I am celebrating my eight-year anniversary with my husband on November 2nd.
I am about to tell you a secret I haven’t told many people.
- I took his last name because of my company’s payroll system.
At the time, my employer outsourced payroll to ADP. I wanted to hyphenate my last name, but the payroll system only allowed for fifteen characters. With a hyphen, I was coming out at sixteen characters.
I asked my fiancé, “Do you think I should keep my last name?”
He said, “I don’t care.”
He meant it. He didn’t care. We had been together for five years, we owned a home, and the Bears were on TV on the night I tried to discuss it. My impending name change was the last thing on his mind.
Like any good HR professional, I took a survey around the office. The results were mixed and (surprisingly) gender neutral. My maiden name was clumsy. My husband’s last name was long. There were no good options beyond marrying Brad Pitt.
So I asked myself, “Why would I keep my original last name?”
- Personal Branding
- Feminist Ideals
Then I asked myself, “Why would I take my husband’s last name?”
- Creating a bond to a new family
- Revitalized personal branding
- Madonna-esque reinvention
I finally asked myself, “Why would I hyphenate?”
I had no good reasons. The stupid name was too long with a hyphen.
In the end, ADP won. There was no way I wanted an error on my paycheck, my benefits, and my W2 forms.
I took my husband’s last name, and I’m no less of a feminist because of it.
I am just a Human Resources dork.
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