Name Story

I didn’t change my surname after marriage for some reasons. While it was convenient at that time not to go through the paper work of getting my name changed on each and every document that I possessed, this situation continues to create several problems till date. The most recent one being, I had asked a travel agency to book air tickets for the 3 of us. After a telephonic discussion with them I sent them a mail with our names and details of flights to be booked. When we got the tickets, we noticed that hubby and daughter had been given my surname in the tickets. Only after many more telephone calls, we could get this rectified. And this is not the first time this has happened. But what surprises me this time is that these guys are travel agents. They must be dealing with several such cases everyday, then how could they do a blunder like this. Surely, this situation of husband and wife having different surnames is pretty common nowadays. And we live in a metro city. I can only imagine how the situation of a couple with different surnames would be in a small city.

Some years back when I was getting registered in a hospital during my pregnancy, the receptionist asked me my name, surname and hubby’s name (lets call him “Hubby Dear”) . And when I saw the file, I see that my name is written as “Life Hubby Song”. Can you imagine this?? I had tough time convincing them that this is wrong “You can’t attach hubby’s name with my surname when we both have different surnames”. These guys went on to blame me that all this confusion was because I had not changed my surname which was wrong. I should have changed my surname post marriage as per tradition.

Confusions like hubby being addressed as Mr. Song and me as Mrs. Dear are pretty common. We have to keep clarifying our names. We have to be specially alert when we are applying for any document. We check and double check that our names are written correctly. It is difficult to keep explaining and giving reasons to anyone and everyone that why I didn’t change my surname after marriage. For this reason I attach my hubby’s surname after my full name in social networking sites where I have several relatives as friends.

Sometimes, I wonder if life would have been easier had I changed my surname. Why is it so difficult for the society to accept anything that is non traditional?

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28 thoughts on “Name Story

  1. 😆 😆 😆 @ Life Hubby Song ….I can’t stop laughing at that kind of a name, I mean I understand they used your husband’s name in the middle of your name but why on earth should the hospital admin use too much of their brains??? I mean isn’t it easier to use the name as it is told?

    People are just crazy and over-use their conditioned brains to produce difficult-to-resolve situations.*sigh!*

  2. That’s the story of everyone who hasn’t changed their surname… so don’t worry, you are not alone.. anything that is out of ordinary is bound to be questioned but since more and more couples are doing it now, things will change.

  3. It’s just because of people who can’t think out of what they are used to. I’ve not had such problems so far, although I’ve had nosy people demanding why I’ve not changed my name and some advising me that it is illegal to retain my maiden name:) My mum retained her maiden name too, you know. And she has been married for over 35 years, if she could do it then, I guess I should be able to do it now:)

    • Lucky! You didn’t have problems. Maybe it is a more acceptable practice in the West.
      I don’t mind the nosy people (I can at least ignore them) as much as situations like I have mentioned in the post that cause wastage of time and energy in getting our names rectified

  4. is changing name so important in northern part of India? I thought this is an issue only with foreign countries who have family name concept.
    I didn’t change my name after marriage because I had my father’s name as my surname and didn’t want to change it.. In Tamil Nadu we don’t have family name concept. We add our father’s name as our surname. So, if you see at my home all 3 of us have 3 different surname 🙂 So, sometimes Adi even gets mails with my surname as her surname if I register her on something. Now, I also have got the habit of warning at every counter that our surname is not the same..

    • Yes, I think the practice of changing surnames after marriage is more common in North India.
      All 3 of you have different surnames! 🙂 But I guess people in US are more open to such situations unlike here 😦

  5. I have not changed my initials (we dont have surnames but initials).. our family has a tradition of using something called as “family ancestral name” as the initials while S’s family just uses the father’s/husband’s name. While I had been questioned several times on my initial and my father’s name several times during my school days.. matters only got worse after marriage.. but nothing as serious as you have mentioned here.. may be bcos it the initials in my case whereas its the surname in your case..

    how could the hospital staff write you name as Life Hubby Song… :(:( While its funny to think of this name now.. it must have sure irritated you so much then….

    • A name is a name… it is so irritating to be questioned about it and then to justify it.
      Ya, you can imagine my irritation to see my name written like that 😦

  6. Expecting name change after mrrg is something which is taken for granted and soemtimes even made an ego issue. You know there are people who even change the name of the girl after mrrg? When I came to know about it I was shocked!!! Do we women have no identity?
    You know when I got my PAN card made, the name that they had printed on it was My name-Fathers Name- Surname. I went and fought with them that why had they done this to which the reply was ‘this is the norm in Gujarat’, I said I do not care about how names are written there as far as I know they are supposed to go by what is written in the form and aren ot required to apply their mind. I finally had it changed! But was seriously bugged up!!! So I can understand what you go through everytime!! God knows when we will learn to mind our own business.

    • Yes, I think the fact that norms are different in different states is also an issue which causes so much confusion… like this practice of including husbands/fathers name in your name is a norm in Maharashtra. I think having a single norm of having just your name and not mixing with your spouse’s name would save a lot of unwanted trouble.

  7. Even today, when I make some travel reservation I put myself as Ms.Visha only…who will go thru the jhamela of changing the title and surnames 😯

    To top it, the name culture varies so much across India that I think with the Voter’s/PAN card, they should assign us a number which we should put it all official documents.

  8. Life would have been equally difficult in case you had decided to change the name, in that case you would have to maintain different documents, got the new documents made with the new name…so basically either way it is difficult…
    One of my colleague didn’t change her name post marriage and was still called Kumari ABC in the office record. So, when she applied for maternity leave, it was rejected on the basis that how can a “Kumari” be going on mat leave?!?!?! i mean it is technically possible for a kumari to conceive and hence she can go on mat leave….another classic example of how people tend to interfere in an almost stranger’s life!!!

  9. yup, during my pregnancy admission same thing happened.. when we went to rectify, they put my own surname as initial.. D. ashreyamom Darling. and my daughter’s birth certificate , then we had to submit our marriage certificate to prove that i didnt change my surname after marriage and get corrected birth certificate.. atleast in passport office they understand that, my surname is different from husband’s and ask what surname they want for my baby.

    • Wow! they actually asked you what surname you want for the baby for the passport. That is a very positive thing. I thought we have a long way to go for such a thing to happen 🙂
      Welcome here… hope to see you around 🙂

  10. I haven’t changed my name, nor have any such plans..My name and surname is mine and his name and surname is his. Why should we mix when we are happy with the one we have..Crazy world 🙂

  11. Yes, indeed there is a lot of trouble and ensuing mess-ups in changing one’s name after marriage. Agree that numbers could be the solution instead of names on Pan cards/voters id etc. Whatever happened to that UID project that was initiated with a big bang, was thinking that would be a one card-stop solution to identity crisis(es).

  12. you just said it yourself LS…society finds it difficult to accept because it’s unusual in nature…we are still far away from the days when women after marriage can retain their surname peacefully 🙂

    • “we are still far away from the days when women after marriage can retain their surname peacefully” *Sigh*
      hope at least our children don’t have to face such situations 🙂

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