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.”