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Belated Sun article on the Dempsey gaffe

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I'll gve you a good "for instance" regarding the name issue. I'm sure it's no secret that I am batsh*t crazy in love with my wife and children. Something that one may not be able to glean from my adventures here at the Hangout is that my soon-to-be nine year old to whom I nearly always refer to as "my son" is actually my stepson. He comments from time to time that he wishes his last name was the same as ours and it hurts me a little. Anytime he brings it up, I remind him that "it's just a name" and how special our relationship is because we picked each other, and anything I can do to make sure he doesn't feel excluded or to minimize the difference. We're living proof that the name has nothing directly to do with the success and well-being of the family.

In my/our case, we really don't have a choice. But what is the harm? If it's "just a name", why is it so threatening to a woman to take on her husband's last name? In my wife's case, it hasn't compromised her self-identity or independence. Having the same name is outwardly symbolic of our cohesive unity.

Scottie, I'm not really that familiar with you and your family, but from my limited experience with you, I have no doubt that you are a great father, whether it's a step child or not. That's really my point...it's the actions of the parent - or spouse - that matters, not the name.

I certainly didn't mean to come off as saying that it's threatening for a woman to take on her husband's name. Although my mom never changed her name, I don't buy into the whole argument that changing a name implies ownership by the man. I feel like my mom honestly thought that her name would have sounded weird if she changed her name, so she didn't. Nothing more than that.

I also had moments when I was much younger when I asked why my parents didn't have the same name, while all my friends' parents did. I obviously can't say for sure, but I truly think that if I really was distraught about it, my mom would have at least not made as big a deal about the fact that she kept her maiden name. Maybe she would have gone ahead and changed it if I really was upset. As it stands, several of my friends call her "Mrs. 'My Father's Name,'" just because that's what they assume her name is, and she doesn't make a big stink about it.

Tony, if I misunderstood you, I apologize. I just gathered from your initial post that you thought that the name change really solidified the family bond, while I feel that it is the love that the parents have for each other and the kid(s) that seal that bond, not a name. In other words, their actions are what make them a family, not their words. That's what I was trying to say there.

Anyway, I personally see no issue with a woman choosing to keep her own name, but I certainly don't have a problem with someone who goes the other way, either. When I think about my girlfriend in any serious terms, I imagine what it would be like for her to have my name. So I certainly don't have a problem with tradition. I just don't think that it's a tradition that must be upheld in order to maintain the harmony and unity of the family.

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