Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | August 13, 2010

Last Names

I feel terrible about it, but every time I say Alexa’s last name…I shudder a bit.  While it’s a perfectly normal last name in Viet (Peter’s family is from Vietnam), it’s a not so nice word in English.  Think, what does Santa say?  Yeah…that’s her last name.  Best part is, I have to say it at doctors’ offices, then they ALWAYS call me “Mrs. (Peter’s last name)”, ummm noooooooo!

When Peter and I first started dating and joked about marriage, he swore that he would take mine.  I have the superior one by far.  Random people make comments that it’s awesome, ha, a name made for someone bound to be famous (even if they do then make Porn Star remarks afterward).

Well, when I got pregnant and things got “serious” he reneged.  You see, I wanted to give Alexa my last name, though it ended up being her middle name.  I was not happy about this, but it seemed important to Peter for them to share it.  Though, to be honest, why isn’t it just as important to me for her and I to share the very same thing?  Oh it is!  The problem being, I don’t think I could ever be “Mrs. (Peter’s last name)”.

When Alexa’s first birthday was approaching, and we were choosing her Viet middle name (everyone in his family has one) for the Naming Ceremony, we decided that when we finally got it legally added to her Birth Certificate, that we would change her last name to mine.  This is where I’m torn.  We’re not married yet, so there’s no legal reason to change anything for any of us.  If we change it back to mine, then Peter is left the odd man out.  If we leave it be, then I have to make the decision to either take Peter’s last name when we marry (something I really don’t want to do) or be left feeling this way.  Peter has made the promise, again, that he would take mine, though I don’t think he’s happy about it.  He said it would be his wedding gift to me, ha!

My best solution was for us all to choose a completely different name.  Lately I’ve been feeling not to great about my family and all of the added people that I share a name with.  I have some other issues that I’ll blog about at a later date that adds to this (who’s my daddy???).  Also, I’m not opposed to having a Viet last name, it’s just that the one he was born with is going to leave our daughter with a lifetime of stupid nicknames and schoolyard jokes.  Life is hard enough without adding to it with a name that is so easy to poke fun at.  I offered to even have us take his Mother’s maiden name.  I think it would be a nice gesture to keep his family happy (after all, if they do find out that we switched shit up, they’re not going to be pleased, specially if we go and weed all the Asian out, lol).

So, what the hell should I do?  Is it fair to ask anyone to change their last name?  Is it important that I feel good when I announce my daughter’s name to the world?  Am I over thinking this?  BTW hyphenation is so not an option, it would sound REDONKULOUS!



  1. Such a difficult decision to make. I really wanted us all to have the same last name so I changed mine but it wasn’t a name that I hated either.

    I think the mother’s maiden name would be a good compromise. That being said, kids will always find something to tease about and if Alexa goes to a school with other kids with the same last name it might not be such a big deal?

    • I really doubt there will be anyone in her school with the same last name. It’s pretty white here. I’m sure she’ll get made fun of for something, we all did, but I’d like not to be the cause of it :-)

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brenda, Amber. Amber said: New Blog Post: Last Names […]

  3. You could combine your last names, or take on a different last name from one of your families altogether. A teacher I had and her husband thought their last names were bland, so they took on a last name from her family (her grandmother’s maiden name or something of that nature). It took some adjusting for us at school because I had known her as Ms. (maiden name), so when she became Ms. (new chosen name) it took a while to register.

    Anyway, a new last name might be best. Something both of you can agree on that acts neutral territory in a way. It reminds me of people moving in together; sometimes, it’s just easier to choose a new space together than have one person move into an already occupied apartment. Good luck!

    • I really think Peter’s issue is just that, everyone knows him as his last name. And, it’s kinda weird for guys to change their last name when they get married. I do agree with your comparison about moving in together. It’s way easier to find a place together, than it is to move into someone else’s home :-)

  4. I too choose to take my husband’s name for the sake of familial unity, and was neither attached to mine name or disliked his. Ah, riding the waves of apathy… Ha!

    I think it also depends on where you live. Growing up in Texas there were only three race: white, black, and Mexican. Being classified as “white” when you are BROWN is not only aggravating, it won’t even get you out of a speeding ticket. (Yes, I’ve tried :-P) My French-sounding former last name didn’t really help things.

    My point is… and I do have one… if you live an area with a larger Asian community (especially a Vietnamese one), I doubt Alexis’ last name would stand out THAT much. But just be on the safe side, I’d start arming her with some feisty comebacks.

    • Sadly, WE are the Asian community here. While there are areas of NJ that are pretty heavily populated by the yellow, tee hee, we don’t live in those towns. I mean, there are all kinds of people here…but for the most part, it’s white.

      I don’t want to take away her (or Peter’s) “Asianness”, I just don’t want to take that particular last name. Not that his mother’s last name is any easier, no one can freakin’ pronounce it, LOL (though it’s the most popular Viet last name that I can think of).

      I’m not one that’s very good with compromise anyway…dammit why didn’t I just stay with the guy with the last name Lee? HAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. wow, we are in the same boat! my bf is part chinese and we gave our daughter his last name which is VERY similar to your husbands (add an extra ‘o’ at the end!). it too is kind of a silly name, and if we ever got married..i dont really want to take it. i feel strange that my baby doesnt have my last name and even more strange that she has kind of a strange name. but i feel like my bf and his family would be left out if she didnt take his so….idk what to do!

    • WOW that’s crazy! I’m wondering how your guy’s name is pronounce now. Does it rhyme with Wu? Oh we’re so sneaky here

      Next time around, I’m choosing my mate based on last name for sure ha!

      About leaving people out…I guess there’s always going to be someone “left out”. If it’s us, the mothers, who choose to be nice and let their child take the father’s last name, even if we don’t like it for ourselves…or the IL’s that end up feeling kicked to the curb because we wanted to keep our name. I wonder what our kids will think when they grow up and we didn’t like their last name (if it stays the father’s) enough to take it for ourself? Will they be pissed or feel ashamed? OH god, thinking again!

      I’m kinda liking the idea of leaving everyone out and getting a brand new name for us all. Equal opportunity bitch, that’s me, but Peter’s family is used to that from me ;D

  6. Wow, that is a tough one. I think the maiden name is a nice gesture though. I ended up using both mine and Davids last name without the hyphen. People get confused thinking it’s my middle name. Whatev :)

    • People always screw up Alexa’s name even now. They think her middle name is really just part of her last name, so they end up hyphenating it anyway. Errr….opps!

  7. I didn’t take my husband’s last name. I told him we could discuss he was ready to take mine. After all, it’s a lot more awesome. Now the girls do have D’s name. It was important to him and I felt I would be with them more, no one would question my connection to them.

    In your situation, I would either pick a new name for all of you, hyphenate hers and make sure stiles is last, or teach her kickboxing skills early on.

    • It’s not really about a connection to me…I just feel weird for whatever reason. I want to have the same last name dagnabbit, but we can’t seem to even start a decent conversation about getting married these days…so who the fuck knows what name I’ll end up with. HMRPH! If he doesn’t move a little faster I’m just switching it to mine and being done with it.

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