If my maiden name was “Shithouse”, this would be a much easier choice…

To take his name or to stay true to the good ol’ birth name. Ah, the constant debate. For many, I’m sure it’s an easy choice… but when you are quite married to the “take the hubby’s name” tradition, but has ALSO made a name for yourself, making the decision can be a bit more complicated. 

While I’m more or less liberal with everything else, I also admit that I romanticized the idea of taking my husband’s last name. I don’t look at it as a territorial marking, but rather as a symbol of coming together as a single unit. When you share the same last name, I see it as showing ones commitment to be in a family with that person– to have your two separate families become one and to let it grow. If you have kids, sharing the same last name just seems symbolically appealing… not to mention the fact that you don’t have to explain that they are not bastard children even if mom and dad have completely different last names. 

And, well… Mr. Zombie’s last name is… well… pretty bad ass. 

Here is the rub: I am in the process of developing a creative career. While I’m still starting out, my name is already out there making the rounds in its true maiden form: film referrals, business cards, art shows, blogs… hell, I even have a profile on IMDB! If I change my name, I’m scared that professionals in my industry would have a hard time tracking me down and I might lose out on some awesome opportunities. 

So what do I do? I could potentially hyphenate. I mean, it works for Courtney Cox-Arquette, so why not? I guess it boils down me being A: not a huge fan of the dreaded dash and B: too lazy / weirded out by always saying two different last names simultaneously . Yes. I know. Petty excuse. Shut up… but I will have you know that even Anne Brashares made a comment in her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series about hyphenated last names being awkward!

I could also potentially just go by one last name for one thing and the other for another. MRS. Zombie for the parent/teacher meetings, tax claims and banking information… MISS Zombie for career-related ventures. But, would that get to confusing? Would I need two different signatures? Oh, the decisions!

Career ladies, how did you figure out your name dilemma? I need all the insight I can get!


2 Responses to “If my maiden name was “Shithouse”, this would be a much easier choice…”

  1. what about just using two names and not hyphenating them? it might look like you’re using your middle name written out, or you could just have two middle names legally and only use your new one. just throwing out ideas

  2. nightmarewedding Says:

    That’s a good idea… my mom does that. i think that’s the popular way of doing it in the Philippines.

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