Sometimes there are things in life that we have always just assumed we’d do, but never realized the way it would feel until it happened. Thursday was a day like that for me. After 30 years of being Alexis Pollak, I went to the social security office and changed my name officially to Alexis Pollak Hauptman, taking my husband’s last name.
I’d always liked the idea of taking my husband’s name, and not only because Pollak is always misspelled and harder than you’d think to pronounce. I also liked the idea of having the same last name as my partner and being a little family unit of two (three if you count our furry, four-legged child). But when it actually came time to sign the document at the downtown social security office, I felt a little pang of sadness along with all my excitement.
It’s a funny thing to give up a name that’s been with you for as long as you’ve existed. That’s the name I grew up with and built a career with, and with a few strokes of the pen, it would change. (And on that note, they really don’t care at all what you’re changing your name to over there at the Social Security office. Like you could really just walk out of there named Rainbow Diamond Princess if you want. Which I am sure has already been done). But it also felt so exciting. That moment really made me feel like I was married. It was an exhilarating feeling to commit to someone so much that you take their name. It also helps to be married to someone that didn’t ever take that commitment for granted. Jacob never asked that I change my name and would have supported me if I had not wanted to. And he was also incredibly excited and flattered when I did.
To celebrate the name change, we made German food that night in honor of the namesake. As it turns out, there’s quite a bit of German fare that’s extremely dia-friendly. We made a red cabbage dish and bratwurst that are both super low-carb (although we did cook spaetzel as well, which is essentially a pasta-like side dish that is loaded with carbs – I kept my serving small). It was all absolutely delicious and a fun way to celebrate.
While I was surprised that I had mixed feelings when I had assumed it would be easy, by the end of the night I was reminded that it doesn’t feel like you’re losing anything at all when you gain so much in return. And as an added bonus, I’ve moved way up on the list of alphabetical order!