I love having the same last name as Dan. It makes us feel more like a team (Go Glovers!) and I’m honored he is willing to share that with me.
Still, I felt some sense of loss when I stopped using my maiden name, McCoy. After all, it was a significant part of my identity for 20 years.
There are also some little things that I miss… My initials used to be ELM. I got to have a random capital letter in the name. People would jokingly ask, “So, are you the real McCoy?”
It sounds trivial, but those things really were meaningful to me.
Even though no one warned me about it before getting married, I know I’m not alone in post-maiden name grief…
Once, when I expressed my feelings to Dan’s mom, she told me she used to miss the alliteration of her maiden name, Lucy Long.
My mom was also so attached to her maiden name, Lohr, that she swapped it for her middle name, Louise. However, she was able to pass the original middle name off on me and didn’t have to deal with many legal hurdles because it was the same initial.
Still, it was only in the months leading up to the wedding — when I was figuring out how to go about the name change — that reality began to sink in.
I wasn’t just changing my name, I was losing part of it.
Desperate for some way to hold on to my maiden name (but not wanting to hyphenate), I asked the social security office if I could take on two middle names. That would make my legal name Emily Louise McCoy Glover, but I would just go by Emily Glover.
Unfortunately, I was told that is no longer possible — apparently the government has tried to streamline personal information since September 11, so people are only permitted to have three spaces for a first, middle and last name.
So that was that. I changed my name to Emily Louise Glover.
In the time since then, I’ve come to accept this a little bit more. Now, I think of it less as losing my maiden name and more as taking on a new one. (And even if the government doesn’t recognize it, I’ll always identify myself as Emily Louise McCoy Glover.)
Besides, there are plenty of things to love about my new name. I get to write the fun cursive G. The word “love” is sandwiched in between the first and last letters. Best of all, Dan and I are the solely responsible for carrying on the family name — and I’ll be proud when my children identify as strongly with Glover as I did with McCoy.