This is a Polaroid from the night of our wedding. Since I moved to the UK two days afterward, I didn’t bother to change my last name. I needed my current passport, for one thing, and there were so many official immigration documents that I was constantly having to update over the next several years, it just seemed to complicated to throw a name change into the mix. Besides, Vernon always said he liked me name as it was. “Allison Moore is the name of the girl I fell in love with,” he would say.
A couple of years ago, now Stateside again, I bought a kit online that was supposed to help me fill out the paperwork. I brought it up to Vernon and he still didn’t seem to care one way or the other. “Do it if you want to,” he would say. “But don’t want to influence your decision.” Gee, thanks. I didn’t do it.
But this year, especially, I kept thinking of it. Most of the staff calls me Mrs. Adams, for one thing. I also have a passport and a drivers license both up for renewal. If I’m going to do it, this would be a good time. Over the past months, I’ve brought the idea up to Vernon again. He’s changed his tune and now says I should go through with it. When I’d ask him why, he always says, “It just sounds better” —before shrugging it off—”…but it doesn’t matter to me.”
To tell the truth, I’ve been leaning toward changing my name for months, but couldn’t bring myself to actually fill out the paperwork. What was holding me back? I realized it was the fear of Vernon dying and leaving me alone with his surname. It wasn’t quite irrational, but it became a real block for me.
As I gave this fear words, I began to realize this is exactly WHY I should change my name. If I’m going to do it, I better do it while I still have the chance. Compared to dealing with medical issues, the bother of paperwork and bank account changes is a cakewalk. And also, I like the idea of having the same last name as Maki and Justine, no matter what happens in the future.
Do other women make such a big deal about this? I’ve had the same name for 43 years, and I’m used to it. I was married for nearly 9 years with it. What finally flipped my switch was the very recent realization that my passport actually ran out last year so I’d better get on top of getting another asap. This afternoon, on a near-whim, I put Justine in the car and drove up to the Social Security office with the necessary documents.
After showing them to the lady at the window and confirming a few details, she asked for my current Social Security card and ripped it up, right there. I was rather shocked. Was it that simple? She told me my new card would arrive in 7-10 business days.
Tomorrow I go to get my new drivers license. I’m not sure how official I am without any documents in my hand, but I was assured my name had been changed in the computer system.
So I guess…. I’m now Allison Adams.