My daughter asked me an interesting question the other day. On my facebook page, I'm listed as Sarah Miller R.......... She wanted to know why I used my maiden name on facebook, when in real life, it has vanished from my everyday.
For one, respect to Mr. R. When we married, I was 19 years old and had only spent one year on my own. And that was in a dorm room which was paid for by my parents. I really did go from having my parents take care of me, to my husband taking care of me. Yes, I worked, and yes, I was in college, but it was his sweat that put the roof over my head and food in my tummy.
Second, love for Mr. R. I love him. Dearly. Taking his name was something no other girl had done for him. I felt like it united us as a couple. I became a part of him when I chose to add his name to mine.
Third, a disdain for my biological father. Shedding the "Miller" in my life was a huge blessing. He abandoned me as an infant. Flitted in and out of my life as a teenager whenever he saw fit. Sent my wedding invitation back unread. Refused to admit my existence to his other children. Ignored my three children. And told me that he wished I was dead on my 30th birthday, 11 years after I had married Mr. R. My biological donor doesn't deserve to have someone as special as I am to bear his name. It was with a huge thrill that I took that name off my drivers license and added my husband's name. At the DMV, the worker told me I could keep the Miller as my middle name, but I said NO, and chose to use my middle name, which is Rose. Frankly, if I could amend my birth certificate, I probably would. The only reason I use the name on facebook is because I did have that wretched name for 19 years, and many people in my life know me by that name. I don't use it professionally. At work, I am Sarah R........., and that is that. It pleases me greatly. I love being identified as Mr. R's wife.
I didn't intend to post this about feminism. I don't consider myself a feminist, although I do understand certain tenets of it. In fact, before I married, I considered dropping the Miller and just going by Sarah Rose (like it being my last name instead of my middle name.) Happily, I married an awesome guy who was willing to share not only his name with me, but his life. I'm truly blessed.