Weddings, Meetings, and Names

{ Thursday, January 29, 2009 }
It turns out that our photographer has been spending the last couple days in bed getting over being sick, rather than working on our pictures. I can't say I blame him, but that just means that we'll all have to wait a bit longer for photographic evidence that the sweetie and I really went through with it.

In the meantime, I thought I'd let you know (in case you don't read the blog) that the sweetie has posted the story of how we met in three installments starting here. Now you too can be privy to the story, in all its scandalous details! I love the story of how we met because, although I didn't recognize it at the time, that moment was the single most life-altering event in my 30-odd years.

I used to think that the whole "there's only one person for each of us" theory was crap. I thought that people were just hard to get along with, period, and any relationship would take a ton of work. As long as there is some basic compatibility, I thought all relationships were pretty much the same. I was so very wrong. When I met the sweetie, I was so desperately unhappy and I could see no way out. The sweetie recognized, even when I couldn't, that I could be happy, that I didn't deserve to be miserable like I was. As silly and cliche as it sounds, I had no idea a relationship could be like this. I never imagined how it could feel to be able to depend on someone else and know that they can depend on me. To be in a relationship that's mutually supportive and understanding. I think every. single. day how fortunate I am that the sweetie came into my life (and was smart enough to recognize how good we'd be together).

Which brings me to the topic of names (well, it really doesn't, but I couldn't think of a good segue). For the majority of my life, I thought I would never get married. Back when I thought the only option was marrying a man, I could think of nothing worse that getting married, having a few kids, and spending the rest of my life taking care of all these people while trying to earn a living at the same time. I certainly would never change my name to a man's name and lose that symbolic identity along with the literal one. Once I started dating women, a lot of my opinions changed, but I still didn't think I would ever change my name.

When the sweetie and I started discussing the possibility of having children, the topic of names came up. It was important to the boy (and to me) that our family share a common last name. We agreed at that time that we would choose a third name that we would both take. Well, I've posted before about my newfound traditionalism upon becoming pregnant, so this next part may not be a surprise. The thing is, I still like the idea of choosing a third name. We tried, we really did. We looked at lists of common surnames, tried to think of words that meant something to us that we could use . . . we just couldn't come up with anything. It didn't make any sense to change to a name that didn't mean anything to either of us; to drop the history of our own names in favor of one that has none. So, I decided to take the sweetie's name. Since I'm volunteering the genetic material for our child, I figured the sweetie could provide the surname. Not to mention that all you have to do is take a look at us and apply the traditional gender stereotypes to come up with that one. Everyone already assumed I would take the boy's name.

Over the last couple days, I've started the process of the name change. I've been working on changing e-mail, voicemail, and my paycheck while I wait for the marriage license and court order that will allow me to change my driver's license and social security card (thanks so very much to DOMA, I will still need to get an order from the probate court to fully change my name). The whole thing is very strange. My new name sounds foreign to me and when I've needed to say my full name the last couple days, I've hesitated. Ha! I wonder how long this will last? I am esctatic about my choices; all this new traditionalism has been my idea. Still, all I need to do is quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom in order for my "nightmare" to be complete. Funny thing love, isn't it?


Val said...

I LOVED this post. You share a lot, but more importantly, it reads like you're speaking to your audience. Great way to write.

The thought process is amazing depending on the situation, how views change and become real.

I, too, never realized how wonderful a relationship could be until Linda and call it corny or whatever, it's just plain awesome!

Congratulations again and I look forward to seeing the pics.

JR said...

I'm glad I recognized how great we could be together. You know, I'm fortunate too - so many decisions in our lives could have made it so we never met but we did! And I'm so greatful.

I love that you took my last name. It really means the world to me. Though I am glad that we tried to find a third name and realized that wasn't the way to go. It was a good to do that so that we were sure we made the right name decision.

love you!