What's in a Name?

When I was younger I thought it was kind of silly when women who married didn't change their last name to be that of their husband's.

I don't want to change my last name anymore.

You see, I'm sort of an artist. Great artists have great names. I don't think names of great artists become special because of the frequent use of their names or even because of their talent as artists; rather, they just have really cool names. Picasso -- awesome name, period. Cezanne -- BE-A-UTIFUL. Matthias Grunewald -- sensational. If you're living outside Spain, France, or Germany, you might argue that these are all exotic foreign names. However, listen to these very American names: Norman Rockwell, Frank Lloyd Wright, Winslow Homer. Much is in a name, people. I'm not talking about density, I mean destiny here. I'm just talking awesome names. Marriage is a serious matter, though, and all aspects of it even down to the smallest details should be considered. After all, marriage is a union of names as well as people.

There really is a science to name matching. The last name must compliment the first. That is rule number one in name matching. Or, maybe the only rule in name matching. For example, I'm finding that I like the simplicity of one syllable last names best with my more complicated first name. The inclusion of the "x" in my name makes things a bit trickier. It's important to note that not just any one syllable surname will do; just like not any one brown-haired, thick glasses-wearing, tall and slender, joke-telling computer nerd who enjoys cooking will do. Get my drift?

There are of course exceptions, but for the moment I will focus on the non-exceptions. If I meet boys with the following last names, I'll consider marriage (side note, it's not the last name that's keeping me from marriage -- rather, my slight fear of commitment and the fact that I haven't met a boy I want to be married to/with):

- Prince or Pink (I actually know unavailable boys with these last names)
- Doolittle (it just sounds fun)
- Little (just take out the Doo...hmm)
- Lee (I like alliteration so potentially a few other last names that begin with the lovely "L" could work)
- Star (more like SUPER Star)
- Paik (as in the artist Nam Jun)
- Ex (do you think this surname exists?)
- Fallon (actually I'm sad because I don't think his surname really matches my first name. If we ever meet I won't be able to accept his hand in marriage due to the travesty that is his name -- it's just like Romeo and Juliet. Oh the horror!)
-I'm done for the moment. I mean, not Lexia I'm Done For The Moment, but I'm finished with the list for the time being.

The only solace I've found in dealing with the fact that I might marry someone with a last name I don't approve of is that I don't have a middle name. Wha? Huh? About 31 years ago my mom decided not to give her girls middle names. That's right, I don't have a middle name - which makes my current name all the more cool and Cher-like. But, whatever. She decided that when we marry, our last name would become our middle name. For example, if I were to marry Johnny Depp my new legal name would be Lexia Snow Depp. Lexia Depp...yeah, baby! So, I could technically still sign my paintings as "Lexia Snow" and it wouldn't be a lie. I think I might feel a little bad though about excluding my future new last name. I don't want my future new last name to feel left-out or anything, and worse, I don't want my future husband to be ashamed of his last name. I just want strangers to continue complimenting me on my name. That's all, really.


Anonymous ian said...

We were just talking about this last night at a birthday party. Synchronicity?

You could always change your name for your married persona and use the unchanged name for your professional life. Or you could hyphenate. How do these sound? "Lexia Snow-Fallon" or "Lexia Fallon-Snow?" Faaancy. Or maybe your husband could change his name?

July 17, 2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Jacki said...

You are right Lexia about the whole name thing. It can get really TRICKY! That is why Brooks and I are naming our girls Joe, Bo and Moe. That way they will be happy with any other name they get!

July 17, 2006 6:59 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I don't want to change my name either!!! Most of my friends call me by my full name, what an identity crisis marriage will be. And, it will just get so confusing for women like us when we're famous.

And the hyphen thing is just out of the question since I have four names to begin with.

My boyfriend now is Mr. Raines, so you'd get this ruh-ruh sound in the middle of my name if we got married. SaRAH RAines.
(I should really post my own blog about this rather than taking up a novels-worth of comment space)

July 18, 2006 12:21 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I love this post, Lex. It's great because in it, you reference pop culture, Shakespeare, and the seminal Heart of Darkness (though I don't really think that work should be seminal). Great!

Hm. I don't want to get rid of Snow either. It's the best ever! But I can't let myself not change my name when I'm married. I just wouldn't feel right about it. And I don't like hyphenated names. They're waaaay too long.

I would like to marry a guy with one of the following last names: Lee, Covington (and not because of an actual guy I know with that last name, but because I really do like that last name), Toronto, or Angel (I love those snow words!). Funny thing is, all the guys I've had crushes on lately have really silly last names. Last names that don't even go with the name Sara! And how much easier can it get???

July 18, 2006 1:58 AM  
Anonymous ian the hyphenated said...

Having a hyphenated last name isn't much fun. They don't fit on forms; businesses/organizations often leave out the hyphen; some people just call you by one or the other name; and it becomes especially difficult when your parents get divorced. My brother and I are the only people in the world with our last name now, and neither of us is sure we want to perpetuate the memory of that inauspicious union...

On the plus side, some people see a hyphenated name and automatically assume you come from a wealthy or prominent family.

July 18, 2006 2:51 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

You know, I really don't care if my (future) last name is weird or stupid. I mean, there are exceptions, of course. For example, my mom had a teacher named Mrs. Rape. But for the most part, I'm open to anything. Maybe it's because my first name is Lauren. Pretty much goes with anything.

July 18, 2006 11:51 AM  
Anonymous anonymous #33 said...

i'm a guy and i'm not all that crazy about my last name. does that mean i can take my wife's last name, or is that just wrong? "anonymous #33 snow" - maybe not.

July 18, 2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Lexia said...

You have a unique last name, Anonymous. I've never heard of #33 before, is it Greek? Not to mention Anonymous, it's truly a beautiful name.

Sara Covington or Sara Knightly? Eh? :o)

July 18, 2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger Bilaeva said...

I heard once that when you get married you get one free name change (it's a crazy expensive, complicated business otherwise) per couple when you marry, so in theory it could be either wife or hubbie who changes their name. I'm not changing my name. I've got two perfectly matched French names, so unless Jacques Chirac proposes, it's staying.

July 18, 2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Eww, even if Jacques Chirac did propose, I wouldn't accept his name if I were you. Or him, for that matter.

July 18, 2006 3:00 PM  
Anonymous ian said...

Howabout Cousteau? Or Zidane?

July 19, 2006 2:33 AM  

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