1) If I changed my name, it would be different than the kids'. Now, this is common enough nowadays as to not cause too many questions - between multiple marriages and divorces, and the fact that as UUs we tend to be around people who were liberated enough not to change names when they got married, it might cause a bit of confusion, but not shock or dismay. I am, however, not sure if it will bother the -kids-. But if you take my poll, please assume that it's ok with them, and I promise I'll check it with them before I do anything. :) (edited 19Jun05 to verify that yes, the kids are OK with this--we talked last night.)
2) I've used my current name in business for the last 13 years; it's the only name I've ever had at Lilly, and it is a big ol' PITA to change your name at work - you become hard to find in e-mail for people who don't know your new name, and you have to fill out forms for a billion different systems (though it's easier for me now than it would have been when I was at the helpdesk - at one point, I had counted, and had more than 22 separate login accounts!!! S'what happens when you have password change privleges, and provide backup support to every support queue.) Now, it's certainly not not-do-able; just complex.
3) I hesitate to take my dad's name back when he and I don't particularly get along. Is it a slap in my mom's face to take back the name of someone who hurt her that badly?
4) Darnit, if I take my maiden name back I go back to being at the end of the alphabet! :)
1) There is a certain appeal in having a name that is unlinked with another person. Until I changed my name for two marriages, I did think "what's in a name?" But the truth is, one's name DOES have something to do with how one perceives oneself. I know I had personality changes when I changed my name, and I think it contributed to the loss of self-identity I experienced in the early 90's (not the ONLY reason by a long shot; just one more straw on the camel's humph. :) ). You men out there don't have an equivalent experience, and it really -does- give some sort of psychological connotation of "ownership" or of being the person who changes, compromises, does all the giving in a relationship. That sounds too psychobabble-trite to be true, but in my experience there is a subconscious effect that I for one didn't expect before it happened. That's part of why making up a name is tempting. OTOH, making up a name involves a whole lot more explanation than just taking back one's maiden name. And besides, how would one make one up? I mean, I have one I used in the neopagan community - but that one was also linked to the ex, which makes it no different than keeping my current name. If part of the reason to do this is to identify myself unlinked with anyone else, then that name doesn't make sense to take either.
2) In support of taking back my maiden name, "Vachet," despite the fact that I don't get along very well with my dad and grandmother, the family name itself has interesting history. Through my Vachet name, I am descended from French royalty (Charlemaigne among others), as well as William of Orange (the man who freed the Netherlands for religious tolerance); Pierre You, one of the members of LaSalle's 1682 expedition down the Mississippi, who also married a Miami Indian; the first permanent settler in Indiana, and John and Pricilla Alden of the Mayflower. That's all pretty darned cool, and something I could honor, even if some members of my family have been flakes. :)
3) No one can spell or pronounce my maiden name - but no one can spell or pronounce my current name, either. :) However, I -could- (and this is an idea that appeals to me) take my maiden name back but pronounce it with its French pronunciation, "va-SHAY." Since the name has been in the Americas since the late 1600s, it's been Anglicized into "VA-chet." But when Mom named me, she was thinking of how pretty the name would sound if it were pronounced the French way: Suzanne Michelle Vachet. That would be a way of taking the name I was born with and making it mine. Would that be too pretentious?
(Added bonus: Had a distant cousin who changed the pronunciation and it royally ticked off my dad and grandparents. So if I wanted to be pissy, it'd be appropriate. :))
4) In re: hesitating to link with family members who I don't get along with, the advantage is that there are hardly any of them around any more - there weren't that many in the first place - and so it's not like they'll know one way or the other anyway, or that anyone else will know them to link me to them. Besides which, I -like- my aunt. (Though, of course, she doesn't go by her maiden name either. Come to think of it, she might have the longest-lasting marriage I can think of. Given that my uncle's pretty cool himself, I think they've both done well.)
The more I think of it, the more I'm leaning towards that French pronunciation option. Anyone want to chime in an opinion?