Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Identity crisis

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I had an interview at the post office on Monday to get my passport (and one for each of my four children). It was a pretty awful experience as I had to take the twins with me and, let's just say, there isn't a lot for a couple of two year olds to do for an hour at a post office.

Anyhoo.

The whole experience was complicated by my documentation problem.

When I got married, I had no idea what to do about my last name. Would I take the Geege's family name or keep my maiden name?

It was a decision made difficult for me by the fact that I have always been a leftie and a feminist (in a good way) and was 31 with an established career when we married. I didn't really see the need to change my name. The Geege didn't seem worried about it either.

Then I found out I was pregnant. I realised that I wanted to share the name of my unborn child.

What to do?

My simple solution was to keep my own short name, and add my husband's too. No hyphen. Two last names.

I read a couple of posts yesterday that made comment about the hyphenated last name, and have to agree with this post that Maxabella linked to and this post that x0xJ wrote. There is something very 1970's to me about the hyphenated last name. That was my rationale for just going the two names.

But the two names has caused some trouble for me. When I went to supply my identification for my passport on Monday, I realised that my name is represented in three different ways on my credit card (hyphenated), bank account (just the Geege's name) and licence (correct)! My simple solution is a complete mess.

I got a lecture from the well intentioned post-office worker who explained that it was important to have the same name on all the identification. I didn't dare show him my Medicare card which is still in my maiden name.

I had to write a statutory declaration to the effect that all these people are actually the same person. Me. My identity is officially a complete disaster. I have more AKA's than a spy.

Have you had this problem? What has your solution to the name conundrum been?

6 comments:

life in a pink fibro said...

I'm a one name girl all the way. I haven't changed it. Have had no problems with that. The school calls me Mrs [insert kids last name] and that's fine too. It seems like an ENORMOUS hassle to become a new version of me.

Kelly said...

I got married almost three years ago now and I haven't changed my name yet. I was always going to change it, so that I had the same name as my husband and my three children. But I just never did, and proberly never will now that three years has passed.

Lucy said...

Oh dear!
But the question remains..has this prompted you to get them all changed to the same name?

Busy Working Mama said...

Actually, when I decided to marry my husband and we went to get our marriage license and the government worker asked for what name I wanted and I had to make a desicion there and there...I near lost it. I finally agreed to change my name to my husband's last name and keep my maiden name as my middle name (since I had no middle name). But when we left the court house I cried for about 2 hours straight, raging on and on about the injustice and how awful it was to lose my identity and the so forth. Now, looking back on it, it seems silly but at the time I did feel like I was losing a piece of myself. The only reason I did it was because I wanted to make sure any children I had would have my last name. I've grown into my married name but I do still despise the antiquated custom of taking the man's name. I suggested Adam take mine but he felt that would be looked down upon by coworkers and friends. Finally I realized he was probably right and I was probably a drama queen and relented. Oh well, I'm a Nearing now and at least I can draw a heart over the i in my last name if I feel so inclined :)

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

As Shakespeare would say 'a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet'. I don't think it really matters what you are called. You make your own identity.

Funny story. Will you change everything so they're all the same from now on?

x0xJ said...

Oh gosh! How did they get mixed up on your credit and bank cards??
At least you could sort it out!!

I am not a fan of the hyphen. I don't think anything of people who do whatever, it's their life, but it's not for me.
I actually congratulate you for keeping your maiden name, yet finding a way to incorprate your husbands name, and bonus points for bypassing the hyphen! Lol.

Thanks so much for the promo!

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