I teach a lesson on Spanish names that explains how everyone in Spain and Mexico has a name on their birth certificate which they carry through life. People have their first name, their father’s last name and their mother’s paternal last name. As one of my students explained, “So if Beyoncé and JayZee lived there, their daughter would be Blue Ivy Carter Knowles?” Exactly! When or if she married her husband’s last name would be added after a “de” but from birth certificate through passport, her name stays the same in Spain. Other Spanish speaking countries drop the mother’s paternal name.
Want to see an example? I was just in Cuba and saw this theater. Underneath the balcony there is a dedication plaque. On the plaque you can see the Doctor’s name who donated the money and dedicated it to her parents.
I have an arrow on her last name. See the de? After that is her husband’s last name. (And no, I don’t think it’s any relation to the latest Cuban ball player on the White Sox.)
I like this system. I have a different last name from my husband because I kept my maiden name when we married. I didn’t do that the first time I married, I carried my last name as my middle name. I wanted to have the same last name as my future children when I married the first time, I wanted us all to match. After my divorce I returned to my own name and still have it.
A real pain about having a family where everyone has a different last name is welcome mats. Yep, too many names to fit on one mat. Otherwise, it’s just fine. If my kids’ friends call me Mrs. using their last name, I answer. If my husband’s family addresses a card to me with his last name, I open it.
For me and my family, it works. To try and convince you, here are 7 reasons for keeping your own last name.
1. Paperwork – I changed my social security, driver’s license and teaching license plus all kinds of subscriptions, credit cards and medical records. It’s exhausting, just keep your birth name and use anything you want in other situations.
2. Restaurant choices – When we call and order a pizza or put in our name for a table, we have choices. We choose mine, it’s easier to pronounce.
3. Continuity – You are the same person throughout your life. Your professional accomplishments as well as long time friends are all synced with that name.
4. Celebrity panache – All the big stars do it. People will assume you are a celebrity.
5. Monogrammed items – No waste here. You can use jewelry or towels for a life time.
7. Sense of self – You are who are with the name your parents gave you. Unless you hate your last name, your name shouldn’t depend on what your husband’s name is. Plus, I kept my name because I wanted to!
Keeping my own name worked for me and my husband. I hope you choose to do whatever works for you no matter what the name custom is where you live.
Now if people could just spell my last name with one t, that would make me Sew happy!
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Here’s another post that has nothing to do with quilts or sewing.