LAURIE: I am not changing my last name when we get married. I like my name, and I’d like to maintain what minimal momentum I have gained as a published writer. Plus there’s the whole feminist thing about there being no modern reason for me to change my name, I’m not a piece of property, etc.
I know a newly married young man who just took his wife’s last name. I think he’s not super-close with his family. Or at least, he isn’t now.
Josh has pretty much accepted the fact that I’m keeping my name, but once in a while he’ll bring it up. The other day we sat on the bed — he had called in sick with a bad cold, I was trying to put off leaving the apartment to attend a dinner — and I did a Google image search of both our last names, to see what might turn up. His last name yielded the covers of some science fiction books written by a distant cousin, and a head shot of another distant cousin who administrates education in New Jersey. Mine yielded a patchwork of strangers with my last name, often stiffly posed and smiling, often in unremarkable church or school settings.
I found it irrationally disturbing. I didn’t know any of them. For a second I thought, “I don’t want to be one of these people!” and then I thought, “These people need me.”