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Jewesses with Attitude

Love, Marriage, and Names

Being based in Boston, the Red Sox are a pretty big deal. I’m not a sports fan, but I get the allegiance.  (And, I get that that the Red Sox Nation is an important part of our city’s identity—feel free to ask me about the fireworks that kept me up late last night following the Red Sox World Series win.) Which is why I found a statement I heard at a wedding last weekend particularly illuminating.

The bride, a New Yorker and Yankees fan, was marrying a Boston Red Sox fan. During the toasts her sister shared, “it is easier for someone in our family to change their last name than to change their sports team.”

Marriage and the decision to change, not change, hyphenate, combine, invent, or otherwise alter one’s last name is a controversial one. I had the idea to write a piece about last names, and I quickly discovered that each individual’s decision is packed with such meaning that there was no real way to capture the story in one simple blog post.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing stories gathered from women and men who have all come to their new families’ last names from very different perspectives. Some have stated that the decision was very simple—changing or not changing their last name were options that never crossed their minds. Some found the decision to be incredibly difficult. Some go by one last name in some situations, and a different one in other situations—like a woman I spoke with who always uses her (very Jewish sounding) maiden name in conjunction with her (less ethnic sounding) married name when networking in the Jewish community.

Each person I spoke with had a story worth sharing—and often their story was as surprising to them as it was to me.

As we share these stories with you, we welcome your comments, your voice in the debate, and your own stories.

Today, I present to you the story of my friend Mimi Garcia

More on: Marriage, Identity

How to cite this page

Rozensky, Jordyn. "Love, Marriage, and Names." 31 October 2013. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/love-marriage-and-name>.

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