“What’s in a name?” Most of us are familiar with this quote from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Although it comes from one of literature’s oldest love stories, brides still find themselves asking this very question after saying “I do.”
The name change. For some, it is one of the most wonderful parts about married life – finally being referred to as “Mrs.,” taking the last name of your true love, and being officially (and legally) tied to one another. Others, however, are not so eager to part with the name they were given at birth. Our name is what defines us; it’s what has gotten us from kindergarten through college and beyond. It’s what has helped shape who we’ve become, and it’s the one true thing we can call our own. So when it comes time to marry, I can see why a lot of women – especially today’s modern women – might have qualms about this age-old tradition. I have to admit, the thought of changing my last name gave me a small panic attack. Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic to be marrying Marshal, and I do love his last name, but a small part of me wanted to be selfish. I like my last name. Why can’t he change his? I actually brought this idea up to him with a small ounce of hope (or delusion) that it could turn into an actual discussion. Let’s just say it was followed with a blank stare, a little bit of laughter, and an “Are you serious?” I even suggested combining Brookins and Livingstone into “Brookstone” to get the best of both worlds, because after all, isn’t marriage about compromise? He wasn’t going for it. Some traditions just don’t change. So out of love and adoration of my dear, sweet husband, and in the name of tradition and our future children, I took my husband’s last name – but under one condition. He had to accompany me to the dreaded DMV and the abhorred social security office, where he waited with me in those horrid lines for hours upon hours, losing precious moments of my life I will never get back. Yes, that’s right. Marriage is about give and take. After all, we do it in the “name” of love.