Thursday, August 4, 2011

Name Changes

This blog officially needs a new name. The apartment on Wilson Street is no more. We said goodbye to it without much sadness, as the heat had been unbearable and we were looking forward to air conditioning, a dish washer, and an in unit washer/dryer. Luckily, the street names are pretty similar and we now live on Williamson St. (Willy St. for short).

Mountains, palm trees, and the Pacific Ocean.

This is the fourth time I have moved since we got engaged and the third time for Aaron. It has been a long year full of unexpected changes and challenges, but by far one of the most difficult parts of wedding/marriage planning was not all the moving or budgeting or the guest list, it was deciding wether or not to change my name. I tried all year to make it a mutual decision that would involve both Aaron and me equally.

Unfortunately, name changing is by no means an equal decision. Either way I knew I would be criticized. If I did change my name, I was afraid people would feel the same way about me as how I feel when I see that someone has just gotten married and changed their last name. It's not positive feelings, trust me. If I didn't change my name, I knew people would tell me I was silly or too feminist or the worst: that I don't love Aaron enough.

We spent a lot of time discussing every option. None of them seemed great or fair and neither of us were really into the trouble of creating a new last name or hyphenating. I thought it would be nice to have the same last name, but not essential and definitely not worth regretting in the future. Aaron thought having one name was a lot more important, but of course it had to be his last name. You can see how the talks progressed. A lot of times they turned into fights, arguments, and hurt feelings, but we both agreed it was very important that we got everything out there.

About a month ago, we still hadn't come up with a decision we were both ok with. Aaron realized that us being "the Palmers" was more important to him than he had previously thought. I didn't believe a sexist tradition was a good way to start out our marriage and was worried I would resent it later.


Finally, we came up with a compromise that was less than ideal, but do-able and acceptable to both of us: I would change my last name to Palmer and Aaron would become a vegetarian, except for one meal a month (not in front of me) and his birthday. It's a way for us both to sacrifice something we normally wouldn't for the other and make our lives a little easier. No one will questoin how we are related and we won't have any more arguments about buying meat and who is going to cook it. Also, we will be able to share more at restaurants!

Its not an ideal arrangment, but its the best we could come up with in a situation where the ideal doesn't exist.

We appreciate all of the advice from family and friends as we waded through this process and hope everyone will support our decision to be the mostly vegetarian Palmers living on Willy St.

Drinking tequila.


  1. Love this post! Someday I would like to articulate to the world the struggle Sean and I went through with this decision.

  2. I think my argument went something along the lines of: "I never was interested in getting married in my lifetime in the first place. I know how much it means to you, though, and--given I already planned on my lifetime with you anyway--I was willing to give that; therefore, I will not argue about keeping my last name. It's my name, I'm keeping it *blows raspberry*" Well...not quite like that, but an entertaining enough approximation...ha

  3. ...and interestingly enough, your family seemed to "get it" and didn't say a thing about it. *My* family, on the other hand (mainly my dad's family, I should say)...I still don't really hear the end of it from them.

  4. Berger, Palmer, Palger, Bermer, whatever it is I'm 100% behind whatever you both decided. And I love the fact that you struggled -- together -- through it and came out on the other end knowing each other much better than you did before. Wow! That's a really wonderful gift you both gave to your relationship and your life together.