So, we're married. We just got our certificate in the mail so it's official and stuff. Now I'm about to start the what-I-hear-is-no-fun process of changing my name. I did what any Internet savvy person would do and Googled any suggestions on how to make the process as painless as possible. There is a perfectly nice post by "her" on the best way of going about the process in Chicago. Thank you to "her" for providing me with some very valuable information. Then I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section. And what did I find? A lot of a$$holes commenting on the fact that married people change their name at all. "Her" specifically asked for further comments about tips for changing one's name, but 95% of the comments were self-righteous vaginafaces shouting "Don't change it," and then some "feminist" blah blah blah.
First things first, I should have never scrolled down. I know better. I know that even though the Internet is a delightful place, people think it is the perfect place to let their jerk flag fly. A sure way to ruin any benefit I get from an article is by reading the comments at the bottom. But in this case, I was actually looking for some extra tid bits about changing my name and instead I got b*tchery. Shame on me for scrolling down.
And on to that b*tchery. Most of the comments assumed that I was changing my last name because Sean is making me. Lets be fair, if you're entering a marriage with someone who can make you do anything like that against your will, you've an entire set of other problems that have nothing to do with last names. To be honest, I find it insulting that some people completely disregard a decision that I myself found to be a very difficult one. I love my family name. My name has a great ring to it. I like the way it sounds. And so forever ago, pre and early Sean, I was convinced that I would never change it. As the years went by, however, I became less militant. I hadn't changed my mind, exactly, but I was willing to consider the option of a new last name. And then I really spent time with Sean's family. I went to holiday parties and weddings with them. I had conversations with his multitude of aunts and uncles and joked around with his plethora of cousins. And I found that I not only like them, I love them. They're great people. I discovered that the potential new last name took on a pleasant ring when said with Chelsea. And it's because I was adding people to my family quiver that are awesome. I finally found my decision. I am going to change my last name. I want to have my last name reflect my love for my new family. I'm not getting rid of my other names. I will now have two middle names. I love my parents and my siblings. Obviously. And I could never lose that name. My name is just growing, just like my family is. And it was a hard decision. It is not a decision that should be dismissed or criticized. It was a well thought out decision. I'm proud of it.
Thanks for listening.
soon-to-be Chelsea C.I. Kelley