Thursday Oct 29 2009
Name change was easy choice for me
By: Lauren Gibbs, Associate Editor
The byline of Lauren Weber will no longer grace the pages of The Placer Herald. Instead, a new name of Lauren Gibbs will be amid some of the paper’s stories, columns and photos. I recently became a married woman and have opted to take the last name of my husband. Changing my last name was something I always knew I would do once I got married, but I never gave much thought as to why I’d follow this particular tradition. A couple months before I became a Mrs., my brother-in-law asked if I would be changing my name – particularly since I’ve written articles using my maiden name. He wondered if I’d be keeping my name for work and my career’s sake. Honestly, I’d never thought of it from that perspective. For me, what may be a tricky transition of the name change here at the paper was not a great enough reason for me to keep my maiden name. By taking my husband’s name, I think it shows a deep commitment and devotion to the union we made together. Although it was an easy choice for me, I understand why some women may struggle with the change. Changing their name could make some women feel as if they’re losing their identity – an identity that they may have known for decades. Most likely they carried their name at least through school and perhaps into the beginning of their career. Plus change is hard. You have to get used to being called a different name, saying a different name and having your signature change. It’s also a hassle to change your name on things – like your Social Security card, driver’s license, credit cards, etc. But on the other hand, by taking your husband’s name, you are creating a new identity – an identity together as a family. Having two last names in one household could get complicated once kids come along and it’s something other women have struggled with as well. According to an article on theknot.com, a Web site devoted to all things wedding related, there are tons of reasons to change your name or not to change your name after marriage. But it also offers alternatives such as keeping your maiden name for your professional life or hyphenating the two last names. One issue with my name that I did mull over, was that I didn’t want to completely abandon my maiden name. It’s my father’s name and a name I’ve become accustomed to. I’ve gone through school as a Weber and had my first article printed under the name Weber. When my parents married almost 30 years ago, my mom also had some of the same struggles with how to incorporate her maiden name into her married name. I’ve followed in her footsteps and have decided to keep Weber as my middle name, in addition to the middle name I was given at birth. By keeping my father’s family name, I don’t feel like I’m completely abandoning my ties to my family, but instead, adding to the family my husband Alex and I create. Last week’s Placer Herald was the first issue with my new name and surely won’t be the last. If you’re involved in the same name-changing process as I am, go to the Social Security Web site at www.ssa.gov/ gethelp1.htm.