The idea to take my wife’s last name when we got married started as a joke at first. We were sitting around sipping wine and talking about last names a few weeks after our engagement, six months after we began dating. My wife Devin’s last name—Desjarlais—is pretty amazing. It rhymes with Chevrolet and is French and full of tradition. My last name was Smith … rhymes with, I don’t know, fifth?
Devin never pushed the idea, but it was important to me. Once I considered it, not taking her name was never a realistic option.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that names are something you can decide to keep or take for yourself. People choose nicknames—like Bob or Becky instead of Robert or Rebecca—or new last names because that is something they want to aspire to be. It’s a promise they make to themselves.
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