My name is Nicole Pauline Calvert. That's the name my parents gave me the night I was born, and that is the one I am sticking with.
When I was a little girl, I always imagined growing up and getting married. I would doodle "Mrs. Nicole Martin" (I was going to marry Ricky Martin, FYI) or "Mrs. Justin Timberlake" all over my notebooks. I would be Mrs. Someone, not Ms. Nicole Calvert. I would get married and I would become someone else...that's just what a nice, Southern girl did.
About 6 months before my wedding, Caleb and I were on our way home from Jackson, driving in the middle of nowhere...and it hit me...I don't want to be Mrs. Caleb Boettcher. I don't even want to be Mrs. Nicole Boettcher. That's not my name.
I'm not really sure why that notion hit me then and there, but I think it was always bubbling somewhere deep inside me. I've always been pretty sure of who I am and my name is my identity. It's who I am...who I will always be. I'm not interested in being someone else. Nicole Pauline Calvert. Me.
And I am a touch of a feminist. Why should I change my name for a man? Why is HIS name more important than mine? Well, it's not.
So I laid this tidbit of info on Caleb. I am lucky in that Caleb is about as easy going and nonchalant as they come. He doesn't care what my name is. Sweet thing actually offered to change his last name. :)
We agreed to both hyphenate our names. But Calvert-Boettcher is crazy long and hard to remember/pronounce. I was open to this for a while. I tried it on for the first few months of our marriage. But it didn't stick. I still introduced myself as Nicole Calvert. I wrote that on all my papers. The new name wasn't cutting it. So it had to go.
Having the same last name doesn't make us any more "married". A shared name might be easier for society to understand, but a name will not change my feelings or our family. Sure, I'm sure our families will be confused. And I will probably be addressed as Mrs.Boettcher the rest of my life. That's ok. I know who I am.
I am Nicole Pauline Calvert and always will be.
PS. I have NO idea what we will do when we have kids. I guess I will cross that bridge when we come to it.