Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to spell my name

My first name always gets massacred. Francis. Franzen. Princess. Pansit. My last name is pretty simple but it's spelled as Salas, Sanchez and Sally. I'm exasperated but I'm used to it because I grew up with people wondering about my maiden name, too, which is Amper. Amper is not so common so people turn it into Amber, Ampere, Unfair. So I'm quite used to people not remembering my name. Then there are also a lot of people who can't forget my name because apparently it's unusual.

Frances Amper.

I think it's a pretty name. An intelligent name. I love my former name. I love it so much that when I got married, I didn't change my name. My husband is Vince Sales and his wife—me—is Frances Amper.

I also married at 30 and have built a career with that name so I didn't want to change my name. But on our first anniversary, Vince said he'd like for us to share the same last name. So, because I promised to love and obey, I changed my name to Frances Sales.

I use Frances Amper Sales professionally. Because of that, I guess that's why people address correspondence to me as such: "To Ms. Frances Amper-Sales."

My last name is just Sales. It isn't hyphenated. When you hyphenate a last name, that means you use the whole thing, so if we must be formal, I'd be addressed as "Ms. Amper-Sales." On invitations and letters addressed to us as a couple, the correct address is "To Vince Sales and Frances Amper-Sales." But my last name isn't Amper-Sales. It's just Sales. No hyphen. So you can write on the envelope, "To Vince and Frances Sales."
This is correct because Amper is my middle name.
This is incorrect because my last name isn't Amper-Sales.
Frances Sales.

In normal, ordinary life, that's the name I use. When I introduce myself to my kids' friends, teachers, to my husband's friends, I'm Frances Sales. In the last couple of years, I've dropped my maiden name, however. I now just tell people—whether I work with them or not—to address me as Frances Sales. It's simpler.

I like my name now because it rhymes. Someone even asked me if that was a stage name I invented. Haha, it's my real name, folks. I really married a Mr. Sales and I married him for love not because I wanted a name that rhymed.

Was it difficult for me to become a Ms. Sales, to let go of my father's name and take on my husband's name? Well, in the beginning, yes. I'm attached to Amper. I mean, I've been attached to it all my life! But I like that I changed my name. Here are my reasons:
  1. To my surprise, I actually loved that my new name made me feel like I am one with my husband. We're a team. That's what married life is all about!
  2. I liked how symbolic it was to drop my maiden name—it didn't just usher in a new life as a married woman; it also reminded me that I was leaving my family. By changing my name, I felt like life was going to be better because I'm a new person now. I have a new name! 
  3. When the children came, I was happy I shared their last name. We were all the same, in the same team, one family unit. My new name told my kids that I belong to their papa, I belong to them, and that they all belong to me. 
  4. I actually like that my name rhymes!
How about you? Did you keep your maiden name? Did you take your husband's name? Do you like your married name? Did life change when you changed your name? Tell me! I'd like to know!

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  1. Hi, Frances! I went from being an ordinary Patricia de Castro to a not-so-ordinary Patricia Cuyugan. I never experienced having my name massacred until I got married. I find it weird that I now have to spell out my name every time I order food lol.

    I had no issues with changing my de Castro to Cuyugan, though. Only girl na nga ako in our family of three, iba pa surname ko? Haha. Sobrang left out. I would not have had it that way.

    I love what you said about how nice it is sharing a name with your husband and kids. MrC and I had been together for 12 years already before we got married, and by then our son was already five years old. It felt so nice finally changing my name to one that matched theirs. It was as if I finally belonged to the group for real.

  2. I also dropped my maiden surname as requested by my husband. Pwede rin naman akong mag-hyphenate kaso my surname will be too long na. And I heard medyo hassle if hyphenated when it comes to documents eh I'm allergic to hassle.

    Kaso I sometimes wish I hyphenated because I'm a lawyer and I had to change my name din sa Roll of Attorneys. Di na tuloy magkatabi names namin ng father attorney ko. Oh well. :)

  3. P.S. I didn't change my signature though. Yun na lang concession ko to my ol' maiden identity hehe.

  4. I also married at 30 and had my maiden name for the longest time. During the first three years of marriage, I hyphenated both last names, just so people will recognise me. I'm going from a not-so-common maiden name to a totally common married name (as you can see) so the hyphen was important. After three years, I got tired of the hyphen and started just using my husband's last name. I loved that for the same reasons as your numbers 1 and 2. We don't have children so I guess it's just me, my husband and our beloved rabbit in our Team Santos :) Like the comment above, I also didn't change my signature -- too much of a hassle!

  5. I'm still single so I haven't changed my last name yet, but I can totally relate with your first name being massacred. My name's Russelle Anne, so they usually spell it as Russell, Russel, Rusel. Super iba-iba! I hate it pa naman when they misspell my name, especially when replying to emails at work. I'll be like, "I took time reading your name so I don't have to spell it incorrectly, why can you do the same??"

    BTW, reading from the comments, I just learned now that you don't have to change your signature pala when you change your last name. I didn't know that! :)

  6. funny pero ang first person na nagkakamali to spell my name correctly is my own nanay. She usually call me nene because i'm the youngest in the family.

    about sa hyphenated, ganun pala. it's my first time to focus sa topic na ito and it's very interesting. I agree name is big deal.

  7. Hi, Mommy Frances!
    I can totally relate! My first name is Fides. Latin for "faith". When I was a kid, I hated it so much that I'd imagine I was a "Christine" or an "Elizabeth" or a "Francesca". But as I grew older, I realized I loved it's uniqueness. What I hated though, was the way people murder its spelling or pronunciation. When calling for food delivery or other transactions over the phone, I automatically spell it out. I have memorized the nautical alphabet phonics as well, because of an incident a couple of years back, when I called for pizza delivery. I didn't memorize the nautical phonics yet, so I spelled out my nickname using common American names. DES. David Esther Sam. And guess what? When the delivery guy came, he had to stay an hour in the building lobby because they were looking for a "David Esther Sam". Hahaha!
    When I got married, same thing. I hung onto my maiden name because I didn't like my husband's last name. Salayo. (People also murder it sometimes, and even tease me, "Hindi 'sa-lapit'?") Inside my head, a dialogue would start: "But his mom is separated from his dad anyway. He passed away already. Why can't it be 'CaƱizares' (his mom's maiden name) instead? Why can't we use that instead?" And I would still grab the opportunity to attach my maiden name, Quimpo, to Salayo. And that is true until now. Hehe. I still have to let it go. :) -T. Des


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