It was never intended to be an act of feminism.
Maybe it was the fact that only 4 months after getting married we delved right into the overwhelming world of being first time parents of twins, leaving no time to deal with the laborious bureaucratic paperwork involved.
I just never had the urge or felt it necessary to take on my husband’s surname.
Not even when my MIL randomly asked me 6 months after our wedding (in the middle of Masterchef during commercial break, no less), what I was going to do about changing my maiden name.
Even knowing my stance on this, she still insists on sending us letters and cards addressed as “Mr and Mrs (Insert Husband’s Full First and Last Name)”.
It’s as irritating as ants crawling under my skin, but hey, I ain’t gonna change my mind.
Prior to being married, it never occurred to me that I would feel this strongly.
Actually, I was one of those girls busting to find a nice guy, with minimal baggage (at best) and a simple, common surname.
Depending on one’s interpretation, my unique maiden name could either be referred to certain female body parts or hold close sounding resemblance to a great big lake in the Andes of South America. (Take your pick).
All my life, my father’s surname has either given me grief in the school playground or quizzical looks from Motor Registry clerks or bank tellers.
Who wouldn’t want to change my name?
Then, finally the opportunity arose itself.
And for some reason, the thought of making all those fiddly adjustments; the fact that I would lose the last remains of my Indonesian identity; and all those years of effort in defending my differences and background; instincts told me not to bother.
It doesn’t mean I love my husband any less. Nor has it jeopardized the connection with my boys who indeed carry their father’s surname (Now, there’s one consolation for my MIL).
It’s not even about protecting my career and the professional reputation I built during those pre-marital days.
It’s about choice. It’s about what makes me most comfortable.
It’s about equality and mutual respect.
And correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t they the aspects of marriage, anyway?
My MIL hasn’t brought up the issue since. Maybe it was because the conversation was quickly shut down by Mr Surfer saying it was no one’s business what I decided to do.
Obviously, Mr Surfer himself doesn’t care what I do.
Hell, I could change my name to Princess Panda Poo Poo and he wouldn’t blink an eye.
As long as we’re happy and we continue our commitment to nurture and strengthen our family bond, what else matters?
Did you keep your maiden name or take your husband’s after getting married? What were your reasons? Do you think Princess Panda Poo Poo would suit me?
Joining Essentially Jess for some essential IBOT