When I was born, my Mom and Dad were together. My Mom was never married to my Dad, but apparently she liked him enough to have 2 children with him (now I am sure you are going to wonder, as do I, how she could like my father enough to have 2 children with him, and not marry him given her propensity to marry). Since my parents were together when I was born, I took my fathers last name on my birth certificate. Well, my parents didn't work things out I guess, because when I was 2 years old...he left. Never to be heard from again (details about this are being released in a future posting).
A few years later, my Mom, who was married twice before I was born, fell in love with an older man and married him. We then took his last name for a while. Well, that marriage didn't last long and needless to say...it didn't work out.
She really feel in love with her next husband. This time it was true love; I mean the kind that last forever. So, we again took our new "dad's" last name. The marriage however, did not last. Now, all things considered-this last name was the name I kept the longest (while the marriage wasn't too terribly long), and it was certainly the most pleasing of the 3 names to read and write. I kept this last name from the time I was in 6th grade until I was married 2 years ago.
When I got married, I changed my last name. And why not...I had no ties to the previous 3 last names I carried. I would say I am a feminist, however since my last name held no family bearing or emotional influence, I easily swapped it out for yet another last name (hopefully my last!). My Mom, married yet again and changed her last name yet another time (you might be wondering how the marriage is doing, given her serial marriage history...well, she is divorced).
My married last name means the most to me since it connotes a real sense of belonging, and allows me access to this exclusive group of wonderful folks (my husband and my in-laws). It also allows me to feel like I am part of something greater than myself. I am one of them, I am an accepted member of the family. It feels good, and permanent!