Friday, May 28, 2010

Can't do it.

I've written about the name change before.  The original solution was to drop my dad's last name from my hyphenated last name and be Ellie Momslast.  My dad was okay with this, my mom and my sister were not.  And well, it turns out, neither am I.

The right time to make the change was last winter, so that my name change would have gone through before I had to apply for the bar.  But um, I couldn't do it.  I just...couldn't be half of who I am anymore.  It sounds silly, but it was simply too much to give up.  The thought of doing it just breaks my heart.

So for now, here I am.  Someday practicing law under my full name, but using only one name with clients and people I call on the phone.  Co-clinic mates assumed I'm already married, or already divorced, based on my name.  I can only assume that others will make these same mistakes, and I'm in for a lifetime of correcting and explaining.  The simplest solution would be to somehow create a legal alias, but if there is a way to do that, the state of Maryland sure doesn't want you to know.  The only possible solution I've come up with is making my Dad's name my second middle name - being Eleanor Middle Dadslast Momslast instead of Eleanor Middle Momslast-Dadslast.  The only problem with this is it sounds SO WEIRD.  But, advantage - a lot of lawyers have two middle initials, so I would look super-cool.

Any body have any other ideas?  I know we have hyphenated readers - what are you doing?


  1. Ellie, I'm not a hyphenate, but the best thing I can tell you about name changing is that if you're not sure, WAIT. You have time. You can always change your name at a later date, but once you've made the change it's hard to change back!

  2. I think I already shared, but I'll share again!

    I'm currently Bird Lynn DadsLast-MomsLasts. My plan is to drop my middle name (bye, Lynn!) and bump my name over, moving the hyphen and adding Turtle's last name. So I'll be Bird DadsLast MomsLast-McTurtleson, and she'll be Turtle Middlename (my)MomsLast-McTurtleson. This is way confusing when not using real names. Anyway, we'll share a last name, and I'll maintain my familial name connections.

    I talked to my mom about it recently, and she said that when they got married and decided to hyphenate, they were like, "Well, I guess it's up to the kids to figure out what to do." They hyphenated as the easy way out, so they were supportive of my change.

  3. We just hyphenated and I couldn't be more excited. But we just knew. We knew that we wanted us to share a name and it wasn't hard to combine our last names, they don't sound weird, or anything. Our future children will be in the same boat as you, I'm afraid, and so I apologize in advance! :)

    That being said- I don't think there is anything wrong with not knowing, or choosing not to change your name, or waiting until you feel right about a way of doing it that doesn't make you feel like you're losing an important part of yourself. Just hang in there and you'll figure something out. Or you won't. But I think that name changing is such a personal/loaded thing that it's worth figuring out how to do it in a way that really works for you! :)
    ps. I like the looking really cool part!
    pss. and I like roughit's solution too!

  4. ugh. that should have been pps.
    Must get coffee. :)