What’s In A Name?

I like to think of myself as a modern woman. I can mow the lawn, I work and make more money than my male partner. I cook and clean, but also share those responsibilities. I have my own finances and have paved my own way. So, of course, I’m keeping my so called “maiden name” when I get married.

After we engaged, I was called by many, “Mrs. Flagel.” I immediately replied with, “I’m keeping my name.” Some would simply say, “there’s nothing wrong with that.” Others would say, “How does Justin feel about that?” or even, “Why don’t you just hyphenate?”

As I’m writing this, I realize that I often feel the need to defend or explain my choice to keep my last name. And though I do have my own personal reasons for choosing to do so, I should just be able to say, “I won’t be taking his name,” and leave it at that.

Because, you know, it is 2016. I don’t have to pay a dowry. I’m not being swapped for land. And plus, my last name is pretty damn cool.

But, here I am, saying my piece once again to set the record straight so the looks will stop and the smirks will cease.

I was born to Suellyn and Jack Bivens on January 8, 1987. I am the last of my name (Game of Thrones style). My father, who gave me my last name, passed on November 27, 1995. I am it. Besides my sister who still holds the last name Bivens, but will most likely never have kids, I am the last one in my line who has the chance to pass down a name that I’ve come to respect and enjoy in my twenty nine years.

That’s always been my main reason for wanting to keep my name. Because it means something to me.

But as I’ve gotten older, it has become a lot more than that.

I’ve realized that, should my ancestors ever go looking for information on me in the years to come, without my maiden name, I will, in a sense, seem to have dropped off the face of the planet, as if I, Kristin Bivens, never existed.

Most importantly, though, I’ve done a lot of my things as Kristin Bivens. Kristin Bivens graduated high school, and college, and bought a house. My car is owned by Kristin Bivens. My nickname is Biv, which wouldn’t work well if my last name wasn’t Bivens. The girl Justin asked to marry him is Kristin Bivens.

So, no, I don’t want to change my name, because I already am who I need to be.

 

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