(I found this picture via Google image search. It comes from a site called missnowmrs.com. This woman is really conflicted? And also bored.)
Of all the phenomenon that Facebook has brought with it, one of the most fascinating to me is how married women change their names (if they change them). There’s certainly a post to be written about what happens when women get married, don’t change their names and have to contend with people writing things on their walls like, “Time for a name change!” This is not that post.
Note: The term “maiden name” makes me want to die. (Think about it, but make sure you have a bucket available.) Therefore, I’m going to try to avoid it as much as possible in this post, which might make the language clunky and awkward.
1. Former last name in quotations, followed by married name. (Fluffy ‘Snackfood’ Saperstein) This makes it seem, to me, like the previous name is more like a cool nickname.
2. Last name and the person you married’s last name hyphenated. (Fluffy Snackfood-Saperstein) Self explanatory?
3. Last name and the person you married’s last name beside each other, no hyphen. (Fluffy Snackfood Saperstein) Often I see this and think, awesome! Fluffy is taking on a name AND keeping her original one! You really can’t be sure what’s going on, though. Sometimes that’s what’s happening, and sometimes it’s just so people from high school can still find you.
3. Putting your original last name and married last name together and putting your former last name in parentheses beside it: Fluffy Saperstein (Snackfood)
4. Just changing your last name. No first name-before you were married name. Just first name, new last name. (Fluffy Saperstein.)
These are the permutations I’ve seen, if you’ve noticed different ones, I’d love to know what they are. I’ve never tried to change my name on Facebook, so I don’t know what the options are for doing so, how complicated they make it, etc. It is interesting, though, how women (and of course, it’s always women) are expected to demonstrate that they’re married quickly and starkly, even if the act or the status isn’t actually big deal to the couple. (Name change party, anyone?)