As my mate Shakespeare once said:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
And he’s right, a name is a name and, while I much prefer Libby and Sarah, Elizabeth and Sarah-May is ok too and I’ve answered to ‘Oi you’ more times than is proper. I’ve been called many things in my life, dyke, goth, mona the vampire, Anne Robinson (because I cut my hair short, got glasses and the boys in my year didn’t have an original bone in their bodies) and recently I’ve even been called cool by a twelve year old boy because I was wearing my Hogwarts t-shirt (there’s a chance he was being sarcastic but whatever). Surnames though, are different and when you’re getting married you have the chance to have a little bit of fun with it.
As a kid, a straight kid planning her straight wedding (to an Irish millionaire, look how that turned out!) I never imagined keeping my family name. As far as I was concerned I would marry and take my husbands name and it would me down to my little brother to carry it on. So when I finally accepted that I was gay and Sarah and I started talking about getting married my stance was still the same. Keeping my dads name was something I wasn’t even planning. After some talking we came to the conclusion that neither of us had a particular interest in keeping our names and as a friend who is already married pointed out, it’s the one time we can change our name to whatever we want for free and while neither of us would go totally crazy, do a Phoebe and Mike and become Princess Consuela Banana Hammock and Crap Bag, it does give the opportunity to try something different (and I’ll stick to calling Sarah ‘crap bag’ lovingly and in private).
We have discussed some different possibilities. First we thought about double barreling out current surnames (Hannen & Chapman) – they do go together and do compliment our names which I think, if you can decide for yourself, your surname should but we’ve both found that it’s quite a mouthful. We then discussed our mothers maiden names (Smith & Reed) and I think we’ve hit on something we are both happy with, while our families would not necessarily expect us to keep the family name going and since we both have brothers who will no doubt do that, this gives us the opportunity to ensure that our mothers family wont be forgotten.
So, Smith-Reed, I like it.