Happy Anniversary to Christie O. Tate and Her Husband

Guess who’s been married for four years straight?

ME! That’s who. Oh and my husband Jeff.

Young love requires strength, fortitude and hydration!


I am celebrating by mulling over my latest obsession: maiden names.

My name is Christie O’Brien Tate. It’s the name I’ve had all my life.  It will always be my name, even though I’m married with two children, and I’m the only one in my household with the last name Tate.  For as long as I can remember, I planned to keep my maiden name.  Long before I read the work of Betty Friedan or Catharine MacKinnon, I knew I wanted my name to stay with me.

To read the rest of this riveting post, full of insights on modern marriage and post-modern feminist trends, click here to see my sage words memorialized over at BlogHer.


39 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary to Christie O. Tate and Her Husband

  1. Yay, you guys! Hope you have a fun anniversary. I had a cool maiden name that I liked but when I married Bruce I just wanted to have everything of his that I could have, as psycho as that sounds, and I had also lived a whole life as Louise Redd and was abandoning a lot of stuff that went along with that name and life. I’m not her any more, less because of getting married than because of other things. Great post and glad to see it on BlogHer!

    • Thank you. Louise Ducote, which is the only name I have ever known for you, seems so perfect for you. And I recognize there are very good arguments for letting go of one’s father’s name.

  2. I changed my name. I went to business school and have an MBA in my maiden name, then I got married and chose to change it. I wasn’t particularly attached to my maiden name, for one, and my husband’s name gave me one less syllable to deal with. I hated every time I had to introduce myself in meetings. It felt like forever getting my name out and however odd this may seem, less business-like when I said it. Like my name was somehow holding me back at the office. Even though I had finally made the jump to a different level at work, I felt like changing my name was a good way to officially cut that tie with the past. In retrospect, having gone to a name with an apostrophe, as you likely know, has its own set of problems.

    I don’t know too many women who keep their maiden name once married (though several took the first name+maiden name+married name option), but it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. The only time it makes me pause is when I’m referring to a couple/family and I’m not sure what to call them. They’re not “The Parkinsons” because the wife has kept her name. I still have no idea what to put on the Christmas card. “Tony Parkinson and April O’Sullivan and family” just seems too formal for friends. Help a girl out. What do you prefer?

    • That’s hilarious. I love all Christmas cards, even ones not addressed to me, so I have no preference. I love that ones that say “Tate Ellis household” or the Ellises or the Ellis Family or the Tate family. And yes, that apostrophe is something else. My mom wanted my first name to be O’Brien for a while. UM, no.

  3. First of all…Congratulations and Happy Anniversary wishes. I love that candid picture from your reception (I’m guessing) and I want to know what you were saying.. You are both gorgeous in it! I changed my name, fully, but I really like my Italian maiden name much better. Maybe I go back? I will have to head over to read your other post at BlogHer.

    • CHange it back or start with a new one that you both like. A mash up of my name and my hubs’ is “Satellite.” We almost went with that. Because we should either both change or both be the same.

      On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Outlaw Mama

  4. Happy Anniversary. Awesome picture. Makes me wonder where Sadie got her adorable bossiness from.

    I wasn’t in love with my maiden name, but it was mine and so I kept it. I was also surprised to find that I am the only mom in my kids’ preschool classes who kept her maiden name. For me, it felt too weird to change my name after 30 plus years. I admit too that I felt like I made a lot of changes when I got married and that one was just a bridge too far.

    And to Jen O – if I did Christmas cards (which every year I say I’m going to do, but never get around to) we’d be the “Maiden Name – Husband Name Family”.

    I don’t take offense though if people call me Mrs. Husband’s Last Name, although I don’t like being Mrs. Husband’s First and Last Name.

    • Ha! I wonder if Jeff thinks my bossiness is adorable. I am sure I was telling him to go do something, like fetch me some water. I was 8 weeks preggo. Yes, a 35-yr-old bride like me is too old to change her stripes like that.

      Who in the world would say Mrs. Your Hubs’ Name and HIs last name? I may address my holiday card that way to see if you notice.

      On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM, Outlaw Mama

  5. Happy Anniversary you darling two people. I changed my name ( and it was a doozy to take Hair ) because I was adopted (not my choice ) by people that choose my name (not my choice ). So this was my first choice. And because I am on the phone all of the time and it is easier to spell and faster, than Forstmann. Efficiency baby!
    Then I changed my professional name from Marina to Mimi. Again, Marina was a name that I didnt want to associate with as I was upset with someone related to me who had that name. My namesake. And my beloved brother, Kurt, was the one who gave me the nickname of Mimi in a childhood sweet love of his baby sister. Love baby!
    I love that you kept Tate. Free will is what it is all about for me. That is the ultimate feminism.

  6. Happy Anniversary you two lovebirds! What a wonderful happy picture you posted 🙂

    I also kept my name, although my husbands name is so much simpler. My real reason was mostly that I was too lazy to do all the paperwork. The other reason was career-related. I use to worry that would cause an issue with the kids but it never once has (we’ve been married 17 years!). I do use his socially, though.

  7. Happy Anniversary! I’ve had so many names because I haven’t been attached to them, and I hated the one I was born with. I’m keeping the one I have now because it’s my 4th, and I’m over those kinds of changes. It’s weird you don’t know more moms who have kept theirs, but it makes me think it’s one more issure that moms can compare themselves on to think they’re doing it wrong instead of it just being a personal choice. COT: I can’t imagine you any other way.

  8. You’re just at the wrong school. 😉 Lots of my friends kept their names. I find few hyphenate. I changed. My maiden name had to be spelled. Every. Letter. Every. Time. For. Everyone. My boy cousins have carried on the name. Even my dad’s mom (my Grandma) advised me to ditch it which I thought was funny. Makes me wonder if she wished she had kept hers. Great post. Beautiful photo. Beautiful bride every day.

      • Probst. The Germans would say “PRO bst” but we Midwestern bumpkins say “praaah pst” with as much Midwestern nasality as you can use. My gram gave up “Jennings” so I think taking “Higgins” seemed like a good move to her. I’ll ask her about it. Fun to get her 89 year old wisdom on this topic.

  9. I was just about to write that I kept my maiden name but then remembered I never actually married! I forget that sometimes. I’m a rebel. Lol

    It seems as if many women hyphenated their names in the 1980s then in the 1990 s and beyond began taking their husbands’ names again.

    I am also surprised by the many women who change their names today. In my field, however, the vast majority keep their maiden names. It makes sense professionally, especially when you publish often.

  10. Great article on Blogher! Happy anniversary and I love that picture. You look so pretty 🙂 It it seems like such a perfect photo of the two of you, caught in a simple moment together.

  11. My husband and I both changed our last names when we married, to a new, different-from-both-last-names last name. We have several friends who blended last names for their kids, so Ms. White and Mr. Number have kids whose last names are Whitumber.

    I wanted the same name as my kids. I don’t like patriarchy or assumptions. And I was a brand naming executive. So wanting the same last name meant we should both ditch our names.

    And I wouldn’t have married a man who wouldn’t do what I did to make our family one whole unit linguistically—change names.

    About half our preschool families and half out elementary school families kept their maiden names. Some hyphenated their kids’ names, some blended. We are the only family with a coined last name. Move here. You’d be in the majority.

  12. Dear Christie & Jeff:
    Happy anniversary! What a great photo 🙂
    Love, Dave & Julia (who kept her last name but doesn’t mind if folks call her Mrs. Dave’sLastName)

  13. Happy belated anniversary! Wonderful post. Great arguments! Good to see your lawyer side is still alive and well. Way to ruffle the feathers. Way to go !!!! COT . . . or CTE ? Hmmmmmmm.

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