I’m Sorry My Name Change Inconvenienced You. Oh Wait, Nope.

Changing my last name to my husband’s was a decision of convenience. My maiden name is almost impossible for anyone who does not speak Welsh to pronounce and after a lifetime of correcting people’s pronunciation of it, I was relieved/exicted to change my last name to something that was easy for everyone to say because it’s so recognizable (Holla is you share a last name with a notable historical figure everyone learns about in school).

But then actually doing it, changing my name, became one of the most frustrating and painful processes of my life. The entire thing is impossible and ridiculous and probably qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Like, if someone keeps committing crimes, you should punish them by having to change their name every 6 months because then they will never commit a crime again. Basically, I just solved habitual crime in America.

This process has been excruciating. Between filling out all of the forms (so so many of them), and mailing things, and showing up for pictures, and providing proof that I am who I say I am and that I did in fact get married, and then waiting the exact number of days you have to wait, and then getting a letter that the powers that be got my letter and are sending me a letter in acknowledgement of that letter and that in 2-8 weeks I will be the proud owner of all kinds of new cards, and oh yeah, once you get them here are a bunch of other forms you have to fill out to notify everyone of your new name, and WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP?

I could have bought a gun every 4 hours for the months it took me to do all this and I would have had all of the guns in the world and no one would have so much as asked what my maiden name was. I’m just sayin.

But finally, finally, I got through it. At least, most of it. I’m at the part now where I have to notify insurance, banks, etc. of my name change. So, I email HR at my job and let them know about my new legal name.

And then I got an email that went a little something like this:
“Do we really have to do this? Can’t we just leave your name as is? This is a huge hassle for us.”

Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize changing my name was a hassle. Is it a hassle? It’s been as pleasant as eating peach pie for me. I’m so sorry this inconveniences you. Oh wait, nope, I’m not. MOTHERFUCKER.

– Mae

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32 thoughts on “I’m Sorry My Name Change Inconvenienced You. Oh Wait, Nope.

  1. Yeah I have two jobs and luckily one of them has already changed my name (expect for maybe the legal forms which I’ll do as soon as the social is changed) but the other one I think will be a long process and I wonder if my login for the computer will have to change.

    You should tell them all the forms you had to do and say yes you really do because my hassle is bigger than your hassle. 🙂

  2. Ha! I work in payroll and I hate when people change their names. That said, what they might have been really asking was whether you were doing a full legal change or just using the new one for your email and stuff but can still be paid under your old name legally. That’s a thing. Not trying to take sides here – it’s just that HR people are usually pretty obsessive about what’s appropriate and what they said sounds kind of inappropriate.

    Glad you’ve finished jumping through all the hoops though.

    • I would have given them the benefit of the doubt, except I had already given them those details (we changed my email way back when I first got married) and let them know it was a full legal change. He just didn’t want to do it. In fact, he just asked me to make all of the calls myself.

      Working for a small agency definitely has it’s drawbacks. The lack of an actual HR department is one of them.

  3. I’ve been consistently floored by how difficult it’s been for friends to change their names. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who had no issues with the process. And to think of how much easier it is to buy a gun… Oh so many things wrong with that scenario.

    And for the record, I’m sending a giant FU to the guy who had the nerve to question you.

  4. Sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time of it! I tend to get frustrated with folks who seem scandalized by my desire to change my name if/when I marry, as though I’m trading in my feminism for an identity shift. I’ll still be me (more so, after all of the trouble I’ll have to go through that you’re describing!) but without having to explain that my current two last names are not hyphenated, and they are both last names, and they are not spelled like that, but nice try.

    • Haha- yeah, I don’t feel any less the feminist for it. It’s just about my personal convenience. I’m cool with it. 🙂

  5. This is the exact reason why I did not go back to my maiden name after my divorce. I just finished the hassle of getting divorce and the thought of filling out more paperwork and the waiting and explaining and the waiting and standing in lines to get information change was and still is not worth the hassle in the end.

  6. Sweet fancy Moses, it’s ridiculous that people have to jump through so many flaming hoops to do something that should be so simple. I kept my last name when I got married (which also comes with people who’re scandalized by such decisions, so basically us womenfolk are damned if we do and damned if we don’t), partly because I work for the guvmint and our HR system is a total shitshow. I’d heard horror stories of HR not fully processing womens’ name changes, which led to their old email addresses not being shut down, which in turn led to them nearly getting their security clearances revoked when the investigators kept trying to contact them at their old (maiden name) email accounts. It’s utterly absurd.

    • Ugh. Yeah, my sister is a nurse and she doesn’t plan on changing her name either because it would cause so many complications to her all her licenses and certifications in nursing. You said it best when you said we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

  7. You know that it’s still not done, don’t you? There is always SOMETHING that will require proof of who you used to be. Take that superannuation that you forgot to roll over six years ago. And then the one you forgot to roll over five years before that. Don’t forget your old PayPal account that is linked to your eBay account that all the money still goes into whenever you decide to get rid of your dog’s old jacket or mum’s old Tupperware online… Not to mention that pesky passport that you haven’t used for years because you haven’t gone overseas. Or how about your old FlyBuys card (one of our loyalty schemes linked to one of the big supermarkets here in Australia) that you now have enough points on to redeem a $50 voucher? Or that pesky little online survey account that gives you money occasionally once you have earned sufficient points from telling them all about the brand of loo paper you like to wipe your bum with? ITunes account? SKYPE account? Magazine subscriptions? I’m anticipating that by the time I’m about fifty or so (I’m about to turn 40 this weekend, Mae) I might have just managed to cover all bases. Good luck with it. I think my sister had the right idea about retaining her maiden name! She quoted “lazy” as her reason for not changing it, and I’m starting to think she was right on the money.

  8. Oh my goodness, I just went through this myself! My maiden last name, very Russian, has been butchered forever, so it was nice to have a regular last name, but once the process began, it was hell on Earth! I spent 4 hours at the DMV, 2 trips to the SSN office, sending forms and passport all over, HR at my job had no clue what to do, and since I work at the university I attended and graduated right before the name change… they had issues finding my records to give me my diploma! Had to sort this out today, I hope this is the last of it. Best of luck on all yours, and from someone’s comment above, paypal had me email a copy of my driver’s license and marriage certificate for proof before they changed it. Super! 😉

    • Oh man! It sucks that this is has been so hard for everyone, but I have to admit, I’m a little relieved it wasn’t just me making it more difficult than it needed to be.

  9. I’ve been married for almost three years and just recently I finished doing the name change paperwork. It’s ridiculous and absolutely insane. But mine was really complicated since my husband has two last names and I only took the first part of his last name. In the south, you have to take either his entire name or not at all, so my license does not match my social security card because THEY WOULD NOT ACCEPT ME TAKING PART OF HIS LAST NAME! Even though the federal government recognized it.

    So stupid.

    Loved this post.

  10. You missed out the part where any time you [ask for a change of name form/ask which hoops these particular people would like you to jump through to get your name changed*] they look at you as if you’ve just descended from outer-space completely naked and asked them to lobotomise themselves with a plastic fork. “You want to do what? Change your name????” Like no one else in the world has ever changed their name ever.

    Or maybe that’s just the UK. I hear the US is more service focussed.

    *delete as applicable

    • Hahaha! I haven’t gotten any funny looks, but I downloaded all the forms from online, which probably saved me. Although, when my husband and I went to get our marriage license, we got some weird looks. I don’t get it, don’t they get these exact requests like everyday????

  11. this is brilliant and so true I also think the most stressful thing is when you tell people that you are planning on taking your husbands name and their response is usually along the lines of “shall we just throw gender equality out the door then?” People genuinely are shocked that women nowadays would ‘give up their identity to a man’ as if in changing your name you are submitting yourself to the wife/slave role and are going to chain yourself up in an iron bodice in the kitchen. This attitude makes me want to slap them haha

  12. We just moved to West Virginia from Maryland and in order to get her drivers license my mom had to have her first marriage certificate (with one name change) her second marriage certificate (with the hyphen additive) plus two proof of ownership papers, but she said the same thing. Its been a hassle from day one and sorry to report it doesn’t get any easier.

  13. Hahahaha This is de first post I have read from you, but I already love you! The way you just wrote this story is amazing! Afraid to change my name when I get married though.. but on the otherhand.. I think I should have the same attitude as you: F them Motherfuckers! 😀 Keep on making me laugh, Mae!

  14. Oh my god I feel your pain! I recently got married, in Estonia, and changing my name on my documents has been so hard. It doesn’t help that I got my passport and social security card stolen, but all the places just sniff when they look at my “foreign” marriage license. Like it isn’t good enough for them or not official. Augh, those assholes.

  15. I kept my impossible-to-spell-or-pronounce maiden name when I got married because I never really got the point of the wife changing her name. And also, my last name is way cooler than my husbands. It sounds like changing isn’t offering you any convenience though.

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