Whatever Happened to Baby Jen?

I’m officially no longer J M—ana.

My brother and I no longer have the same initials. When they called me to pick up my amended passport, it took me a minute to register that it was me they were calling. I was in fact Mrs.XXX. I don’t really like being a Mrs.XXX, I like Ms. Massana. I like the way it rolls off my tongue. Thousands of women disappear every day when they take their husband’s name. I never wanted to be one of them. Alas…

We’ve been married for a while, but I made excuses for oh… a year and a half as to why I couldn’t change my name. First, it was that I needed a new passport so I would need a new picture. To get a new picture I would need a better hairstyle. Then I needed to lose weight before I got a new picture because the old picture was cute and I didn’t want a new ugly picture. Then it was that the US issues new passports with chips. I didn’t want to be chipped.

Now, since I have to register permanently and stop pussy footing around with temporary extensions, I had to bite the bullet. And they just added the data to my old chipless, good pictured passport.

If there were a “von” somewhere in Markus’ name, I might have changed it earlier. A “von Blank” is way cooler than Massana. Otherwise, Massana is way cooler than anything German. Markus claims that the German government frowns upon adding a von where there was never a von to begin with. I say we buck the system and just start telling people our new name. He says no and since he’s the husband and I’m simply chattel, I don’t have a choice, a voice, the option.

Anyway it’s over and done. Should I mourn the loss of Jennifer M—ana or should I celebrate my newfound identity as someone’s wife?

Markus sent me this to help me with my transition.

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17 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Baby Jen?

  1. Oh I found god. She told me that you were supposed to change your name, buddy. yeah, now you’re to be Markus Massana.

  2. I don’t particularily care for my married name but my maiden name wasn’t much better (also German). You just can’t win. Couldn’t you have gone for something fancy and hyphenated?

  3. Hi Christina,

    She tried, but it didn’t fly with me and I threw a hissy fit. Matter of fact is, my last name is FANTASTIC. I wish I could tell you.

    Wait, maybe I can… what do you have to offer to a married man :)?

  4. Hmmm, just noticed you can find out my name with ONE click of a mouse button…

    Oh well…

  5. Jen,

    Thanks for the comment on my blog.

    I have responded and would be interested in your thoughts.

    As for “being glad you are someone’s wife”… how about both being glad to be together rather than one or the other being “the spouse” last name changed or not? 😉

  6. First off – christina, ignore my husband. He’s german, enough said.

    Now, TAOB, I said to “celebrate my new found identity” not in catching a husband. I’m not sure how I feel about being someone’s wife, but it certainly is not in that context. Its not about spouse vs wife. Its about the “me” I know and the new person who is created with this new identity. All my memories, all my dirty deeds, all my acomplishments and failures were with that identity. This new label means i have to start over in a sense. I don’t understand why I must. I resent that it is what is expected. My name means as much to me as any man/husband/father. Why do I have to give mine up for yours?

    I’m totally happy with Sparky. I love him dearly. So do I pay for the honor of his love and affection with my name?

  7. I, too, went from an ugly German last name to another fairly ugly German last name. Never thought I’d do it, but as my last name belonged to my mother’s second husband that I never see anymore, and my husband’s family are so wonderful that I’m pleased to sport their name, it wasn’t such a hard decision. Plus it’s really more complicated than it should be to convince people at airlines and what-not that you’re married if you don’t have the same last name or your marriage certificate. Philistines.

  8. loretta: i dont think your last name is ugly! ( old or new actually but i mean new).. it sounds like dresden. which is nice sounding.

  9. I think all you women out there need to spend less time worring about man stuff, such as making money, last names, and reading, and get back in the kitchen where you belong. Just be happy you have a strong man to take care of your helpless selves. And by the way, Jen, i thought youd like being Mrs. XXX, you loved Vin in that movie.
    -XXX brother in law

  10. hmmmm, sounds like the opportunity to start over and rashly use/abuse the new name. think of the heights you could/will scale in the shockometer with the newly acquired canvas/name. should come with a label; warning trouble ahead.should we womenfolk sully their names enough, i’m certain they would dismiss this archaic custom of relieving us of our names – many the father i’m sure was relieved when the former became the latter.

  11. Vin is 4 me! I would have no problem going by Mrs. Diesel. That would be so cool.

    naja, I can’t do much to the new last name here. I mean, comparatively. Here it’s scandalous to wear a t-shirt with holes in it. Or to wash our car on a sunday.

    Mrs. XXX is a simple hausfrau…hmm… with access to a hot gardener.

  12. Hi Jen, if you were Spanish or married to a Spanish man you wouldn’t have faced this problem of changing your name… We don’t do it, in fact Spanish women have never done such a stupid thing, it’s not our tradition… Why the hell do you have to change your name after marriage? and why don’t men change their names instead? Don’t they get married too? Your family roots are in your name, you get it when you are born… nice or ugly it’s what you get, why to give it up? I don’t understand, it’s silly… Anyway, I’m Spanish so you can not expect much from us, we’re a third-world-country in many aspects 🙂

  13. Anon: SEE! We talked about this last night at dinner. The 2 german men at the table thought it ridiculous that any women would keep her name. the only thing worse was a double name. I felt like I was a piece of cattle, needing to be branded with my owner’s mark. Well, that might be too strong, but i fully agree with you.

    Oh yes, the spanish savage,what else can we expect but modern sensibilities that are age old.

  14. Hi again Jen, I forgot to tell you that your blog is fantastic, I have just discovered it and have to control myself because I would spend hours on it, congrats!!

    By the way, your maiden name was really nice. Tell these 2 german men to F*** off, please

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