Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hyphenate Please

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I decided a while ago (in my late teens) that I'm not going to change my name to my husband's name when I marry. For me I don't think its about feminism or whatever but I just never really got the point, the relevancy, and why its a MUST. I have a name, I like my name, and it's been with me and done me well for ages why would I want to change? Never found a compelling enough reason. Even worse my parents are in full support of my not changing my name, they also don't see it as a MUST.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I started to seriously think about marriage, the issue of change of name came up to me again and I decided that in order to be connected to my children I would compromise and just hyphenate my name. Earlier on in our relationship this issue came up and I can still remember vividly the conversation. Bolaji actually doesn't care either way and wants me to do what feels right to me, staying true to myself. I told him at most I'd want to hyphenate but I don't believe really in changing names. He okayed this but gave only one caveat which is that he won't bear the hyphenate name and our children would not bear the hyphenate name which is fine with me. I always say to people I don't care what the kids bear, that's THEIR lot in life, LOL. They think I'm joking but really...everyone has their own life to live.

Anyway so now that the traditional marriage has come and gone, this issue is now at the forefront, it's a burning issue. First, Bolaji and I are a little confused as to whether we are now actually MARRIED. Do we now refer to each other as wife and hubby, mr. and mrs.? How should we introduce ourselves, "meet my fiance?" or "meet my husband?" Almost all our family members i.e aunties and uncles refer to us as married so surely that must count for something? So what I say to people now is that we're in-between :-) Almost married. At work however, they've already changed my name on the system.

Which brings me back to the hyphenate. So I make sure to tell everyone I'd like to be addressed with my hyphenated name BUT NOBODY LISTENS! Everyone, aunties to uncles, to colleagues everyone prefers to say Mrs. so and so. This irks me. I actually don't like the Mrs. moniker and Bolaji despises it! He's of the point of view that it is a moniker that is essentially useless and any usefulness that may come from it should be if one is filling out official forms. Otherwise, in everyday life, he prefers everyone to just go by name. So Bolaji despises Mr & Mrs and it also irks me so why do people keep insisting on ignoring our wishes and still calling us Mr. & Mrs. xXx? I spoke to my uncle this morning because he wanted to send a package to us and he asked how I wanted the envelope addressed and I told him. Would you know the envelope got to me this morning addressed Mrs. Kemi xXx! Sigh.

I have to say not wanting the Mrs. tag adds its own dilemma to my identity. Without the mrs. how would I then like to be addressed? Saying Mrs. Kemi yYy-xXx is not actually correct form so I've been thinking about it and I think my preferred choice would be Ms. Kemi yYy-xXx. And that is if I absolutely must. I'd just rather they call me Kemi what's so wrong with that?

Anyone else hyphenated their name? Any advice on how I can best help my family transition into my REAL new name?

PS - my hubby was working in our home office and just walked out planted a kiss on my forehead and lips and walked back to the home office. I love that man. :-)

22 comments:

KabiOsi Edumare said...

1st....BRB..
Let me go read.

KabiOsi Edumare said...

Me and my fiance already agreed on hyphenating.
Mrs Kabi ** Last name** **Hubby's name**....he is fine with it as long as the kids dont bear the hyphenated name

What i am called is important....and It irks me when pple dont respect my wish...arrgh...

Myne Whitman said...

I don't like hyphenated names but I like my last name, used to it too and it's on all my docs. So when I changed my name officially and got a new passport, I removed my middle name and kept my last name as my middle name.

For those that like using the Mrs, it goes with my new married last name, no difficulty. Otherwise I remain my name cos no one even used my middle name b4. We refer to ourselves as Myne and Atala XXXXX.

Blowing Blessings Your Way said...

Well I'm not married yet but I know a lot of women that have hypenated their last names and it's the woman bears it alone or the husband, wife, and children all bear the hypenated last name...i'll suggest that you do whatever makes u feel comfortable...

And I believe that the Mr. & Mrs. title comes with the territory so hey...try not to let it get to u...

Congrats again!!!

Kemi said...

@KabiOsi your fiance sounds like mine. He's cool as long as he doesn't have to change his name...go figure!

@Myne I thought about that too, like Hillary Rodham Clinton, but i just decided to go with the hyphenate. I don't mind us being referred to as the xXx but when it's just me alone I prefer my name to be hyphenated. Sigh. So complicated :-)

@Blessings thanks for your well-wishes xoxo. it's not getting to me as such, i'm more amused at looks I get when I say my husband and I don't like to use it. It's gonna be an interesting journey.

doll said...

i dont like hyphenated names...sounds clumsy to me...but then go with your heart...

Why does the mrs irk you...???you are one and may as well get used to it

Andrea said...

I actually did a post on this before I got married. I, like you swore never to change my name if I got married. My hubby did not care as long as I was happy. After I got married, something in me change.. Then I said I will hyphenate my name.BUt then I found out we were having a baby. Something clicked in me again. I realize oh my. I now starting my own family. I wanted us to be one family unit..
So I decided to do just like myne whitman did.

Andrea said...

So babes, you do what makes you comfortable.
Have an awesome day.

Ms.O said...

congrats again!!! I plan on hyphenating my name as well. I love my last name it rhymes with my first!..

DarLyn said...

I used to think I would do the hyphenated name thing before but now I am not so sure. For me it does not matter either ways.
The people emphasising the Mrs are just in their own way recognising the fact that you are now "married" so they don’t want to be "disrespectful" could be really annoying though especially after you've stated your preference and they don’t listen

Good Naija Girl said...

I did a post on this too last year I think. My last name is far too long to be neatly hyphenated with anything, and I love my two middle names so I can't imagine getting rid of either of them. I'm also thinking that you and Kabi got the only two Nigerian men who are cool with you doing whatever you want regarding your surname!

I think if you go by your hyphenated name, it should be Ms. Kemi yYy-xXx. That's what makes sense to me. I don't understand why some people would ask you how you want to be called and then not respect it! That's just silly.

LucidLilith said...

Keep on correcting them...and insistiing. It will stick. Better yet, when you send out (if you send out) thank you cards, sign your name the way you want them to call you.

From Now Till I Do said...

Not married yet, but I had the convo with my FI hypothetically and he said no. Having said that I'm looking forward to taking his name. My name hypenated with his would be too long and sound weird.

In your case, like LucidLilith said you just need to keep reminding people of what your new name is. Write it on everything, sign everything with it. Over time people will get used to it...eventually!

Andrea said...

Iyawo mi, how are you enjoying married life...

Miss Natural said...

I do not see to this keeping of last names, maybe its because of the way I have been conditioned...maybe. But no matter what its the two of you in this marriage and you do what makes you happy and what is best for you both.

downtheaisle said...

congratss on your traditional wedding.
I have tried like forever to post comments on your older posts but somehow it just wan't working.

How are u doing?

Anonymous said...

Y are u looking for issues where there is none?d law recognises d trad weddin so u are officially married.been called Mrs isn't a biggie now,deal with it.howz ur destination weddin plans coming?hope u have stopped deceiving urself u can't fuck or u havn't been,its official now so please go ahead and make babies.glad for u really.

Anonymous said...

You call him your hubby, why not let others acknowledge you as Mrs..?
:)

Kemi said...

@Doll - i don't know, i just don't see the relevance. especially in Nigeria I think people do it to garner respect but simply being married shouldn't make people treat you differently. Or at least I don't think I want to be.

@Andrea, i dey o! i think i remember your post. I thought of making it a middle name but I like my hyphenate name better i think. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind before the white :-)

@Ms.O, thanks for stopping by, please let me know how it goes for you and if there are any tips on pushing people to use the right name.

@DarLyn, thanks for stopping by!

@GNG, i used to date a guy with a long name too and then i knew i would never hyphenate it. but Bolaji's last name is so short and cute and so is mine and they work perfectly together!

@Lucid, believe me I can't wait till the thank you cards and also the back of my ceremony booklets, it will be signed Bolaji xXx and Kemi yYy-xXx!

@FromNow, that's what I'm hoping oh. It should be an interesting experience i think!

@Miss Natural, i know, it's not everyone's cup of tea and that's alright. I think couples should just do what makes them comfortable whatever that may be.

@dTa, i know!!! I'm so glad you are now able to comment. Please update your blog noooow :-)

@anon1 - i don't know if we're deceiving ourselves oh. we're actually just practical, some days are better than others and that's okay. There's no pressure and I suppose we can if we want to but we have decided to just try. We'll see!

@anon2 - we actually introduce each other as partner and not husband/wife. we'll see maybe it'll grow on me. Honestly though, Bolaji hates it more than I, don't know why lol.

Anonymous said...

I guess I meant you refer to him as "hubby" when thinking or speaking about him. And technically hubby is short for husband....so.... why not let others acknowledge you as Mrs.?

LoL una go dey okay. Regardless, I love your union, it's so beautiful and I hope and pray it grows and grows into something spectacularly beautiful with each passing day.

- anon2

P.E.T. Projects said...

This name thing is always a biggie. I would definetly love to keep my name cos its so unique and one more thing, most people call me by it (alot of people dont know my first name).

But then, what if my husband-to-be has a compound name already? What would I do.... 2 hyphenations would be too clumsy...

I'll just wait and cross the bridge when i get there... i should concentrate on finding a boyfriend first *sigh*

angelsbeauty said...

i love double barrel names and my name and surname rhyme but at long, having a double barrell probably wont fit into my passport.. plus i wouldnt want my surname as a middle name as i love my middle so for me.. i shall be taking my husband's surname fully.. and maybe name my first son my surname..hmmm that thought just came to me! eureka! moment

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