i put, generally, that i don't care. if a person wants to change his or her name, then they should feel free.
but, for myself, i didn't change my name. i do not belong to my husband. This is the name that i was given, the one i've had all of my life. I like my name and i'm happy with it. It connects me to my unique heritage. I certainly wouldn't ask my husband to change his to mine. And he and i would have had serious differences if he had asked me to change my name to his. (why some women do this, when they would rather keep their own name, is beyond me.)
but, the weirdest thing about this has recently come up (again). i was married in 2002 and i didn't change my name. no one seemed to care until 2003 when i had to get a background check for the child welfare issue if you worked at a certain facility (making sure you're not a sex offender, etc). I sent in the paperwork--filling everything out--and had it sent back to me from a governmental official.
on the letter it said that i hadn't filled out the paperwork properly. First, i didn't give 'former names, nicknames, maiden names or aliases.' and second, i didn't write down every person with whom i'd lived since 1975 and prior to 1976.
But, here is the odd thing. I do not have any former names, nick names, maiden names or aliases. Second, i was born half-way through 1976, so i didn't live with anyone before then (1975). I put this on the application and sent it back. It was rejected four more times until i called the office and explained that i was born in 1976 and that i hadn't changed my name when married.
Recently, i got a new job where i had to fill out this same paperwork. I filled it out as i did before, and ran into the same problem! It was crazy. When i finally called the administrator, he said "look, sweetheart, you just have to tell us what your maiden name is. Obviously you are married, because you listed this R---- man as your husband." And i said, 'yes, i am married to him. if you read the form carefully, you'll notice that we have two different last names. That's because i didn't change my name.' Then he asked "well, why not? i think you're trying to hide something. What are your other names and aliases?' and we went around and around for a while.
He also asked me with whom i lived prior to july 11 1976, which i had listed as my birthday. I told him that prior to that date, i did not live with anyone, unless he wants to count my mother's body as a 'place of residence' and in which case i lived in that residence alone as i was not one of a multiple birth. He continued to harass me for the names of "those who you lived with before 1976" and i finally got fed up and told him that i wasn't alive, and that if he would just read my birth date line, he would figure that out.
Finally, i asked that the form be given to anothe administrator, and finally the information has gone through.
But how weird is that?