What’s in a name?

On this day, April 30th, 2015, four years after marrying my husband, I have officially amended the last vestige of my maiden name: my PayPal account.

Did you guys have any idea how difficult it is to change your name on your PayPal? It’s pretty dang difficult. Even when you have a legitimate reason, like a marriage, you have to provide PayPal with a copy of your marriage license and a photo ID showing your new name.

My bank didn’t even require that much paperwork. (Actually, it might have. But it was FOUR YEARS AGO and I don’t remember.)

Suffice to say, I put it off. For almost half a decade. But after PayPal mistakenly sent one too many packages to Justine Blanchard, prompting the mail carrier to refuse to deliver and me to have to take an inconvenient trip to the post office, I finally decided to bite the bullet and just get it over with.

Plus, I had to provide my office with a scan of my marriage license for benefits anyway.

It took over a week to officially process (I’m assuming a real human being has to verify your “proof”?), but as of this morning, Justine Blanchard is no more on any of my accounts.

I feel like this should feel more momentous to me than it does. But, to be perfectly honest, I never felt that much of an emotional attachment to my last name. (Not to be confused with my family — I am quite emotionally attached to them. The name just didn’t represent anything that crucial to me.) I had always planned on changing it when I got married, and I like how Joey and I have become our own, united unit.

In fact, I often feel this weird sense of detachment when I see my maiden name in print. Like, “Oh, yeah…that used to be mine. That used to be me.” Weird, right?

It could be that I was never really one of those people who went by their last name. In college, a handful of friends took to calling me Blanch, and shortly after graduation, a few workmates dubbed me JLB because I used my full name for my byline. But in general, I’ve always been just Justine.

(Side note: Trying saying “Just Justine” ten times fast without spitting. It’s really hard. See also: “This is Justine.” Answering my work phone is a nightmare.)

But anyway. Instead of feeling sad, I actually feel more complete having this last bit of Blanchard officially transitioned over. I can’t believe it took me so long. I guess it has to do with how I feel like I’ve really come in to my own identity in the last couple of years.

It’s nice to know my Amazon orders will also know exactly who I am.

Did you change your name after marriage? How long did it take? Do you have any last traces of your old name hanging around?

2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I have absolutely nothing to contribute about changing my name, BUT I totally empathize with you on picking up the work phone. Try saying “This is Stacy” quickly and clearly. Honesty hour: I usually just let it go to voicemail…

  2. I gave my maiden name (Kent) to my son who is 5 months old now. Blanchard might be a little tough as a first name… It could work as a middle name if you have a boy?

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