What's in a name?
This seems to be a topic that gets brought up a lot, considering I work a lot with my husband and people just automatically assume we share a last name. People who have met me within the past year assume my husband's last name is Brodley, too.
It wasn't really a big issue for us when we talked about it during our engagement period. He asked if I'd take his last name, I said probably not, at least not right now, and he was fine with it. End of discussion.
So since it was such a non-issue for the two people it would actually affect, it seems to still come up regularly in conversation. Especially now that we're expecting our first child.
There were several reasons I kept my maiden name when I got married, and none of them are the "feminist" reason many may assume kept me a Brodley. Aside from never really feeling the need to change my name, like, ever, I had a lot of personal reasons why I wanted to keep the name that I was born with:
1. My husband supported it.
I think if it had raised a huge issue, or he'd been really offended that I didn't want his last name, I would've spent more time considering changing it. But he let me make the decision, he said either way it was up to me, and when I told him I wanted to keep my name he was totally on board. What a guy.
2. It's my identity.
I mean, this one is pretty obvious, but for 30 years before I got married, I was a Brodley. I like the way my name sounds. I respond to it. It is just me. Gaining a different last name wouldn't have changed who I was, per se, but it almost made me feel like I would be giving up a part of myself that I had been for so long.
3. I'm the last Brodley.
This one was the major sentimental reasoning behind my decision. I'm the very last one in my generation of Brodley's to have that last name. There will be no more Brodley's in my family tree. There was something really meaningful to keeping it tied to me. Changing my last name felt like I was throwing away a little piece of history, and that history would be lost forever.
4. It's my business.
Literally. Legally, my business is named Casey Brodley. The government sees Casey Brodley as a corporate entity. My online persona has been Casey Brodley for years. People know my business from my name. If I were to change it, it just felt like it would confuse the situation. I'd either have to keep the business name as is, or change everything and rebrand myself to another name. Not to mention, Brodley is a lot easier to remember how to spell than my husband's last name: Maiuri.
5. I'm lazy.
The thought of spending my day at the Social Security office, DMV, and then spending time changing every piece of personal information just seemed like a huge waste of time and honestly, I just didn't want to do it. Once my husband found out everything I had to do to change my name, he agreed it sounded super annoying. So, why be annoyed when I could just... not do it?
Overall, I'm happy that I've kept my last name. The only person who really is still confused by it is my grandfather, who insists on writing birthday checks made out to "Casey Maiuri" which I can't cash. But other than that, it hasn't really been something I've ever had to defend.
I moreso find myself explaining to strangers why my baby's last name will not be my own. Maybe it will cause confusion moving forward after he's born. Maybe I'll decide that I should share my husband's last name at some point. If/When it makes sense to change it, I certainly will. But I'm also not the first to do this and I won't be the last.