In my third attempt, I was finally able to change my name from Lauren Alexandra Elkies to Lauren Elkies Schram (in my first trip to the social security office I was given misinformation and left with four names -- Lauren Alexandra Elkies Schram). I plan to use my maiden name professionally. I am a journalaist, after all, and my byline goes back many years. My family is weirded out by the change more than I am.
When I told my mother today, she said she loved Alexandra so much, as though I have been really using it. It was just another letter to shove between the scribble of a first name and the scribble of a last name. I am known as Lauren Elkies to the world, not Lauren Alexandra.
She then asked if I had wanted to hyphenate Elkies-Schram. Really, mom? Had I wanted to do that, I would have. Well, "congratulations, Mrs. Schram," she then said.
One of my sisters seemed sad about Alexandra going by the wayside. She now has another acronym to play with. I didn't like what LAE resulted in although I'm not sure that LES is any better.
I can tell my husband is happy about it and I think it makes us more of a unit. It's me being willing to give something up to join him. I think his parents will be happy about it. For a while after we got married, they assumed I changed it.
We'll see how it goes as Mrs. Schram. I have yet to write it or even use it. And once I get my social security card in the mail I still need to change a bunch of documents in order to be Mrs. Schram across the board. But the guy at the social security office said that once the change is made at their office, the new name is official.
So, for the first time since changing it this week, I am boldly writing -- my name is Mrs. Lauren Schram.