Last Name. To change or not to change?

The dog tag I ordered finally came in and it was perfect. Just Perfect. It was exactly what I ordered and read:

Ace Tang Lopez

I rushed in, opened the package, and said, “Babe, isn’t this so cool??? Look at Ace’s dog tag!”

“Uhh….Seriously, Sammy? You got it wrong. It’s supposed to be Ace Lopez Tang.” explained yelled, Tony.

Ace’s Dog Tag…such a conversation starter!

He’s right. In Mexican culture, the kid’s name is the first/given name, paternal last name, maternal last name. Only, I am not Mexican. In Chinese culture, the kid only takes the paternal last name. Also, at marriage the wife does NOT take the husband’s last name and keeps her father’s last name. Not to make a feminist stance, but because in Chinese culture (according to my mom, grandparents and many Asian-American studies courses), a woman’s last name is one of the very few things she has to keep and represents her lineage. Her last name is a clear indication of who she is and where she comes from before she is “given away.”

And then….the argument started.

“Well, when we have kids, it’s going to be the Mexican way.” asserted Tony.

“Really? Says who? What makes you think there will be any changes at all?” I explained.

Having a new pup has tested the both of us. Many interesting intense conversations have come to surface. For example, this whole thing about name changes. I have always liked my name. Who doesn’t like their own name? I have been Sammy Tang for 35 years and I love everything about it. “Sammy Lopez” sounds like a baseball player. Something you’d see on someone’s jersey. Not cute. Not me. Ew.

It’s Wedding Planning Wednesday, and I don’t know if I plan to change my last name. My mom did not. Tony’s sisters did not, neither did my sisters. I don’t think the expectations are there. Why do it? I have questioned social norms and traditions. Once I understand the value and reason behind something, then yes…I can make a sound decision. As of yet, I don’t see a good reason to want to change my last name.

Past brides and future brides, what did you do or what will you do? Are you going go hyphenate your name? Take on his? Keep yours? Merge or create your own? And what’s the reason behind your decision? I’d love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Last Name. To change or not to change?

  1. The thing is…YOU would be changing YOUR name. HE doesn’t have to change anything. So as far as I’m concerned, it is entirely up to you. If you were raised in a culture and a family where name-changing is not done, then that tradition is such a huge part of who you are. I didn’t change my name (and neither did my sister) because my last name is a big part of my identity. When it comes to kids, I can’t comment, but as a teacher, I’ve seen it all…I will say when the mom has a completely different last name than the kids, it can be confusing. But you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. A friend of mine wrote a very interesting article on this exact topic…it is funny, too. Thanks for sharing, Sammy!


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