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Does that mean Sauron was full of love? >-)

Congrats to a couple friends getting engaged. But "do we need a ring?" made me reflect on the extremes of my vicarious experience:

Friends 1&2: married at the shockingly early (for my social circle) age of 22, still together 14 years later, despite much military-imposed separation. Eloped to the LA courthouse with negative fanfare ("Oh, uh, we got married"); I don't know if there even is a ring.

College semi-friends: spent about a year on wedding preparations, down to having bridesmaids make their dresses by hand. Divorced badly 8 months after the wedding.

Huh, for that matter, I'm not sure my parents had any rings (well, wedding rings; I know my mother wore a non-standard ring or two), and they did the courthouse thing, and were together for... well, I don't know when they got married vs. living together, but let's say 35 years on the low end.

I figure exactly one LJ friend will grok my choice of userpic.



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
My parents didn't have engagement rings, just wedding rings. They said it was a cultural thing: they didn't know anyone who bought engagement rings until they moved to North America.
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
Didn't realize they were both immigrants to Canada.
Dec. 1st, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks thanks! :)

We'll figure out the ring situation -- probably by ordering something handmade and awesome from Etsy?

(can you explain the choice of userpic to the uninitiated?)
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm reminded below of the name change question; will Lindsey?

I think my mother changed names, but also that it was the default back then. Didn't actually use it much, which made "Could I talk to Mrs. Sullivan?" a clue that the phone call was junk.

Explain... probably not easily. It's of Enki, a kirin from the anime Twelve Kingdoms (or Juuni Kokki), and the kirin of this world are divine unicorns who point out the god-chosen person who will be king or emperor until they screw up. When the ruler screws up, the kirin gets sick, and likely dies, followed by the king. The kirin are creatures of mercy and compassion, tempering the king. The rulers don't have children after their elevation, with the whole people being their metaphorical children. So the kirin and emperor can be viewed as married in a way, especially if your tastes run that way, and I know people whose tastes do.

Oh, it helps that the kirin can change to a human form. [eta: E.g. in canis-m's pic, the blond boy is Enki, hitting his emperor.]

Basically it was "I'm talking about marriage, do any of my userpics qualify with a stretch, maybe Zefiris, oh no, kirin are a no-brainer! For me and canis, anyway."

Edited at 2010-12-01 08:39 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure her last name is staying constant. Probably mine too, although I like the idea of adding a middle name...

Ben Collins-Sussman, open-source Googler extraordinaire, has a great blog post about the experience of changing his name from "Sussman" to "Collins-Sussman". In his experience, it's much harder for dudes to change names when they get married!
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
Nope, wasn't planning to change my name!

Yeah, I think we'll be closer to the "elope to LA" end of the spectrum than the "spend a year making gowns by hand" end, but we'll see.
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
We were all living in Pasadena at the time, so "elope to LA" represents truly least effort. Not sure why Pasadena courthouse didn't suffice... then again, I got called to jury duty in LA itself from Pasadena (federal court? don't know).
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
It was Pasadena courthouse (fit in between traffic court no less)! But you had to go to LA for the marriage certificate.
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
the weirdest thing about the last name question is figuring out what you do with the kids if you both keep your original last names... 'cause it's not necessarily fair to give the kids a double last name, and it's not that nice to name them after one parent and leave the other parent feeling like the odd one out of the family. Plus some similarity in names is handy when you go to pick up the kids from day care. You could take one kid each, but then that sort of splits the kids apart awkwardly, and sorta implicitly assigns favorite parents. You could name the kids after one parent, and hyphenate the odd parent's name... but what if no one wants to be hyphenated?

I always planned to take the guy's name when I was younger, but more recently I get stuck on the fact that 'Task' is a frickin' awesome last name, and "Dr. Task" sounds like a mad-science villian... so I'm not giving that up, at least professionally. I've got no attachment to my middle name though, so I might change that. Still have no idea how one resolves the kid thing.
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
In the high-repro-tech future, all children will be commissioned by one parent, with additional genes, resolving all problems!

Well, maybe not. Anyway, yeah, I can see the "mommy doesn't have kiddie's name" problem, though it can't be a huge problem given how many people don't change. And there are whole cultures without a name-change tradition. (Vs. Japan, which requires a name change, though it can go either way; usually to the male, but sometimes the man changes to preserve the female family name.)

I think I've heard of splitting kids, but imagine it's not common. G&S just gave G's last name, though S's last name is a middle name for all the kids -- apparently two middle names is common where he grew up. And the youngest is Chilean as well as American, so can get the Spanish both-parents-name version.

S didn't take G's name, if that wasn't clear. "Ugh! No one can spell that!"

Another option is changing both people to a third name, possibly melded out of the ingoing names. Like hyphenation, but with a control on length.

If you have lots of kids, they can be the Task Force! Like I thought your first e-mail to me was from. :)

Also see mlc23 below about not having trouble with her kid.

Edited at 2010-12-01 11:34 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
Oops, I missed this when I answered below. Seriously though I have had zero problems in 14 years of marriage (4 with a kid). I have even done international travel with just me and my kid and we have different last names. I have never even been asked for a birth certificate or one of those notarized "parental rights" letters even though I travel with both. I've heard Mexico is strict but birth certificate + passport solves all.

In doctor's offices/daycares/etc. I have never even gotten a double glance - blended families are common enough that a hodge-podge of names within a family doesn't faze anyone.
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Enki never got a ring, and they're still going after 500 years, you mean? XD;
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking of the king-kirin-marriage analogy in general but yes, and you're the person I anticipated, and well done on your own userpic choice, well done indeed.
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Friend #1 says - No there are no rings at all. And no name change of course either.
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thx. And I forgot about that issue, as above. These days I'm shocked whenever a woman I know does change her name on marriage, even though it's happened with some frequency.
Dec. 1st, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know very few women who keep their names so it doesn't shock me anymore - although I'm always a bit surprised when the bride is aged 30+ with a professional career of her own.

What does surprise me is that women changing their names feel like they have to give all kinds of lame excuses. Everything from: "I don't like the sound of my maiden name" (then why not change it earlier or something specifically chosen) to "It makes it easier with kids or to handle paperwork." (I have had zero problems in 14 years and I suspect my need to act as a single parent or on my husband's behalf is far greater than most). I don't have a problem with wanting to be traditional, but just say "I want to be traditional."

The question of naming kids requires discussion if you have two different last names. I chose to go with the father/husband last name because it seems a good way to indicate parentage: people are going to assume any child with me is biologically mine, but the fatherhood situation can be a lot more varied. My own vanity perhaps, but since my child was the product of a 10 year marriage when he was born I wanted that reflected in his name and for people to automatically assume the child was biologically his. My husband had no preference and would not have cared either way.

I do wonder about how marital name changes impact one's own identity and others' perceptions. I have been told one more than one occasion by people that they simultaneously think we have one of the best marriages they know (and we do :) ) and yet still think of us as two individuals rather than "a couple" or "family." Some might be insulted by that last bit but I find it a huge compliment.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Honestly, I'd really like to be traditional, but I had the poor sense to fall in love with a guy whose last name sounds *terrible* with my first. Just, flatly, unequivocally, unacceptably bad. And he might consider shifting, but mine last name sounds just terrible with his. So non-traditional it is....
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
along some third vector of insanity..
Mark and I are working hard to keep the average ring/couple rate up.

We got each other slightly ambiguous pre-ring rings before I started at Purdue (well, his a couple weeks after). Claddaugh rings that we wear with the appropriate alignment. Alex has apparently termed them 'meta-rings', which is utterly brilliant and apt. We called them 'practice rings', like training wheels on a bike :-).

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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