Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No More Strawberry Popsicles

Enter 5 year old Kelly.

I am upset, very upset. It's over something really stupid and I know that but I'm still very upset. I have cried about it, more than once. Yes, I know I have issues.

You may remember my brilliant compromise as noted in "The Best of Both Worlds" post as far as my name-change was concerned: change it in life, but not at work.

Perfect, right? I thought so. But it turns out I was wrong. Quite wrong. It is not perfect. Because unfortunately, work is how I make money, and it's also how I receive benefits. My paycheck must match the name on my bank account, and my benefits must match my name on my license. That's okay, I'll just change my name in the office, but not have the kids call me a new name, or any of the people I actually work with (I don't work with the paperwork department anyways).

However today I learned it's a bit more complicated than that. The district only wants me to have one name in their system, which means my network name which was previously "koldlastname", will have to become "knewlastname". Unfortunately, this also means my e-mail address, so parents and work friends that call me "Ms. Old Last Name" will have to e-mail me at knewlastname. Extremely confusing? yes.

I know what you are thinking... because everyone has already said it to me already. JUST CHANGE IT YOU STUPID FIVE YEAR OLD (okay no one has said it like that, except maybe Eric with his eyes). In fact, someone even told me (on a teacher chatboard when I asked what others have done) that everyone she knows who has resisted the name change ended up divorced in a few years. Awesome.

But since I'm acting like a 5 year old right now, I don't care what you think. I know that tons of women change their names every day and don't bat an eyelash. Unfortunately I am not them. I want to have the same name as my kids and as Eric. But this compromise was my one little form of rebellion. It was my one place where I get to stay me without any hassles. And now it's not. And since I'm 5 (or maybe 7?) I am upset.

And I already sent out my letters as "Ms. Old Last Name"

And I don't want my e-mail to change, we don't have forwarding... what if one of my old kids wants to find me?

And my name is the same as the school, which is fun.

And my Dad's whole family grew up in the town I teach in and I like meeting their old friends.

And I am out of strawberry popsicles to make me feel better.

So I'll just go cry instead. Cuz I'm five, so I can.


  1. I sooooo get it! Tons of people don't change their name, you don't have to.

  2. I'm so *not* in the changing last name camp (I'm also not married, for what it's worth). It's been your last name for 20-some years -- why change it? I don't think it shows any more commitment to your marriage and husband just because you have the same last name.

    That said... it's totally individual choice. I have friends who really want to take their new husband's name, and those who want to keep their own. Yes, it could be an issue with kids but I know one couple who each kept their own last name, then hyphenated both names for the kids.

    Complicated? Maybe. But it works for them!

  3. Would hyphenating work for you? Then people could refer to you still as Mrs. Old Last Name as it's part of your overall new last name but just dropping the new last name... :-( I'm sorry this has turned out to be so difficult for you! Good luck!

  4. It was so hard for me to change my name. You are not being an immature 5 year old. It has been a part of you for SO MANY YEARS.

    I wish I could offer you more pearls of wisdom - sadly, I felt the same way when I changed my name.

    Now two years later, I still have trouble remembering what my "name" is.

  5. I'm sorry. but you did make me bust a gut laughing with this line "except maybe Eric with his eyes".

    I say, change it. It sucks, I know. BUT you'll get used to it and by the time this school year is over you'll be totally used to being MRS. Newlastname.

    Change is good :)

  6. I changed my last name personally (so i could match the kids and husband), but not professionally. My employer was able to handle that aspect without any trouble (I'm sorry yours has not been!). I've been married for 15 years if that's any consolation. It hasn't actually been much of an issue in terms of the kids, and I periodically consider legally changing it back.

  7. I get the official stuff for payment etc. but the email thing seems silly to me. There are places that the school lists teacher's emails, so they could just keep yours the same and still have a way to match your new last name on their payroll with the old last name at your school/which teacher you are. Silly!

    You could just change it all officially (even the email) but still tell your students and parents what you prefer to be called, couldn't you? Bottom line if you want to be addressed as Ms. it. No one can tell you that you cannot be called a name you want to be called. I think the parents/kids will respect what you ask of them!


  8. Awww, Kelly. This is tough! And it will take a while to get used to and let sink in. However, after a while you will look back and think, "I was crazy for crying over this, I am FINE with my new name and everything turned out ok!". Trust me. While it's going to take some adjusting, in the end it will be ok and you'll be glad you make the switch 100%.
    Smile Kelly :)

  9. I agree with above. It may be confusing, but I think you should stay with the old last name (I almost wrote it haha) because that is what EVERYONE in the town knows you as. It's not just like your old students either it's everyone, you want to be recognized by others that you are from that family that is from that town.
    I refuse to change my name. haha why couldn't we grow up with a bad last name so then we wouldn't be so attached to it? jakes got it good

  10. Man...that is brutal. I know for me I have my last name and my hubs BUT with NO Hypen. That is my legal name everywhere...but if we get called Mr and Mrs XX I am fine with that. I don't go by just my old name however...that was just my decision.

  11. Aw Kelly, I wish I had advice for you, but I would say stick it to the man and keep the old email address!

  12. I hate my last name, so for me it is no contest.

    I work in Admin in my school district and we have THREE women who go by their madien names here WITH ZERO PROBLEMS! Their paychecks are hyphenated (to work out the benfits/bank issue) but we and the students all use their madien name. THAT is the name in the system.

    For the record- I really respect people who have their own ideas and don't care what other people have to say! ROCK ON!

  13. girl you do what you want!! SO SO SO many people keep their own nam! there is no rule that says you have to take your hubbys name. My mom kept her name and my parents have been married for 28 years! it was her name, she wanted to keep it!!! I say do whatever your gut tells you :)

    thank you so much for your comment wishing me good luck for my comp!! i truly appreciate it :)

  14. Ah, that is tough... Sorry that your plan didn't work out... :( What a bummer. Last year one of my boss's got married. She hyphenated so that she could still go by her maiden name at work, but socially, she never used the hyphenated name & was known by her husband's last name. I am thinking it might be too late for this? But maybe that is an option?

    Sorry... Hang in there!

  15. Oh Honey, don't cry! I spent the whole day work...yeh, try to hide that from clients...not pretty.

    I know how difficult this must be really. But a name is a name. Do what you have to do I sucks sometimes doesn't it.

    But life is beautiful.

    (P.S seen your comment response on Caitlin's blog, so came to check you out :)

  16. It would be hard for me to change my name. I say cry and don't feel bad about it!

  17. I never changed my last name for similar reasons. I had intended on it, but then changed my mind.