Friday, November 07, 2003

Sometimes It's Hard to Be a Woman
Volume One Point One: Giving my stupid kids a last stupid name.

In addition to having a husband, part of my life-plan is to have 2-3 children (and a few dogs and cats). And my kids are going to need last names. (Unless, of course, they plan upon becoming wildly successful mono-monikered super models [I'm 5'1" - an unlikely event], soccer players [again, I'm 5'1"], or pop stars.) So whose will it be? Mom's or Dad's?

Ehhhh. Now I'm uncomfortable.

I'm not taking my husband's name. He's not taking mine. (To do otherwise, as I explained, would be dishonest to the pursuit of equality in a relationship.) So there goes that "convenience" (chuckle) of having a happy family with the same surname for all. But what of little Timmy and little Sally and little Habib? If they take "Brown" that would would be denying the other parent's contribution. Likewise if they take "HypotheticalDadName" instead of mine.

The yuppie option "Brown-HypotheticalDadName" might be cumbersome, but is it really that awful an alternative to perpetuating patriarchism? And the name Brown is like a pair of black slacks - it goes with everything.

But what happens when Habib Brown-HypotheticalDadName falls in love with and raises children with Dora McCallister-Rosenberg, and Habib and Dora are also progressive, symbolic equality-seeking Americans? Meet Phineas McCallister-Rosenberg-Brown-HypotheticalDadName. Now, the likelihood of this happening is slim. But that's pretty cumbersome. (Note also that by the time I'm a grandma turn of the century names will again be en vogue. My money's on "Horatio" as the 2050's anser to 2000's "Madison." Mark my words.)

If I give my boy(s) Dad's name and my girl(s) Mom's name, that creates artificial alliances. Same if I did the opposite.


Maybe the dude I marry and I can dole out last names in alphabetical order. If I have babies with Harold Agajanian, the first kid gets his name, the second kid mine, and so on. If I have babies with Grover D. Caterwaul, I'll get first dibbs. Like home-ice advantage in the hockey playoffs.

Oh Jesus. That's a terrible idea.

A good idea, on the other hand, would be for you to donate blood. Do it!


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