When you marry, will you change your name? Hyphenate it? Make him take your name? If you're already married, ow did you decide? Although tradition dictates that women do take their husband's last names, it's a personal choice. Here, one woman describes her decision. "We've heard about our options and the inherent difficulties that go along with each. If we keep our names, our in-laws will hate us. If we hyphenate, no one will be able to alphabetize it properly; our medical records will be repeatedly lost. If we take our husband's last name, we'll forever feel like a part of our identity was lost, which may or may not be a bigger problem than the missing medical records. We've certainly heard that making the choice sucks. Many of us spend hours weighing the options—even before we're engaged. We even go so far as to speculate about which celebrity brides will take their husband's last names. Are we hoping that their choices will somehow provide us a glimpse into a magical crystal ball and reveal a time in the future when this isn't so damn difficult?"
Recently I’ve been getting the itch to move somewhere again, and it hit me: I can’t just pick up and go any time I want to. I’m engaged. I have another person’s feelings and future to consider. That kind of sucks. I told Fred how I felt a few weeks ago–that if we end up staying in Atlanta for the rest of our lives because we want to, then that would be great. But if we decide now that there’s never even the option of moving, then I will begin to feel trapped– and caged animals are not the nicest creatures.
What I know now, but didn't then, is this: it's not enough for a couple to share sizzling chemistry; or a passion for growing heirloom tomatoes; or simply the determination that this one is The One, dammit. Other values must match up: values that never seem to matter when you've just taken up residence in the love shack.