My Agita: Maiden Voyage

A woman wonders what changing her name will do to her identity.

At my friend’s wedding, my boyfriend asked me if the bride was taking her new husband’s name. She was, and I had mixed feelings about it. I scoffed and made a comment about ownership and Puritanical customs. Tony, my boyfriend, said, “Maybe when we get married, I can take your name.”

My heart soared, and for the first time in my life, I thought a happy ending romance was possible for me. This was a game changer. Read on in Nashville Scene’s Vodka Yonic.


  1. Love this. I have to admit, when you first told me about Tony, his striking, badass name stuck in my head. I imagined Erica Youngblood as a character in one of your stories, like Bonnie Durham. It just sounds tough, intriguing, sharp, sexy. That being said I totally understand the professional and personal attachment to Ciccarone! I found a middle ground by remaining Christy Carew professionally, and changing to Christy Marshall personally. And also I love this essay and can’t wait for more!

  2. Yes to everything you’ve expressed! To be honest, keeping my name after marriage was something I thought very little about: it was easier, in line with my political beliefs, and I like my name. The controversy behind name identity started to rear its head more when I had a child. Does she take my husband’s name? My name? Hyphenation of the two was bound to set her back in the pre-school realm (we’re talking every single letter here). We ended up going the traditional route, and she has Daniel’s surname. And it has dawned on me: they share something that I don’t. I guess I have to one day, probably sooner than I even realize, explain to my daughter why her name is different than mine. And while that’s a conversation I look forward to having, I will not berate someone for addressing me by my husband’s last name. Women have been chattel for so long, our identities wrapped up in the roles we play rather than who we actually are, that in some ways, I feel privileged to even have the choice of whether to keep a name or take another. That being said, we still have work to do! Thanks for writing this beautiful and insightful piece. And I definitely remember ice cream cone pants.

Don't be an idiot.

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