Monday, September 19, 2022

Modern Man

By far the most frequently asked question I get by colleagues who find out I recently got married is "So what's your new name now"?. When I tell them they don't need to remember a new one because I kept my "old" one, the general follow-up question is "Oh, so you each kept your surnames?". When I then tell them that Highflyer took on mine, women in general are impressed and many tell me (unprompted) that they wish their husband had done the same for them as they preferred theirs or are not that happy with the hyphenated combination of both. The assumption here is that I had somehow "made him" or "got him to" take on my name. The truth is that he did it entirely voluntarily. I told him right from the beginning that I planned to keep my name, but I would not have had a problem whatsoever if he had kept his. Five of my friends have done that and I always thought it was what I would end up doing as well, assuming that few men would be willing to let go of their name for whatever reason. In Highflyer's case I almost talked him out of it as he definitely had to apply for many more new documents (as for example his pilot's licence) immediately after getting married than I would have had to and I didn't expect him to be keen on all that extra admin. As it is, he didn't complain and stoically bore the shock (!) by his favourite sister who could not wrap her head around this unusual behaviour. 
As it is, I just love that we both have the same name now and appreciate his gesture, but at the same time I find it funny that in this day this is seen as a pretty "revolutionary" thing and a feminist success on my part. In fact I don't know a single person in my circle of friends where the husband took on the wive's surname. I guess we're just a bit different from the average newlyweds anyway by also not sharing the same primary place of residence and I have no intention of giving up or selling my place in Vienna anytime soon.


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