What’s in a name?

I started using my maiden name back in December when I started doing comedy and I have loved it. It feels natural, much more natural than Mike’s last name. It’s not like I have anything against Hickey, I just love Mona Concepcion much much much more.

I changed my name almost seven years ago when I got married. I did because I thought it was one of the things you do when you get married. Marriage is joining two people who love each other very much, or as I tell anyone who asks me how I met my ancient husband, marriage is what happens when a nice American man brings you to this country. I also say that I only knew three phrases: Hi! My name is Mona! I swallow! I love you!

After I went through the arduous process of filling out paperwork and standing in line at the Social Security office, I met women who had kept their names or had changed only their middle names and wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought changing your name was just one of the things you just do when you get married and I did it and was happy at the time. It was nice to have Mike’s name and to share the name with my kids. It’s my business name, like how I use Ramona at work, but not anywhere else. It has helped compartmentalize my life, when I hear Hickey, I know I am at work, I am not telling my old man love jokes in front of a room full of strangers.

But now that I have to use my name so publicly, announce it whenever I get on stage or offer it up when I am fortunate enough to be booked on a show, I prefer the name I was born with, the name that says, I am Chamorro. I am from Saipan. I am the world’s only female Chamorro comic. I am not a mark your junior high school boyfriend leaves on your neck.

I’ve been thinking, should I legally change it back? I would imagine it would be more difficult as I am not getting divorced, I just am really missing my maiden name, real name. When I changed my name at the Social Security office, I had my marriage certificate to show this huge life change. I just have a few posters, flyers and facebook invites to comedy shows. Come on, federal government, isn’t that enough?

I haven’t decided what to do, but if you ever meet me outside of my work, I will gladly say, “Hi, I’m Mona Concepcion. Nice to meet you.”

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Comments

  1. If you didn’t have kids, the answer to that question would be much easier. But I think, as your kids are small and go through school, it’s nice to have the same last name that they do.

    Can you change your name to Mona MiddleName Conception Hickey? Not even a hyphen, but just add it back in there as a second last name?

    Anyway, using your maiden name as your stage name is very cool. The way Beyonce uses Sasha Fierce cool. πŸ™‚

  2. Honestly, when you changed your name on fb, my first thought was “Oh no, did something happen with her and Mike?” Now it makes more sense. I think there is a pretty long procedure to change your name back especially if you aren’t getting a divorce. Just be like the famous people. You have your legal name you sign to documents, but everywhere else you’re Mona Concepcion. People will call you whatever you tell them to. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Trina! I knew that would happen, just because that’s what I would think, too. I think I’ll stick with it the way it is, legally one way, ILLEGALLY the other πŸ™‚

  3. I am curious to see how you handle this as I write under a pen name, and have a whole host of issues. Like, when you tell people you are a comedienne, how do you handle that awkward, “but if you’re looking for a show, it’s under this slightly different name than what you are used to”?

  4. Did you keep Concepcion as your middle name?
    Deece recently posted..Run!

  5. I miss my maiden name too. I debated for a long time whether to change it or not, and finally decided (because my mom got me a recipe box with my name on it!) to change it. I thought it would feel nice. And it does, to be able to just use one last name when referring to us, or whatever. But I still miss my maiden name. (I have heard in some states that to change it back you need a court date and everything). My small reminder is that I still sign my maiden name, but the letters are close enough and my signature scrawly enough that most people can’t tell.
    willikat recently posted..Six Years

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