"when people asked if we’d chosen a first name, we shared our last name choice instead"
When people ask what you're naming the baby, the correct response is John or Amy or whatever. When you go out of your way to bring it up, as if you are unsure, as if you're justifying, you end up inviting opinion... whether you want it or not.
Our daughter has my last name. Apart from a private conversation between my husband and his mother, we refused to let it be a big deal... and it wasn't. If people ever made some comment, I'd reply "we're matrilineal." I didn't open the door to discussion, so most people kept their thoughts to themselves. Attitude is a lot of this.
My husband occasionally gets mail with my name, and I do get mail with his. My husband's grandmother sends me mail with "Mrs. Husband's-First Husband's-Last" on it! But hey, she's old and of another time. Our daughter sometimes gets mail with my husband's last name or both our names hyphenated too. But most people, and all official organizations, get it right.
With the current divorce rate and frequency of blended families, you wouldn't think anyone would be confused by people in a household with different last names.
Had to pop down here and note that for me one of the funniest, dumbest, and most consistent reactions to this highly reasonable point of view is when people are like "BUT WHERE DID THE **AUTHOR'S** NAME COME FROM? A MAN? HER FATHER? REALLY MAKES U THINK"
.... does it now
Thank you so much for writing this. I am in complete agreement with your views--especially the oddness of the unquestioning, "given" nature of the child inheriting the father's name, even if the mother opts to keep her own--but also appreciate how understanding you are of individual situations.
thank you for posting this! i was just listening to npr's ted talks millenial discussion and was so frustrated to hear from one of the speakers that you can dwyl by doing unpaid labor and living in your parents basement (literally, thats what he said!). and he's even writing a book about it. npr can be so off sometimes...they never once asked him, for example, about how his privileged position allowed him to live for free in his parents basement OR even how someone who had to at least work part time could still dw[they]l. i certainly claim a status of privilege being white and middle class, but i cannot simply drop my full time work to do what i love. furthermore, doing what i love requires a masters degree, which is even more complicated and costs more money than it would for my parents to just pay me to leave in their basement. i digress, thank you thank you for providing link to this article as i have been getting increasingly frustrated with my peers and their "just do it" mantras.
"so throw yr vision board back into its hell river"
Boy, do I plan on using this retort when anyone brings up "The Secret"-related claptrap.
Also what this country needs is a GUILLOTINE
Cold IS emanating from the walls. I can feel places where my house isn't airtight so much more than I ever have before (like, the deadbold switchplate on the back door is just POURING cold air). It might be a great time to bundle my house up in places if I could stand to leave for supplies.
Maybe this is wrong of me, but I feel a little grumpy when people don't claim adulthood as theirs. Does that mean you don't have to take the consequences of your actions and somebody is going to swoop in and save you, and the rest of us should know that when we interact with you? I recognize, though, that this grumpiness is probably not entirely fair and it's because I am defining adulthood a little differently from other people and it's not about career success, or even stability per se, and definitely not about material trappings, working out, or salad to me -- it's about a fundamental attitude of accepting consequences and not expecting other people to take care of you.
My parents died young, and I took care of my mother for a while when she was dying, so there was never any choice about not becoming an adult. Now I'm happily married without children but can also imagine taking care of myself without my husband around, so yes, still there, an adult and prize it -- it's the price of independence and being honest with myself.
Grown Ass Woman (or G.A.W. because I use it so much) is my primary self identifier, before mother, wife, human, activist, witch, etc. It's a great little empowering fuck you to a society that wants to define me solely by my relationships to men, for me. And it's so goddamn satisfying to use in a heated argument!
My favorite review I've ever read on ModCloth was for a flower crown, and it went something like: "I thought it was pretty, but my boyfriend said I looked like Jesus."