The idea to take my wife’s last name when we got married started as a joke at first. We were sitting around sipping wine and talking about last names a few weeks after our engagement, six months after we began dating. My wife Devin’s last name — Desjarlais — is pretty amazing. It rhymes with Chevrolet and is French and full of tradition. My last name was Smith … rhymes with, I don’t know, fifth?
Devin never pushed the idea, but it was important to me. Once I considered it, not taking her name was never a realistic option.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that names are something you can decide to keep or take for yourself. People choose nicknames — like Bob or Becky instead of Robert or Rebecca — or new last names because that is something they want to aspire to be. It’s a promise they make to themselves.