Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tracy Pumpernickle?

The wedding date is fast approaching. I haven't been focused on the wedding much this past month - and it's crept up on me. I have a few decisions to make... one of them happens to be the name I choose to live with for the rest of my life.

This is the chance to have your say, make a comment, leave your message. I would like anyone out there who is reading this blog (EVERY ONE OF YOU!) to leave your opinion. It will let me know who's actually reading my ramblings...

As you know, my name is Tracy Pepper. That's the name I am known by and the name I've grown up with... but it's more complicated than that. My mother is Brenda Temple and my father is Roger Gagnon. The name on my birth certificate is, "Tracy Lyn Joy Temple Gagnon". My parents were hippies.

So how did I get Pepper? Well my brothers and sisters are all Peppers. My mom married Don Pepper and had 4 children before they split up. I was a love child of the 70's... and my parents never married. So growing up, I was a member of the Pepper household. It was never an issue until I applied for my driver's licence and Social Security Number. Legally I am Tracy Gagnon. Mentally I am Tracy Pepper.

I've had an identity crisis my whole entire life! I've been waiting to get married so that I could start fresh. If I knew I wouldn't marry until the age of 32... I think I would have legally changed it years ago.

So I am about to get married and the time has come to make a decision. I am thinking about keeping my professional name Tracy Pepper - since it's on all of my professional documents and diplomas. So... should I just stay Tracy Pepper??? I can just get it legally changed. Brian won't change his name - I've already asked... "Honey, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?"

Other options are:

Tracy Lyn Joy Nicoll
Tracy Lyn Joy Pepper Nicoll

Tracy Pepper Nicoll has a ring to it. It kinda sounds like "Pumpernickle". Is that too weird?

I just don't know if I can imagine not being Tracy Pepper. All of my friends actually call me Tracy Pepper... never just Tracy. It's a great name. Tracy Nicoll is okay too... but it's not Tracy Pepper. If I go with Tracy Pepper Nicoll, then I can use "Nicoll" for personal stuff but I'd still have "Pepper" for legal and professional stuff.
For those of you who are married... I would like to know.... what's the benefit of changing your name? What are the drawbacks? Does it make the relationship stronger? Is it simply easier for the kids? Do you feel as though you've lost your identity? People who have married more than once change their name each time... what is that like? You're known as one person for 20 some odd years, then another for another 10-15 years, then another... what does that do to one's identity? I have SO many questions!!!!

So I'd like to know what you all think. Pepper... Nicoll... or Pepper Nicoll?


Anonymous said...

Pepper - Nicoll

Tracy said...

Thanks Mel... and why do you think that?? Does it sound better or for practical reasons?

Monica said...

I just tried to post a big response to this but I don't think it worked so here is attempt #2...

Tracy Pumpernickle is a great option -- why not go with just that!? Then you can still be TP! :)

But truly... thoughts on some of your questions. I'm very glad I took on Tim's last name. (Who wouldn't be eager to shed "Vanderkooy" as a last name?) It was a little weird at first to hear my students call me "Mrs. Doherty" -- I would look over my shoulder for my mother-in-law! But then it became very normal after a few months. When I recorded my music, I went with the names I had always had -- Monica Joy -- partly because much of what I had written was long before I had known Tim, and partly because it was easier to say and spell.

As for YOU, my dear, I could easily see you going with Tracy Pepper Nicoll. I could see you keeping Pepper because it is a name you've always identified with, you like it, you use it for business, you've been intending to make it your legal name for years... and to many, you'll always be Tracy Pepper!

And I also think there's a lot of value in taking on the last name of the man you marry. It says "We are a family now. We belong to each other. I am here to stay." I wonder if the girls would see it in the same way...?

All that said, what are you leaning towards?

Tracy said...

I think I may be leaning toward Pepper Nicoll myself. I think it's important for the girls if we all had the same last name. They need that security more than anyone else.

I will always be Tracy Pepper... even though I've never been Tracy Pepper - ironic isn't it?

kat said...

tough question? what's in your heart? i kept mine...well, actually i could use fitt at anytime, but i never bothered to change any i.d. i'm an epp. it's who i am. it's my flemish /german (aka mennonite) background and fitt certainly is not. it's my connection to "home" which seems important to me if i move back to nz for the rest of my life. i gotta keep the epp. ....actually i did want to go for "epp fitt" but think of what it sounds like (epileptic fit)
....however, pepper nicoll has a much nicer ring then my option. i definitely think pepper should be in there somewhere - just taking your husband's name is too pariarchal. now that coment will get people going on either side of the table. hopefully no-one will send me hate mail now. . ...maybe one day when we have kids (or if) then i may use fitt (instead of epp) - if it makes sense at the time. but for now i'm epp all the way.
and, i don't think the name you choose has anything to do with the commitment of the relationship. others disagree, but that's my belief.
p.s. i'm also not a big fan of the hyphen. but i do like tljpn .... and i think somewhere you'll find what feels right and that's what you go with. who cares what opinionated people like me think!?!?

Anonymous said...

Just popping in to say nice site.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, wish you both all the best.