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  • What’s My Name?

    Oh na na. What’s my name?
    Oh na na. What’s my name?

    Having an identity crisis in Maui.
    Unflattering camera angle by Mr. Knight. Thanks hubs!

    Today I was driving to work and heard Rihanna’s song, What’s My Name?, and it got me thinking about the whole name change game newly married women must endure (if they choose to take their husband’s last name). On a side note, I totally believe all newly minted husbands should have to change their name too, so they have to go through the struggles at the DMV (located in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in Gainesville) and the Social Security office. I still don’t think Mr. Knight quite understands my plight.


    When Mr. Knight and I were married 8 months ago, I became a Knight, but I didn’t completely drop my maiden name, Gator. Can you follow my “Knight/Gator” code for our real last names?

    I wasn’t always a Gator. I became a Gator on my 11th birthday. I will never forget that day (mostly because I was really sick). The local judge who ‘officially’ changed my name even had the same first name as me!

    I was so excited to became a Gator that I used to practice writing my new name the whole year leading up to the name change. My 5th grade teacher was pretty cool with me signing my homework with my new last name. She’s awesome. Clearly.

    For me, Gator is who I am. In college, my professors often called me by my last name. So, you can imagine I’ve been going through quite the identity crisis these past few months with the new last name of Knight.

    I feel like I waited so long to become a Gator (and was so proud to finally be one), that I couldn’t just drop the name completely when I married Mr. Knight. Instead, I chose to drop my middle name and replace it with my maiden name. Doing this makes it easy for past employers, colleagues, and friends to still find me via Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and I still get to hold on to the Gator name that means so much to me.

    That’s not to say that I don’t love being a Knight. I love that we have a family name and I can now order a wreath hanger with our last name on it (I know, lame… but I’ve always wanted one of those!), among many other reasons. I love it when Mr. Knight follows me around the house calling me Mrs. Knight. He’s too funny.

    What I don’t love… completely? Learning how to write my new name. I often catch myself ending e-mails with my old last name, signing my maiden name when I sign receipts. Even introducing myself, it is hard to say Knight, since I’ve said Gator for so many years. Others have had difficulty adjusting to my new name.

    So, even almost 9 months later after the name change, I’m still having some difficulty with the acceptance of my new name. I now prefer to be called by my full name (middle name and all), which confuses people like crazy when they introduce me to someone, and my super long e-mail address makes Mr. Knight crazy, too. But, I’m cool with it. I think 10 years down the road it will be weird to have never not been Mrs. Knight (double negative… yeah, I didn’t learn anything in English class).

    If you decided to change your last name, did you have a bit of an identity crisis during the transition? Did you choose to keep a remnant of your maiden name? If you didn’t change your last name, did you still run into problems?