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A few weeks ago, just shy of 4 months after the wedding, I changed my name. I went to the social security office at very-early o’clock and walked out with a receipt promising that a new card, bearing my new name, was on its way. I was a little teary-eyed, and the morning seemed to call for a celebratory drink; it felt that momentous to me.

I always knew I would take my husband’s name. I was never overly fond of my maiden one, and I like the idea of a family sharing their last name. But once I was married, I confusedly found myself dragging my feet. (I also insisted on maintaining separate checking accounts in addition to opening a joint, which I may be coming to regret, but that’s a story for another time.)

I think it was because of all the HUGE changes that were taking place that I couldn’t bring myself to make another. Suddenly I loved my maiden name, and I was almost shy about calling myself by my married name. It hadn’t sunk in — the new words on my tongue felt foreign. Not to mention I felt like I was referring to my mother-in-law.

Luckily, once life settled down a bit and I found myself easing into my married self, one day I woke up and I was ready. I went to social security the next week, followed by the DMV a couple weeks later, and am now frantically working my way through all the credit cards/bank accounts/gym card/library card/health insurance etc. mess of things with my name on it. I suddenly can’t wait to fully assume my new identify, to be myself and yet also fully joined to him. And after this whole process is done, I may be in need of more than one “celebratory” drink.

Have you faced a similar decision that you knew you were committed to making, but waffled at the last minute? And for you marrieds, how did you address the issue of last names?

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