This Should Not Have Surprised Me

I admit I was taken a bit aback when my daughter said she wanted to take her (new) husband’s name, as I’ve been so comfortable living with my own (father’s) surname while married all these years.  But she’s something of a romantic and I understood her feelings about bonding with her husband’s family and it is her life.  And the day after the wedding she changed her facebook name to “firstname husbandssurname” which seemed weird, but then I thought, well, OK, she needs to live her own life.  Today she was running around getting name changes.  But it turns out that I did not understand her intentions.  You may (or may not) recall from prior posts about names that my childrens’ names have the pattern “firstname middlename fathersurname mothersurname” where their legal surname is “fathersurname mothersurname” — space no hyphen.  Turns out that her intention is to now have the three-name surname “fathersurname mothersurname husbandsurname.”  She ran into trouble at the social security office where there was not enough space to write in all the names, and is now researching her legal options. I realize most of you do not know my daughter, but as someone who does know her, I should not have been surprised.  It appears that the social security problem is a character limit.  We’ll see how this goes.  Years ago, when we were naming the children, we recognized the long-term problem of all these names.  My husband’s idea was that, after a few generations, you’d just generate an acronym and start over.

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Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/racepoliticsjustice/ --Pam Oliver

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