One of my fellow mommy board friends posted the following questions the other day on our board:
What was your maiden name?
What is your married name?
Do you hyphenate (sp? you know, this thing - ) and use both last names?
Do you like your married name better/worse/indifferent?
Did you/will you use your maiden name for your kids in some way (middle name etc?)
I swallowed hard and proceeded to reply, knowing full well I would elicit multiple "what the f..." responses.
You see, in Puerto Rico, like in many Latin American countries, people carry two family names (one from the father and one from the mother). To simplify matters, outside of legal documents, one may or may not drop the second of them. And some of us who move to the US and want to continue using both names, tend to hyphenate them so people use them in the right order. To Americans, who only have one last name, this can be highly confusing. I have also noticed that I am in the minority in my group in that I have kept my maiden names.
So in my house, my husband and youngest daughter have one last name. My oldest, who was born and registered in Puerto Rico, carries her father's and mine. And I use both my maiden names, hyphenated so people don't drop one of them. It must be mind boggling for some, but I like it just fine.