#5 - What's In A Name?


Several months ago, 
I casually asked Kellie to entertain the idea of hyphenating, or even keeping, her last name. 

"Oviosun-Washington."

"You do realize that I'll NEVER be able to fit that into a bubble sheet?!" she responded,
as if to suggest it was absurd that I had not considered this.
Nevermind the inevitable trip to the Social Security office to fill out mounds of paperwork,
or sitting in a hot, musty DMV to get new IDs,
or contacting her banks and creditors to ensure that her gwop is secure.
All of that pales in comparison to The Bubble Sheet, y'all. 

See, Kellie's Nigerian-American.
(Her dad emigrated from Nigeria; her mom is from the States.)
So, for me, it's important that her Nigerian name lives on.
I think it's dope, and rare, to be able to easily trace your family history back to its roots.
And plus, doing things--like changing your name upon marriage--
"because that's how it's always been done" is THE worst justification ever.

By the way, fun fact...
Did you know that a woman changing her name is as simple as signing a certificate,
but if a man wanted to take on his wife's name (total anarchist, I know)
he'd have to go through a statutory name-changing proceeding,
a tedious process that ain'eem guaranteed in all States.
Where do these rules even come from?!

 Now don't get me wrong, I respect the tradition of taking on your spouse's name and all,
but I'm also a dude who isn't expected to change his name,
which, by the way, is no minuscule task.
Soooo, it just makes sense that the decision should rest solely on her shoulders, y'know?

So alas....

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I love my heritage,
and I love where I'm from.
But I have waited a long time to start my own family,
to come into my own and create a new legacy.
A part of that is taking the name of my husband.

My Nigerian heritage will always be a part of me,
whether it is evident in my last name or not.
I am the product of 2 beautiful cultures blended together.
That pride is flowing through my veins and will continue to do so long after I say I do.


Just curious. What do you all plan to do with your name upon marriage? 

6 comments:

  1. Great post! I plan on naming my son my last name so that it won't die when/if I change it.

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    1. this is what my mother did! I certainly appreciate her for it.

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  2. He'd have to have one pretty great last name for me to completely change it. Maybe he'll be an anarchist and take mine? Or maybe I'm asking a lot.

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    1. in my opinion, your expectations are on par with men expecting women to take their names!

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  3. Good post! I totally respect your reasoning and I respect Kelli's as well. What did you guys settle on doing?

    I already have two last names -- my biological father's last name and my adopted last name -- so it's bittersweet to drop them but I'm not about the three-hypen-last-name-life so.... good riddance.

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    1. LOL! I hear you.
      I think she's gonna take my last name and her maiden name will become her middle name.

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