This past winter my boyfriend of five years and I officially tied the knot. Kisses were shared, toasts were made, bubbles were blown, but one thing left us puzzled: Now that we were married…who were we?
Amanda Zhane and Ethan Grey used to be two single people in cut-off jeans taking pickle back shots at North Carolina’s hottest BBQ joint. Now we were two married people who wanted to start a family, and we wanted every member of that family to have the same last name.
I suggested hyphenating but Ethan hated that because my last name, Zhane, has one more letter than his name, Grey. In his words, “Our child will love you more because your name takes up more space than mine.” I couldn’t argue with reason.
Ethan then suggested using all the letters of our last names to create an entirely new name, which I found appalling. All of the letters? Including the vowels A and E? Was he crazy? If the vowels A or E were anywhere in their last names, our children would feel as if they had to choose between us, Amanda and Ethan. I, for one, was not going to be responsible for our children’s therapy sessions because we left two stinking, emotionally fueled vowels in their last name. That settled it; the vowels A and E were out! However A&E, the television network, was very much in; we love Duck Dynasty!
We were committed to creating a new last name in the fairest way possible: remove all the vowels, take the same amount of consonants from our former last names, and string them together. Ét voila: Ghrzny!
We’ve monogramed pillows, towels, and golf polos with our new last name and we couldn’t be happier.
Who cares that our parents hate it or that I’ve been made to repeat myself countless times in conversation or that Facebook doesn’t recognize those letters grouped in that way? What matters is that neither of us let the other one win and that’s marriage!
Goodbye Amanda Zhane, resident dart champion and tornado watcher, and hello Amanda Ghrzny, happy compromiser!