What’s in a name?

I thought it only fitting that my inaugural post on TheNewMrsCarbone should be about my new name. 

When I first got engaged my sister asked me if I’d be taking Lorenzo’s name after we got married.  I quickly answered, “yes, of course.”  But then I thought, “wait – is that the right answer?”  For 37 years I had been Monica Pandolfi.  It’s the name under my yearbook picture (the one the top two inches of my hair didn’t make it into).  It’s the name on my business cards.  It’s how my friends know me.  And, I think it sounds pretty cool – smart but appropriately ethnic, too.   So, was I sure about ditching it to be Monica Carbone? 

My sister Luisa kept her name.  My-sister-Tina-hyphenated-hers-so-many- times-it-doesn’t-fit-on-a-hospital-wrist-band (true story for another time).  My mom took my dad’s name.  My friend took her husband’s name.  But then she changed it back after the divorce.  But, if I took Lorenzo’s would that mean I was no longer a Pandolfi?  Would my dad be mad?  What would my friends say?  How would it affect my Google search results?  Would taking his name send a subliminal message to my colleagues that I was just months away from being barefoot, pregnant and home making pizzelles?

Well, you know how the story turns out.  I took his name.  I’m now Monica Carbone.  Why?  Because I know it was important to my husband.  Because if we have children I want us all to have the same last name.  Because there’s a Carbone in every mafia movie.  But mostlybecause for some reason I can’t really explain, it felt right.

What do you think?  Should a woman take her husband’s last name?  Stay true to her maiden?  Is there a right or wrong thing to do in 2010?

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14 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I love this!! You wrote it so well. I understand your dilema with the whole last name thing. Me and Russell went through it when we were deciding what last name to give Domenic. In the end I think you did the right thing. There is something very old school about taking your husbands last name and in the case you do have children they wont question “why does Mommy have a different last name?”

    My cousin, the author… 🙂

  2. if it made your husband happy, you did the right thing.
    Besides, it makes taxes and deeds so much easier.

  3. Monica, love your blog. I agree with your decision , call me old-fashion but if you get married you should take your husband name, escpecially if you want to raise a family. As a matter of fact, even after my marriage ended, I still kept his last name for the main reason that I wanted to have the same name as my daughters, plus I think it goes better with my first name.

    Cio bella

  4. I don’t think there is a right or wrong, but as a mom, I like knowing that my family shares a common name. So, I kept my maiden name for work only and took my husband’s name for all things personal. Looking forward to reading your way to happily ever after. Congrats!

  5. Monica, you did what you felt in your heart to do. Your still the same Momo, just with a different last name :)I without a doubt took Dino’s last name and never questioned it. As I always say. I may be a Gelfusa, but I’ll always be a Maione at heart. LOL
    p.s. Great blog! Keep them coming 🙂

  6. Very apropos and thought provoking …
    I kept my name after I got married because it felt right to me. I love my husband and I wasn’t trying to make a statement – I just could not imagine having a different name.
    btw – mom did not change her name until we moved here and the change was forced on her. In Italy it is customary for women to keep their maiden name.

  7. Great first post, Monica. I started b logging recently as well. My upcoming post has the very same title and is about my double life. Congratulations!

    • i took my husband’s last name because my kids went all the way from “Z” to “D” in the alphabet. trust me, by the time my name came around in graduation ceremonies, NO ONE was paying attention! 😉

  8. I took my husband’s last name – I have always been a traditionalist in that sense.
    What a wonderful way this is to chronicle the newest chapter in your life. I look forward to keeping up with your blog! Congrats!!

  9. I think a women taking her husband’s name is a very personal choice. In many cases, the husband feels strongly that this outwardly seals their union. In some cases it’s a deal-breaker which I find somewhat puzzling. Many women I know feel that giving up their name intimates losing a piece of themselves. I guess I’m somewhat indifferent, however if children come into the picture I do think it’s important for all to share a family name. But remember, with a 50+% divorce rate, that’s a whole lot of hassle for a whole lot of women if they want to go back 🙂

  10. I spent some time on that decision as well. But in the end it was easy. You know the saying on wedding greeting cards that goes: “Marriage – Two become one – It’s that simple – It’s that Beautiful”? I was becoming one with my husband. We were facing the world together – and sharing one name to do it. And I wanted our children to feel that same sense of family unity.

    Best of luck Mrs. Monica on the blog. I’m looking forward to reading!

  11. In Italy the woman keeps her last name, but children get the father’s last name. In spanish countries the children actually keep the mother’s maiden name: like you are Monica pandolfi-maione. so everyone knows where you came from.

  12. Monica, since you are in the midst of name change too, you should know of this really cool site – http://www.NameChangeExpress.com. They’ve totally automated the process – tell you how to go about it, in what order, give you a guidebook and all of the forms customized. Pretty cool.

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