Ever since Wayne and I decided to turn our 5 year anniversary into a wedding I’ve had last names on the brain. I’ve never really wanted to get married except for maybe that time when I was 3 when I wanted to marry my Daddy or when Jamie and I played house and I was married to her. It’s just never been a thing for me. In fact, I was pretty (self defined) anti-authoritarian and alternative so I suppose you could say I developed an anti-marriage situation that has sat in the back of my mind for a long long time. Then, when I grew a social and political consciousness it seemed really wrong to me that I was expected to have a big fancy ceremony and invite all of my friends and family when some of them were not allowed to have the same big fancy ceremony.
So all of that alternative-ism is poking at me and subconsciously impacting me whenever I try to make decisions about my wedding ceremony and party, andthereareamilliondecisionstomake. I have to be super thoughtful and self conscious about whether I am making a decision because it’s expected, because it’s unexpected (which is just as bad), or because it makes sense and that’s how I want it. Do I want to wear white? No, but i really love wearing white and look pretty in it so why not? Do I want my father to walk me down the aisle? Ugh, so patronizing. He doesn’t own me and neither will Wayne. But he’d really like that I think and do I really care that much? Do I want to spend the night away from Wayne before the wedding. Why? It’s not like we are virgins. Although it would be sweet to spend that time with my mama and my girl friends. Etc, etc. Because nothing can be easy, right?
So recently we put up two new mailboxes at the house and got stickers to put our last names on the front. And of course, this caused an existential crisis. I had been avoiding making this decision for like 8 months. Do I want to change my name?
Wayne hasn’t cared much from the very beginning and has always said that he will do whatever I want. Ideally we would both change our last name to something new, because we aren’t fans of hyphenation and it would be fun to pick a new one (Mr. and Mrs. Awesome). But Wayne is a “the third” and how douchey would it be to lose his father and grandfather’s name on a whim? Especially since he really likes both of them. So I was left in limbo and my poor mailbox sat in front of me for way too long while I agonized.
The alternative part of me was railing. Why would you take his last name? Your last name reflects your heritage and your family. It’s a tie to your mother and father and grandfather and sister, plus it’s yours! Why do you have to do all of that work changing your last name when it doesn’t even make a difference? And then the reasonable, thoughtful me would think a little deeper. This isn’t about taking a stand against the patriarchy right? I mean, MY name is my dad’s last name and his is his dad’s so the patriarchy still stands. Plus, now that we have decided to get married it’s not about politics – it’s about what we want.
So I finally made a decision and I think it will surprise a lot of people. Ultimately, I want Wayne and I to have the same last name. It’s not a big deal, but it’s what we both want. Come September 8th we will be Mr. and Mrs. Witzel and I’m going to have to learn how to cook pretzels and bratwurst – obviously. #puttingonthewitz #riotouswedding