hyphenate? It gets complicated with children, but it’s so common now. Then both names will be represented and it won’t have to be a gender thing. The old school feminist in me would say that the woman changing her name is a leftover from when wives were property (horrifying) but the new school feminist in me says you have the choice to do whatever you want (like making up a name: Cobalt and Potassium Sharkskeleton!), or taking his last name if that’s what works for you. The point is that you shouldn’t feel pressured either way by society or anyone, because it’s a personal preference. You’ll figure it out, I promise. And you can always put off the decision and decide later if you want to!

    For the fortune cookies: How about made up factoids? “Cobalt and Potassium are secret agents. They appreciate your discretion.” “Cobalt and Potassium met in the stomach of a whale. It was dangerous but awesome.” I like the idea of icebreakers too… “Would you rather be invisible or able to fly” is always a good party discussion.

    Wow, this got long :)

  10. You can always change it later if that is what you want. I see no shame in saying “Mr. and Mrs. Cobalt and Potassium” and skipping the last name part for the ceremony.
    Or even just using the “Mr. and Mrs. Cobalt’s last name” for the ceremony and not changing yours till you are ready or at all.

    As for fortunes, it could silly realistic/totally non realistic plans the two of you have. Like being first to bread hybrid frog-sheep or honeymooning on the Moon

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