I’m at odds with changing my last name. I think I share the sentiments many a female feels upon the eve of her marriage. Not to get all philosophical or anything, but I am my father’s daughter and would be proud to carry his name for the rest of my life.
There’s a ring to “Nila Do,” eh? I mean, c’mon… There’s a certain cadence, no? (Full disclosure: I had nothing to do with naming me.) I’ve even had a radio deejay tell me my name is better that most deejay names he’s heard. (I’m not sure if that’s more a compliment to my name or a diss to deejay names…). So changing that cadence I’ve been familiar with for nearly three decades has got me all out of sorts.
It’s nothing against my fiance, his family or his surname; I mean, if his last name was “Focker,” “Doody,” or “Sucker,” then that’d be another story. But his last name is cool and innocuous enough, so no issue there. What it is boils down to one thing: It’s as if I’m bidding adieu to my past, to my family and losing all sense of where I came from.
On the professional level, it’s devastating for me to change my byline. I’ve written under this name since I was 19. I didn’t do what my peers did, which was try to add bells and whistles to their names, include a middle initial, make their first name an initial, or something else. I was proud to wear the name Nila Do on my jersey and atop my articles. The argument can be made that I haven’t quite established myself in my career just yet, so a name change isn’t that catastrophic. I mean, it’s not like I’m freakin’ Katherine Graham or Bob Woodward or Anna Quindlen or anything. If anyone can afford a name change in the journalism world, it’s lil’ ol’ me.
So my fiance and I reached a great compromise. I’ll continue writing under my name – Nila Do. But legally, I’ll change my name to reflect his surname, socially I’ll introduce myself to people that way, and all will be well. That’s a hell of a lot better than hyphenating my name (which wasn’t even a consideration, mind you).
Which got me thinking. There are so many individuals who have happily changed their names, not because of marriage, but because of other reasons. It wouldn’t be that bad to change my name, right? I mean, these people did it:
Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson)
Yusaf Islam (Cat Stevens)
Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (Lew Alcindor)
Darth Vader (Anikan Skywalker)
Lt. Lois Einhorn (Ray Finkle)
But I guess if I had the name Smeagol, I’d change it too…