Monday, 11 June 2007

Marriage = changing your name?

An informal tagging in this meme about names has led me here. "Names" in general terms seems to be a broad topic, and after naming my son Sacha, I have spoken out numersiou times about the validity of naming a boy Sacha (even though it is originally a boy's name in Russian, Greek, and the like). This is not the road I will choose today, as frankly, it tires me when people assume things about a person simply by what their name is.

Instead, I want to tell you a little tale of two people who were madly in love and planning to spend their lives together. They decided to wed, and the Wonderful Selfless Man volunteered (of his own free will, no bribes of sex or the like involved) to give up his name and assume his fiancée's name once they were married. He had never met her father, and since he had passed away leaving but three daughters, there was no one left to carry on the family name. The beautiful young woman was astonished, as she had never heard of this before, but was so taken aback by her love's proposition and glad that she would not have to come up with a new signature that she went along with it.

Wonderful Selfless Man's family had no qualms about him taking his wife's name. Beautiful Young Foxy Lady's family was elated that a man would want to honor her father in that way, and many tears of joy were shed.

The wedding came and went, and then began the real show. Wonderful Selfless Man went to have his driver's license changed into his new name: no problem! Wonderful Selfless Man wanted to have his passport changed: easy peasy! Wonderful Selfless Man calls the government to update his name on his social insurance number. Bitch Lady tells him that he is not allowed to change his name as it is not "social custom." Wonderful Selfless Man hangs up, dials the 1-800 number again, gets new operator, and account is updated.

Wonderful Selfless Man bears the brunt of many light-hearted jokes from friends regarding his "maiden" name. Beautiful Young Foxy Lady becomes a teacher and realizes that it may be easier for her students to simply call her "Mme N."

Wonderful Selfless Man applies to write his licensing exam to become a pharmacist. Pharmacy examining board tells him that they do not accept his new name (despite the fact that the passport office is A-OK with it) and that he must file for a legal name change. (In case you do not know the difference, a legal name change deletes all existing documents in your birth name and redrafts them in your new name. This includes your birth certificate. Changing your name after marriage is "assuming" a name, and simply adds this new name, so to speak, on to your existing identity.) Wonderful Selfless Man opens a can of whoop-ass and tells them that they are discriminating against him because he is a man and that if this were the reverse situation (ie: a woman took her husband's name) they would not be having this conversation. He threatens legal action, at which point the head honcho of the pharmacy examining board apologizes profusely for his employee's behaviour.

Happy couple move to new province and must change their driver's licenses. Beautiful Young Foxy Lady changes hers with no questions asked. Wonderful Selfless Man is not permitted to change his, despite the fact that his PASSPORT and all other legal documents are in his new name, until they see a valid marriage certificate. Wonderful Selfless Man protests, saying that he has all the proper documentation required and that it doesn't say he needs to show a marriage certificate. Psycho-hose Beast Lady tells him that it was his choice to do something weird such as take on my name and that he must deal with the consequences of that choice. Obviously, one needs a driver's license to drive, so Wonderful Selfless Man express-ordered the marriage certificate from home province to complete the transaction.

Even after all this hassle, Wonderful Selfless Man still says if he had to do it over again, he would still take my name.

That is love.

And that is my name meme.

Tagging time: Let's say...somewhatmalcontent, kristagrothoff, st.magoo, and girl'slife
Have at 'er!


  1. Anonymous Female11 June 2007 at 16:00

    Then there was the priest who was in a total tizzy because he didn't know how to handle the situation until his Faithful and Unappreciated Assistant sat him down and pointed out that one's married name appeared NOWHERE on any church marriage documents and this new-to-him arrangement changed absolutely nothing. "Oh" the clueless clergyman replied, shortly before being promoted to a position where other people would be asking him questions about such matters.

  2. Red Tape. How infuriating! His patience is to be admired.

  3. That's a great story! I'm very impressed with his perseverence.

  4. What a wonderful love story!

    Isn't it odd that this should be such a problem?

  5. That's really lovely ;)

    I just saw that I'd been tagged, so I'll see what I can do.

    Oh, and by the way? I think Sacha is a great name. One of the boy names I've been thinking I'll try out on the husband is Sascha (German spelling), actually, so it gets the thumbs up from me *grin*

    Ok, back to that post...

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