Whether I would change my name when I got married had always kind of been on my mind. It’s been on my mind for most of my adult life even before I knew my husband.
Maybe it is because I am so steadfast– inflexible? tomato/tomato — and “Mary Galioto” has always been who I am. It is what I call myself in my head when I do something idiotic: “Mary Galioto, what were you thinking?” It is my identity. I am also one of the last “Galiotos” in our line. It is my heritage. Professionally, as a lawyer, it didn’t make sense to change my name. And I’m also really too lazy and stubborn to go ahead and fill out paperwork.
I grew up in a world of many women keeping their maiden name (I also grew up calling adults by their first names but that is a topic for a different post). My mom kept her maiden name so when friends called her Mrs. Galioto, I’d have to explain we did not share a last name. And that didn’t bother me. And also, please call her “Ann.” I think I was kind of proud.
When I got married, I’m pretty sure I told my husband I would change my name to his last name, “Kennedy.” It wasn’t deal-breakingly important to him so it isn’t like I was tricking him. I wanted to want to because I thought it would make him happy. But I couldn’t do it (which is too bad because my husband’s last name requires no spelling or pronunciation correction).
I explored the possibility of changing my middle name to my maiden last name or hyphenating but it was all too much change and too much name. I have married friends who both took each other’s name in hyphenated form. And I have friends who created their own new last name using a combination of parts of their birth names. But I didn’t want to change my own name and I can’t imagine my husband wanted to either.
I’ve been going by both last names. Our CSA (Honey Brook Organic Farm) has me as “Kennedy” which is massively inconvenient when I inevitably lose my farm-tag and I can’t show my driver’s license to prove who I am because that says “Galioto.” When I was working, I went by “Galioto Kennedy” and Facebook is under the same misconception. My local chapter of the MOMs Club thinks I’m “Kennedy.”
So it might be time to come clean. There’s no reason for me to be lurking around with multiple identities.
My name is MARY GALIOTO. Nice to meet ya.