Category — Name Change
This is part of a series of posts on Jewish Wedding Network exploring a woman’s name change after marriage.
I was born five months after a “shot gun wedding.” The marriage ended before my first tooth came in and my mother remarried when I was five. My half-brother was born shortly thereafter, and the four of us lived together for my entire childhood—the three of them with one last name, and me with my father’s.
When I was eleven, my father stopped coming to see me, leaving me feeling utterly abandoned, but at age 16 I was legally adopted by my step father, and got a new last name. Four people under one roof with the same surname at last. I was back to having “a real dad”.
Four years after the adoption, I was thrown out of the house by my unstable parents. For the second time in my life, I felt abandoned. If you’re counting, that’s three parents that let me way down, all by the age of 20. I had considered changing my last to reflect my new loner status, something all my own. I didn’t have the guts to though, which is regretful; it would have helped me make peace with the situation.
I learned to accept and love my parents with distance, and having their last name was something I stopped thinking about altogether, for a while…
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July 8, 2009 4 Comments
This is the first in an ongoing series of posts on Jewish Wedding Network exploring a bride’s name change after marriage.
On October 7, 2007 I walked down the aisle flanked by Annette and Bill Friedson, my amazing (and teary-eyed) parents. After seven dizzying circles, seven prayers and one big stomp, I emerged as Rachel Friedman, a 23-year-old newly-wed, glowing with happiness as I walked hand-in-hand with my husband.
If you didn’t read that carefully, you may not have even noticed the difference. Friedson to Friedman. Those two tiny letters have served as the ultimate pain-in-the-butt and resulted in a lifetime of mispronunciations and misnomers.
Imagine going to the DMV – quite possibly the most inefficient and awful hellhole to have to go to in the first place – wedding license in hand and on a mission to change your name. The story goes something like this:
Me: Hi – I need to get a new license, because I got married and I’m changing my name.
DMV Employee: (glancing at paperwork in hand) What are you talking about? – the names here are the same.
Me: Nope – check out those last three letters.
DMV Employee: Ooooh – hahahahahaha.
Now reenact that story with the Social Security office, the bank, the credit card company, my employer, and all the other people who inevitably had to be notified, and let me tell you, that joke got old fast. “Are you going to hyphenate?” No. “Are you sure you’re not related?” Yes. “How about merging the two to become Friedsonman?” Mmm – no.
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June 10, 2009 No Comments