I do... Not Take Your Last Name
#inspiredbytarot ~ Unity, commonly known as The Hierophant
~ In this marriage I give you my all. My name, however, is mine to keep.
It never occurred to me how much of a challenge it would be to keep my maiden name. The biggest surprise comes from the fact that it's my immediate family that seems to be most challenged by it!
I love my family to pieces, and make it my business to know as much about them as I can. Birthdays, anniversaries... last names. Now, ask them to identify my little family of three by name? Yah right, we're talking 1 out of 10 right answers here. From spelling to combinations, for whatever reason, we seem to be one of the most complex family units out there. Every year we find delight in a game of mix-and-match the Christmas cards.
Let's start from the beginning:
1. By the time I was able for give my opinion (I was young and very comfortable doing so), I had made it know I was NOT going to change my name. At that point in my life it was whole heartedly from a feminist point of view. I had no idea what a feminist was at that time, but I knew no man was ever gonna make me change my last name. I was a Konnik. The end.
2. Many many years later, I found myself with a belly full of baby. I've always been quick to form an opinion, and even quicker to make a decision. When I saw that positive pink + on my pregnancy test, I knew it was a girl. Never a question in my mind that she could be a boy. I also knew her name was going to be Mamaylia. Didn't even bother with figuring out a boy's name. Even while in the throws of serious active labour, we had no name for a boy. The other thing I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, was that her last name was going to be Soungie. Not Konnik and no hyphen. Just Soungie. I was not engaged. We were not married. Shit, we didn't even know what the next week was going to bring. Didn't matter. My daughter was going to be Mamaylia Soungie.
"I had no idea what a feminist was at that time,
but I knew no man was ever gonna
make me change my last name.
I was a Konnik.
3. At about 18 months, Mamaylia went into surgery for a belly button hernia, and that's when we found out she was a carrier for sickle cell. This prompted me to read my adoption papers... at like 27'ish years old... for the first time. And for the first time, I came across my birth name.
Amanda Adele Staples.
I remember looking at it, and saying it over and over and over again. I cried. I laughed. I got mad as hell. In the end, I had zero connection to this Amanda Staples person. That day defined who I was. Forever. And that Amanda is a Konnik.
4. Just before we got married, I asked the #manStar if he'd ever consider taking my last name, or consider taking a hyphenated name. His answer, in the Scopio King that he was, "Hell no". Okay... so why the hell would I take his last name?
5. Around that same time, still before officially saying I do, I had joked about it being #FamilySoungie nap time. Mamaylia turned inside out on me. That little demon turned to me and very adimantly reminded me that I am not a Soungie, and that it was Soungie Konnik family nap time. For a few years after, she was very determined about things like "Well we Soungies..." It was entirely adorable. For some reason it helped solidify my decision to staying a Konnik at the time of our nuptials. Our daughter had defined the roles within our family, and she wasn't confused at all about her place within it.
"Six Women On Why They Kept Their Name After Marriage (And How Their Family Reacted)"
by Rachel Moss of HuffPost UK, summed up my thoughts and a contemporary meaning of The Hierophant quite well:
"Regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, the name you choose should be down to you and you alone, but that probably won’t stop friends, family and colleagues commenting on it -
especially if you decide to shirk tradition."
#truth. In the meantime... here's a cheat sheet for all of my closest family and friends who still have no idea: Mamaylia and Joe are Soungie's. I, am a Konnik. That's it, and that's all. No fancy combinations. No hyphens. Just Konnik. Just Soungie. And that's cool by me.
Want clarity on the roll of The Hierophant within the realm of you and your marriage?
Drop me a line at lasweetwife@gmail(dot)com