Mourning my name

I’m in mourning over the loss of my name.

In the run-up to my wedding, my stomach didn’t get in knots with fears of making a mistake or a niggling doubt over whether my fiancé was Mr Right – we’ve been together long enough to learn to love each other’s faults. Instead, it was the thought of no longer being Marissa Carruthers that filled me with dread.

It’s who I’d been for the previous three decades and being known as anything else seemed just plain weird. Even worse, I felt like a traitor. Like I was leaving my family behind and it felt like I was losing a little of who I was.

One of my earliest memories is at primary school struggling to get to grips with spelling my name. I remember the forced concentration as I ploughed my way through the 17 letters ahead of me, wishing I could have had a simple name like Chris Pears who was sat next to me wearing a smug smile, having finished writing his name hours before me.

Since then, I’ve learnt to love my name and was loath to get rid of it. I’d toyed with the idea of keeping my surname but when I mentioned it Hubby suddenly turned all traditional. He wasn’t happy and if I was totally honest with myself it didn’t sit right with me either.

It seemed strange being married but still being a miss. What about when I hit old age and people presume I’ve been left on the shelf my whole life? And the inevitable arguments over whose surname our children would take?

So rather reluctantly, I put an offer on the table and told Hubby I’d trade in the youthful sounding Miss for the, let’s say, more mature sounding Mrs, but would be keeping my maiden name for work.

Despite the deal being signed and sealed, I lived happy in the knowledge that it would take me years before I got round to changing my name.

As predicted, five months passed and the only thing I’d changed was my passport (and that was only because we’d booked the honeymoon in my new name). I was still successfully living under my old name, I mean how often does the passport come out?

That was until Christmas. Excited at the thought of my first festivities as a wife, relatives showered me with cards addressed to Mrs BR, followed by messages about settling into married life… getting to grips with my married name.

Some were even kind enough to send me cheques, which are never ungratefully received in Casa BR. Except, that is when they’re addressed to Mrs BR who, as far as Miss C’s bank is concerned, doesn’t exist.

So this week, I begrudgingly took a trip to town armed with a bag full of name change letters to post, my marriage certificate and passport, and went to the bank to finally change my name.I got home and broke the news to Hubby who revealed the real reason behind his determination for me to take up his double-barrelled beast of a surname.“Finally, you can share my misery of no-one knowing how to say or spell your name,” he said with a smirk.

And he was right because today my new bank arrived… with my surname spelled wrong.

So here’s to a life of being a Baranoff-Rossine, and a life of people getting it wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Mourning my name

  1. Good post: so many people don’t think they even have a choice! I have done both (two marriages) and there are pros and cons to both.

    At a deeper level, I honestly don’t understand why society still assumes women will take their husbands’ names. I now use my “maiden” name but find I have to explain it *a lot* especially when travelling. People automatically assume we’re not married!

  2. Good on you for changing your passport straight away… for me it was the last thing I did, putting it off for as long as I could after finding out that (in Australia) you only have 12 months to organise the change – a deadline I had already missed – before you have to pay for a whole new passport.

    • I only got round to changing the passport so quickly because we’d booked our honeymoon in my married name otherwise it would have taken me years to get round to it!

  3. Good points, never thought of it this way. I think women can retain their maiden name regardless, not sure but it will cause issues as you found out. Love that picture, your man jumping for joy. I clicked “follow”. 🙂

  4. But it’s a beautiful name and depends on where you live as there are fewer problems in France. I roared with laughter on discovering why you did change it in the end though!

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