So, I’m getting married this summer, and was struck with the realization that, while I am looking forward to taking my fiancee’s last name as my own, I’m going to miss the complete absence of my maiden name from my life.

After giving it some thought, I decided I like the idea of dropping my current (boring) middle name, and changing it to my current maiden name. I like the way it looks and sounds.

My fiancee doesn’t seem to thrilled by this new name, but the only thing he’ll actually say is “do whatever you want.”

What do you think, Aunt Becky? I need your wisdom as a second opinion.

Also! Do you think it would end up being weird whenever the question came up of my middle name being the same as my maiden name? Is it going to be a pain in the ass? This is starting to make me a little crazy.

Well, o! Prankster my Prankster, pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name. If you didn’t, it’s not actually listed as Aunt Becky on my birth certificate (which, by the by, if you’ve seen it, I kinda need it). My given name, Prankster, was Becky Elizabeth Sherrick.

When I got married, like you, o! wise one, I didn’t want to change my name. I liked being Becky Sherrick. I’d been Becky Sherrick for 25 years and I didn’t really LIKE the sound of Becky Harks. In fact, it sounded like a venereal disease.

But, my husband-to-be was slightly aghast by my reluctance, AND I had a kid with a different last name then my own, and I thought about all of the confusion that we’d suffer with subsequent kids and decided to change it.

I would be: Becky Elizabeth Sherrick Harks (NO HYPHEN)!

Then the Social Security Office called and took a massive shit all over my parade. Turns out, you can give a kid 4 names (all of mine have 4 names)(preemptively, you’re welcome, children of mine), but the sea hag at the SS office said no to adding a name, unless you hyphenate.

Stuck with a choice of dumping the Elizabeth or the Sherrick, I dumped the Elizabeth.

Like you, I became a First Name, Last Name, Last Name. Happily. That’s what I go by everywhere. The full three names.

This is my advice to you: if that’s what you want, and it helps you to feel connected to your past (which, I mean, I totally get.) as you’re turning in your old name for a new one, do it.

So fucking what if your fiance doesn’t like it? HE is not changing his name. Because his name clearly means enough to him to fight you to take it, he should respect that yours means enough to you to let it go.

He’ll get used to it.

Marriage does = compromise. Heh. Just ask The Daver.

If Mississippi lends Missouri her New Jersey, what will Delaware?

I don’t know but Alaska.

When my son died last May, my insurance company decided to show everyone why insurance companies are the devil…but refusing to pay for basically any & everything relating to my son, delivery, etc.  I’ll spare you all the details, I’ll just direct you to the blog I’ve wrote today about my recent appeal & denial.

http://yaycowsyay.blogspot.com/2010/04/help-dead-baby-family-convince.html

Anyway, if you read that I’m asking if anyone who is willing to help me provide letters as “evidence” I can use in my claim.  Knowing you care about fellow loss moms & loss moms care about you, I thought you could help me out by spreading the word of my letter effort.  I feel like I’m asking for a cheap blog plug or something, but I hope you realize I’m not.  I’d just like the chance to blow the company’s mind.  Even if I don’t win, I want them to know people know they suck.

So would there be any way you’d be willing to talk about my issue & let people know if anyone would like to help we’d truly appreciate it?  Again, I feel lame asking you, but I’m kinda sorta desperate & want any help I can get.  Can’t hurt to ask, right?

Consider it done, my friend. Baby Loss Mommas, if you can help, please do.

Dear Aunt Becky,

I have been working at a new company for a year. I am the highest seniority person there since I was hired right after the company was formed. My problem is with the secretary. She hasn’t even been there a year yet, but she is driving me insane. I often hear her steal my ideas and claim them as her own. She also tries to blame me for her shortcomings.

I’ve spoken to my bosses twice about this, and they do not see it. Everyone that works under me has come to me with complaints about her. It’s my job to take take those complaints to our bosses, but they don’t see it so they don’t really do anything about it. To add insult to injury I recently found out that my bosses have given her two raises in the eight months she’s been there, and I have never received one in over a year (though I have to admit I get more perks than she does)!

I make this company a lot of money, they know I am valuable. When I returned from vacation recently I found out this secretary was bad mouthing me to my bosses. She lies about me, but they just don’t see it.  How do I show my bosses the true colors of my co-worker?

There is nothing–and I mean nothing–more discouraging than a shifty coworker (I think the word “shifty” needs to make a comeback, don’t you?). Been there, done that and it’s a fucking bitch. Literally.

If I were you, Prankster, what I would do is this: get some sort of documentation that you can take to your bosses. Because without it, you’re never going to convince them that she’s not some sort of saint or Jesus or something. With the rest of the staff on your side, it shouldn’t be quite as much of a task as it sounds. But you need real proof to get her in your cross-hairs.

People like this tend to eventually dig their own graves. So if you don’t get proof in time, eventually she’ll fuck up so badly that even your bosses will see what an assbag she is. In the meantime, you need to make sure you’re on your best behavior around her so that she doesn’t try and throw you under the bus.

Also, you should start bringing Ginsu knives to work. Not because you’re going to ACTUALLY cut a bitch, but just to have them and look threatening. You never know when you might have to cut up a nice stir-fry.

—————

As always, Pranksters, fill in where I left off in the comments.

And I wanted to thank all of you who have supported Amelia and I. Today, we’re walking for March of Dimes and Team Mimi and I’m beyond touched by how many of you have chimed in over the past year to tell me how you’ve read her story.

Without you, I really don’t know where I’d be. I certainly don’t think I’d be in one piece.

Thank you, my Band of Pranksters. Thank you for everything.

Team Mimi FOR THE WIN!

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

42 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Misty says:

    (I am only going to use initials instead of my full maiden/married surnames)

    So in my first marriage I really didn’t want to go from Misty L to Misty S., so I decided to move my maiden name to my middle name. My SS Card actually said Misty Elizabeth L. S. withOUT a hyphen. My DL said S., Misty Elizabeth L

    HOWEVER when tax time came, even though there was no hyphen in my name and my maiden name looked like my middle name, I had to file as Misty L.-S.

    Then I just fucking gave up and divorced the sonofabitch the next year. The last name drama was too much and I really loved my maiden name. ;)

  • Nicole says:

    There is another option in the name-change game: Add the middle name to your first name. When I got married, I just slid all my names over a notch, so I became FirstMiddle Maiden Married (note that while I did not intend my first and middle names to become one word, they often ended up that way). Both my first and middle names have meaning (I was named after my grandmother and uncle, who died before I was born), and I was unwilling to give up either name. However, I was 28 when I got married…I’d done a lot of stuff with my original last name, and didn’t want to give it up.

    The end result was a complicated, polysyllabic name that confused pharmacists, receptionists, and telemarketers the world over. But I don’t regret the decision, for two reasons. It made life easier as I transitioned from my maiden name to my married name. Later, when I realized getting married to this guy was the mother of all mistakes, having my driver’s license bear my maiden name plus one simplified matters until I managed to erase his last name from all my identification.

    So I guess I do make *some* smart decisions…

  • melanirae says:

    Merge the two names and both husband and wife take the new awesomely morphed name and piss off the in-laws all in one fell swoop.

  • Melissa says:

    I call BS on the second letter! Highest ranking means she has no bosses and she should get a grip. If she was the highest ranked her administrative professional would be gone!

    Just a thought from an administrative professional. She has no proof because the story is a lie.

    PS. put my donation in Davers box cuz you outnumbered your goal! Figured its all going to the same place and same name, not that I dont love on you hard!

  • *jen says:

    I am writing a letter for baby Joel and his family. I can’t even say anything else because I’m so disgusted, but that I am so sorry for them. Oh, and that the insurance company is everything that is wrong with this world.

    xoxo
    *jen

  • MamaCas says:

    When I got married 14 years ago, I went through a brief and totally unexpected grieving period…because of my last name. In retrospect, I wish I had somehow incorporated my maiden name. I like the idea above of blending the First and Middle names, so it becomes FirstMiddle Maiden Married. This would have worked perfectly for my name because it would have cleared up any confusion about my gender (my first name is VERY unisex). Obviously, this won’t work for everyone.

  • The SSA must like me or something. I added my maiden name as a second middle name. So now I’m Melissa Diane Curran Bonnice. Where the shitting on my parade came in was with the DMV who can only put so many letters for a middle name. So on my license I’m Melissa DC Bonnice. Lame.

    But seriously, don’t let your maiden name go if you don’t want to!

  • Suzie says:

    Your SS hag was jacked. I added my maiden name to my last name so it’s Firstname Middlename Maidenname Lastname now. No hyphen.

  • CatPS says:

    I kept all of my names and just tacked on my hubby’s last name when I got married. SS had no problem with it at all, although I do “officially” have one first name, one last name and two middle names. My middle name was actually my mom’s maiden name so I was unwilling to give that up. But I also couldn’t just drop my own maiden name while keeping mom’s, because 1- I had been that name for a long time, and 2- would’ve really hurt dad’s feelings.
    Basically, it is a very personal decision that only you can and should make! People do all kinds of crazy stuff with names, so don’t be afraid to do whatever you want… it’s your NAME for crying out loud! Do what you want!

  • Liza says:

    Ahhh names!

    My mother got married at the age of 36 to my dad. She used the opportunity to radically change her name. Her initials were REA. She became EAB. Dropping the R name and moving everything over. At the end of her life, she said, ‘why didn’t I just take Betty as my first name?’ She complained because the E name at the front end was hard to write at that age and everyone called her Betty. Even in high school.

    Names are so tricky, they sometimes have a life of their own. So consult a numerologist if you wanna go all esoteric and find out their ‘vibration’. Can be a significant factor to sensitive types.

    Have a great week!

  • Stella says:

    “Shifty” needs to make a comeback? I had no idea that it went out of style. I use it. Often. Perhaps I’m a trailblazer.

    When I got married, I couldn’t wait to get rid of my maiden name. It was long, hard to spell, and difficult for others to pronounce. Also, it made people think that I could speak the language from which it is from, and I cannot.

    I only stayed married for a couple of years (oh get off, like you all didn’t have starter marriages!) and I’ve been divorced for nearly a decade. But I’ve kept my married name because that’s who I’ve become. I relate more with Smith* than with Whodyanickabollockoff* and I’ve become quite successful with my married name. People are aghast when they find out I kept a name that “doesn’t belong to me anymore”. I tell them to bite me. It’s my choice, my name and besides, it cost money to change that shit back.

    *Not real names – duh.

  • katrina says:

    a million years ago when i got married in texas–(YeeHaw)….they wouldn’t officially declare us married, unless i signed my name–using my husband’s last name. (i had wanted to keep my maiden name). I never got used to “his” name……..after the ‘starter-marriage’ ended in divorce, i changed my name back. With my 2nd, (final) marriage, i kept my own name, and my kids got my maiden name as their middle name.

    Shit, when i came to this country as an immigrant, my parents were told they HAD to change our names—-become ‘Americanized’—-so we had to adopt new foreign (to us) names…..It was traumatic, we had no country, and now no names…. So i became katrina ( kati or katalin, was not ok). I always resented that. When my daughter was born i named her my original hungarian name—fuck’em

    • Wombat Central
      Twitter: wombatcentral
      says:

      Wow, that’s so sucky you all had to change your names. I’m guessing they no longer encourage (or enforce!) that practice. Good for you for passing your name along. I think I would have changed mine to Cher or something just to piss them off.

  • amy says:

    Add me to the parade of women commenting who have (or had) their married names as First Middle Maiden Married. SS office didn’t give me any grief about it when I went through the name change process in December 2009, though the lady at the drivers’ license office gave me the hairy eyeball. Too bad for her, I went to SS first! The only real issues I have are that a) my new name is so long that it takes up two lines on my SS card and driver’s license, which confuses people, and b) it’s so long that it turns out even I don’t have the patience to write it out, and am now going by First Married for most purposes.

  • magpie says:

    there was never a question in my mind that i wouldn’t change my name. not only that, our “pre-nup” was that girls would get my last name, and boys would get his. then we had one girl. period. yeah, she’s got my last name. i am a crank. but i like it that way.

  • Paige says:

    I really hadn’t thought about the whole maiden vs married name in a long time. When I got married, I wanted to hyphenate and the hubs was against it, plus my family is very traditional so I seemed to be the only one wanting to hold on to the name. We were married 8 yrs, he adopted my daughter and we had a son, then we divorced. I decided not to go back to my maiden name because my kids both had my married name and I knew I’d get called that no matter what. But I did begin hyphenating for work. Well then we got remarried and I’ve embraced the married name. But I love the idea of adding my maiden name as an extra middle name. I go by my middle name, so getting rid of it was never an option. But I like this new option. Hmmmm.

    To the second person… I hate insurance companies. Your sad story is a disgusting reminder of just how heartless they can be. It makes me sick.

    To the third person… It’s normally easy to keep someone else from stealing your ideas. Don’t share them. Hold your cards close and keep your guard up. Being at a place since it’s inception is not particularly impressive when they’ve only been around a year and you’ve only been there a few months longer than she has. Keep track of complaints from others formally and in writing and submit them to the bosses that way. That proves that they came from others and not just you making stuff up. Also, last but not least, go to HR.

  • Andrea says:

    I am an unmarried 29 year old, so you probably should not take my advice. But, I’ve never seen myself as wanting to change my last name at all. And the older I get, the more unlikely it seems that should I marry, that I would change it. I like my last name. It’s me. And I’ve published under that name. I just don’t see the hassle. My married friends say, “what about the kids?” I say that I won’t throw a fuss. If their teachers wants to call me by their dad’s last name, that’s fine. But changing it legally probably won’t happen. Ask me again when I get married. I may eat my words.

    As for the sneaky secretary, THAT is something I know all about. Document. Document. Document. Save every email. Write down and date every incident. Ask your colleagues to do the same. Any time someone makes a complaint to you, document it and have them do the same. Build a file with HR. That’s the only way to cover your ass.

  • Jennifer says:

    I also didn’t wanna give up my maiden name, so I just added my married name- no hyphen. I go by First, Maiden, Married, and I only have to use the name on my SSC (First, Middle, Maiden, Married) when I file for taxes. Then, I’m hyphenated. Never had a problem otherwise :)

    Insurance companies suck ass. That is all.

  • KYouell says:

    I got married at 38 and made my name First Middle / Maiden / Married. SSA & DMV were fine with me having an unhyphenated first name, but credit card companies leave the space out so I wish that I had hyphenated. Ah well.

    As for my hubby, he thinks that this business of keeping my maiden name as my middle name for genealogical reasons is bogus and that I didn’t *really* take his name; he also sometimes claims it’s proof I didn’t really commit to him. I think he can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. So, yeah, he might turn out to be right. How much time can you be together and still refer to it as a “starter marriage”?

  • Badass Geek says:

    I’m going to legally add my blogging moniker to my real name.

  • Jen says:

    My maiden name was 12 letters, 4 syllables, but when I got married, I dropped my middle name (“Ann”) to become First, Maiden, Last. I wanted to keep my old identity, but also share the same last name as my husband. It’s quite a mouthful, but I have never regretted the choice.

  • linlah says:

    I didn’t change my name. I asked if he would he said no and I said yeah me neither.

    I say Colorado, everyone wants to Delaware Colorado.

    That insurance company should be ashamed of themselves, I hope you get the relief you deserve.

    High seinority deosn’t mean crap if you’re dealing with the devil. Document, document, document and stop sharing your ideas with just anyone so that she can claim them.

  • Jenn says:

    I didn’t want to change (“I’ve had that name for 24 years…), but DH was mortified that I wouldn’t take his name, so I caved. Did the First Maiden Last name thing. Years later, when we were talking about a friend who was adopting a 3 year old from China, he said, “I can’t believe they are going to change her name! She’s three. It’s her name!” I just looked at him. He thought about it a minute, then said, “OK, on our 24th anniversary, I’ll change my last name to your maiden name.”

    A couple years later, on our 12th anniversary, he commented that he was half way there. I think he’ll really do it.

  • zelzee says:

    I have so many names (yes, I took all the husbands names) that when I die, I will need two pages of the newspaper to list them all the way across!!

  • Bexter says:

    Weird, I didn’t realize I was so different by being “traditional” and taking my husband’s name. Even though my maiden name was all kinds of awesome, I did so happily, and without question.

  • giggleblue says:

    oh, god. she looks exactly like her brother!!! that’s scary! (and i mean clearly, they would look alike right, siblings and all, but still….)

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    God, I love that face. <3

  • GingerB says:

    My name is my name. Why get a new one from some dude I never met (my husband’s absentee father)? And how fucking archaic that we do this at all. I have not just been absorbed into my husband’s asset pool, which was how it was when name taking began. I have the children his name which was where I drew the line.

    Hey Becks, I thought from the way your bugtton was written that you were just raising money for someone else, oh, Heather Spohr’s team, or something, or I would have donated here as well as over there, and a couple others. Thank you for walking.

  • He is so cute. I love that smile.

  • The Daver says:

    Office politics are a bitch.

    But there are simple things you can do to protect yourself and your career:

    1) Document everything. Make sure you keep copies of emails you send, especially ones that include ideas/proposals that are yours, and responses/threads including this person. Save it, protect it; it is your get-out-of-jail-free card.

    2) Don’t play the games. It’s clear that this person is being crafty, and from the tone of your mail, you’re not as politically crafty. Don’t try to beat them at their own game: you are not there to play politics, you’re there to do your job. When someone wants to throw you under a bus, the best thing to do is to be above reproach. Remember, she’s saving all YOUR messages, so don’t play games.

    3) Compensation is always a one-on-one conversation between a person and their firm. Getting into the so-and-so-got-a-raise game is a pit full of vipers; if you are happy with your comp, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If not, you should be working on getting your comp updated to match your expectations (asking your bosses how you can make yourself valuable enough to get paid more, for instance, and then doing it), not worrying about what someone else is working out with the firm. Higher comp = higher expectations; if someone gets paid more and then fails to deliver, they are throwing themselves under their own bus.

    4) Have you asked this person what’s up? I’ve had situations where someone thought I had slighted them, and reacted negatively, but a gentle conversation asking if there was something I could do to help them, or mentioning that I’d heard some shit-talk ‘on the grapevine’ and were trying to figure out where it had come from and was hoping I could change their minds led to a change of heart.

    5) OK, I’ve gone on long enough, but the best leaders are servants. Take a look at the things YOU can do to make your firm successful; ask your coworkers how you can help them and make things better, ask your bosses how you can help more. If you’re bringing complaints to your bosses, also bring positive steps you are taking to help improve the relationships in the office, as your role allows.

    Good luck!

  • eringirl says:

    I did the same thing as Aunt Becky… First name, last name, last name. I thought my dad would be so happy that I wanted to keep our family name forever.

    And then when I told him he was devastated that I dropped his grandmother’s name (my middle name).

    Lose lose.

    Overall I am happy to have both my last names. And I really think of myself as all 4 names

  • Ashley says:

    I totally go by four names, First name middle maiden and married. no hyphens, no one has ever given me problems about it. I even dropped the last name on everything when I got married then promptly regreted it and added it back on. All I needed was my birth certificate and marriage license. Weird that some people suck and wont let you

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Dude. It was the sea hag at the SS office. I think she fucked me over and I wish I’d thought to fight it then, because now I’d have to go and actually get my name officially changed by a judge and wow, that’s a pain.

  • Ali R says:

    I did the same thing as you, I didn’t want to lose my maiden name it’s different and cool and my married name is blah and boring…Richardson, see no spark there.

    Now let me ask you this because you said your kids have 4 names (which by the way I *heart* you for doing this because my kids will be the same way) so do your kids have a first name, middle name and then Sherrick Harks as their last two names or how did they end up with 4?? I want to give my kids my maiden name as one of their names but my husband thinks it will be too many names, I say BS you fool of a husband…my last name is cool they should tack it on! Thoughts??

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      All of my kids have the Sherrick Harks in their names. It just seemed like the thing TO do. You should totally do it.

      • Ali R says:

        I am and now you have my back…The Chuck will totally go for it now I just know it!!
        It is so funny you call your hubby the Daver, I have called mine The Chuck for years too, just seems like the right thing to do

  • I dropped my middle name that I can even believe my Mother gave me {and I will NEVER tell} and use my maiden name as my last.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • Mae says:

    I am first name middle name maiden name married name with no hyphens. The SSA tried to give me crap about it and I demanded a supervisor and got it done with no problems. I go by middle name married name, to make it even more confusing.

  • Denise says:

    Fellow reader I am experiencing the same issues with a coworker that we will refer to as “Patrick”. I am not the only one that has issue with Patrick. In fact I do not know of a person that I work with that is even friendly with him. For some reason he gets away with breaking any rule he pleases. He has stolen our ideas. My fav. is Patrick thinks I am the one ratting him out all the time, which actually isn’t true. For some reason I have become the scapegoat to this moron. We have been patiently been waiting for him to finally get caught doing one of the many things he shouldn’t be doing, to no avail. Patrick has went so far as to root through my office. My coworkers and I think this person he has been putting hexes on us, as he believes in crystals and other mumbo jumbo nonsence. IN fact we googled Patrick to find out that he goes to naked festivals during one or all of the solstices. As of recent we discovered they he is scared of leprechauns. Can you guess what is hanging out side my office right now? Good luck with your person they will get their just deserts eventually as I’m sure Patrick will too.

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