Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Say my name, say my name

When my mom was learning Spanish, she started saying, "Arroz is arroz is arroz."

Yah, so. When Nick and I were engaged and he asked if I was going to change my name, my initial reaction was something like OH THE HELL NO.

And then I considered changing my name entirely, because I've never liked Lisa. I was going to take his last name and change my name to Jordan Nick'slastname.

But then a good friends of mine gave me a look and said, "Go ahead and do what you want: you'll always be Lisa to me."

And, at the age of 39, it did seem silly.

And then we went ahead and had a kid and named him Jordan and that settled it. Option off the table for me. Plus, I wasn't actually changing my last name.

I knew Nick would love it, but he also understood - there was no way he'd give up his last name for mine. He got it.

But in some ways, it would be easier for us to have the same last name. At Jordan's school, and eventually, India's school. It's not insurmountably complicated. But it would be easier.

And actually, I'd drop my middle name, keep my first and last name and add his to the end. Legally, we'd have the same last name.  How big a deal is that, I decided?

Fast forward to this past March, when, in a fit of folly, I offered to change my name as a gift to Nick for his birthday. Would he like that? In response, he sprinted off to get the key to the safe-deposit box, zoomed to the bank, and returned with our marriage certificate.

In other words, yes.

Right. So. Ready to change my name! What's in a name, right? Arroz by any other name...

But every time I made a move toward doing so, I got all clenchy and twitchy. Change my name? This name I've had for two score and then some?

Every once in a while, Nick would check in on how it was going, and I would respond with a totally involuntary shoulder twitch and say I was working on it...

So now, it's what he would like for Christmas. Would I go ahead and do the paperwork?

But I just read an article in the Sunday Times that was about names and apparently if you don't have your intended last name on your marriage certificate it's all kinds of difficult?

I've been looking on the web but am not clear on it, so I probably need to just go down to the Social Security office and ask for help.

But! If it's going to be all complicated, maybe I will change my entire name! All those names I liked that Nick wasn't OK with for our daughter can now be back on the table!

I could be:


The idea of which makes me alternately nervous and excited.

Whatcha think?


  1. You can change your name. But, as your friend said "you'll always be Lisa Jordan to me" So, you can change your name and still be Lisa Jordan to all of us who matter. But you'll be Lisa Nickslastname to the one who really counts. And you'll live another 50 years with his last name and you will be totally accustomed to it by then. But, uhh, please just stick with the first name Lisa.

    1. Haha, Lynn! Nick said there's NO WAY he's ever calling me Gaia or Cleo...

  2. My mom did it at 50 (meaning she changed her first name) and you know she often changes her last name as well!

    1. Yes - and she carries it well! Your mom cracks me up. Her name changes, her rubber band story, all of it!

  3. Can we please discuss this thoroughly in January? My name is such a mess. You should see how the Christmas cards come in - Leslie Wilson, Leslie Wilson Jordan, Leslie Jordan, The Jordan family, The Jordan-Wilson family, The Wilson-Jordan family, The Jordan family and Leslie.... My passport has one name, my license another. It's a disaster. I keep moving to change it to but then don't. Maybe we could be a support group for one another?

    1. Yes, we will discuss this and soooo many other topics in January! I just got back from Social Security. But the idea of going to the DMV anytime soon is more than I can bear.

  4. You are the reason I love the name Lisa. But you would probably be the reason I'd love any of the other names you mentioned, too.

    I think the degree of difficulty varies with the requirements of the local jurisdiction in which you're doing it. Like, SSA and whatnot are probably pretty simple, but I have no idea what the DMV would be like. I'd bring a flask, just in case.

    1. Oh, I love you, Jess! I went with keeping Lisa in the end, and except for the long wait, it was totally easy. DMV, I have no idea. I think bringing a flask to DC DMV is probably always wise. Except for the having to drive home part. Maybe Nick can drop me off and pick me up.

  5. I'll just say that Emma is WAAY too common right now, but I do like Odette and Sadie.


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