So that was a lot of punctuation for a title, wasn’t it?
When J and I got married last summer, I kept my last name (and he kept his). I always meant to keep my name if I got married, and though it was tempting to change to something French-sounding just to simplify my life, I knew I could never really give up my good old Irish last name.
I definitely get the impression that keeping your name is a much more recent phenomenon in France (perhaps like women’s suffrage?). But I may be biased, because my mom kept her name, and I knew other women who did so as well, so I grew up just thinking that was the normal state of things. In France, among my colleagues I know women who have hyphenated, but no one who has just kept their name. Lots of people asked me at the rentrée what I was changing it to, and when I said it was staying the same, a few said, “Tu as raison!” But it does feel pretty rare. Friends who were at our wedding invited me to their wedding website as Eileen J’slastname, which I found odd considering a visit to facebook can show you that that’s not my name. But I remember now when I was addressing envelopes for our wedding invitations, J was very nonchalant about our invitee’s women partner’s last names, and I wish I’d forced him to be more careful.
We’re very purposefully not telling our bank that we got married, so that they can’t screw up my last name. I will remain “Mlle” there for the foreseeable future, though J pointed out that Mlle is no longer an official thing and shouldn’t even be an option at the bank. And since I got my nationality through naturalisation and not through marriage, and it came through before the wedding, there shouldn’t be any hiccups there (though I guess I should cross my fingers until I actually get my French birth certificate).
So I guess in the spirit of this discussion, I’m wondering what everyone else’s experience is out there. Did you keep yours? Would you keep yours? What about hyphenation or Zoe Saldana-style name changing in the other direction? What are everyone’s attitudes around you? I’m not sure J’s family is aware I’ve kept mine (though I did tell his mom before the wedding that I was going to), and I am slightly worried someone might buy me a plane ticket in the wrong name some day (not kidding, this happened to my mother on a family trip).