How important is YOUR name?

I guess neither Mex nor I knew how hard it would be to find a job after he returned. Ironically, employment seemed to come much easier before he got his permanent residency. I guess it could be a sign of the economy. Of course I have started to get suspicious because we’ll see a new job posting online for a restaurant and it says to apply in person and he’ll go the very next day and when he walks in they say “sorry, we aren’t hiring.” I don’t know the proper term for my suspicions… it’s not pessimism… I can’t think of the word… not really skeptism either. ugh! whatever the word is it is FRUSTRATING.

I hate the assumption people make about him from his appearance or voice or name. He has told me repeatedly that he wants our kids (when and if we have them… don’t get excited, I’m NOT pregnant!) to have my last name which makes me a little bit sad. We discuss it very seriously because I think his family would think that it was my fault and absolutely horrible to not take on their father’s name. I feel like we would be denying their Mexican heritage and teaching them a very bad lesson in balancing their bi-culturalness from the start. Mex’s arguement is that he doesn’t want people to judge them immediately from seeing their name on paper. That is what he has always dealt with and is feeling it rather painfully now. Of course if they have an American first name like Fred or William (FYI- neither of those are ones we’d consider) instead of Frederico or Guillermo it might balance out the Latin last name.

It makes me ponder why I decided not to change my name. I mostly did it for business reasons but also, out of sheer laziness. The thought of contacting all the places my name is and changing it just exhausted me. Plus, Mex was begging me to keep it. I still don’t fully understand why. I could have done in the “Mexican” way and become combined our names with his name first and my name last so in the US I would have the same name but in Mexico I would have his name. But again, out of laziness I did not. Contrary to what some people may think, my maintaining my last name had absolutely no feminist undertones. I didn’t do it to “maintain my identity as a woman” or anything like that. I have never been much of a traditionalist on marriage as far as dreaming of my wedding day, big family, etc. I always wanted to be married, maybe have kids, be happy, etc, but never focused much time on it. However, as we talk of children this last name thing does become and issue. Luckily we still have plenty of time to discuss it and come to a decision before any kids are on the horizon…

This issue does remind me of why I was going to start the blog in the first place, before this whole visa process turned us upside down. The title is “Minnesota & Mexico mix” and was supposed to be about cross-cultural bumps between the two of us. Names are apparently one large “tope” around our house (that’s a “speedbump” for those of you who don’t remember my irate typings from the road in Mexico).

Anyway, that’s all for the evening. Best of our thoughts and prayers go out to our friends Amber and Alberto as they start this process this upcoming week! We’re thinking of you!


1 Comment

Filed under Immigration

One response to “How important is YOUR name?

  1. well… you can always still change your name … but I like to think each day we make one tiny step of progress toward a society more accepting of the cultural melting pot of our world. I will tell you that kids will add a layer of complexity (when K was a baby, it was not rare that I was asked where he was from… and of course knowing me I had many a smartass reply.) You’ll do what’s best for you and yours — and that’s all that matters. A name may be the initial entry key, but it is the person that makes the impression (look at my two men — very Irish names… very Asian men 🙂 )

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