Friday, September 3

The Name Issue

Another repeat that some people may have seen on my Facebook page.

A lot of people have asked. I’ve been called Mrs. B and EmB several times in the past month. I spent about a year signing my new name all over loose pieces of paper to see what it would look like. Anyone who wants to apply that name to me is perfectly welcome because I love the sound of it. I am very happy to be identified as Rush’s wife. I have decided, however, not to make that my official name.

What's the deal with our name changing dilemmas anyway? For some, it's about refusing to conform to a patriarchal system which dictates only women change their names. For others, however, it's about your identity. Our identity. Not everyone feels a strong connection to their name or sees it as a significant part of themselves. Yes, it’s just a name. I realize that. It doesn’t matter that much to everybody. In fact, some people can’t wait to change their names! That’s just not me. Rush and I are partners through and through, but we still have our own histories. We want our names to reflect that.

We were so into the conglomeration thing, which is to create a new name for Rush and me. It would have been perfect for us. But then we got to thinking… To combine our names would be to strip us BOTH of that identity. Rush and I are making a new family now but we still want to be identified with the ones we were a part of for the past couple decades! Rush was named after his grandfather, a man he loved and respected very much. After a lot of thought, he discovered that he would feel disloyal to his family and as if he were dishonoring his grandfather to change his name in any way, shape, or form. As for me, I feel like my name makes me who I am in some ways. My musical family has sometimes been called the Von family. In fact, most of the nicknames I'm called are partly my last name. Neither of us wants to give up the feeling of being part of the families we came from.

So where does that leave us? We toyed around with the idea of taking each other’s last names into ours as 2nd middle names. Again we had to question our motives. We didn’t keep any traditions that we felt were unnecessary or wrong for us in our wedding, so why hold onto them in marriage? Rush isn’t one for jewelry and I love the emerald he gave me a few years ago so we didn’t bother with the symbol of rings at the wedding and Rush will never wear a band. Our love is what matters and our covenant with the Lord. Everything else is tied to this world, this life, and will only last until death do us part. The name thing, it’s just another symbol that we can choose to latch onto or choose to ignore.

We’ve chosen to ignore it.

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