the loomers!

As many of you probably know, Alex took my last name when we got married.

The night we decided to get married we were in the pinkish dark up on the top deck of my families beach rental soaking in the warm salty air of the NC coast. Our hearts were all jittery with the commitment we had just decided on, and that is when Alex told me he would like to take Loomer as a last name. He explained that although he loved his Carmona roots and family, there were already so many of them~ and there were very few Loomers to pass on the name~ so it just felt right to him.
It seemed so novel in that moment and I accepted his offer to take my paternal family name that night. I worried aloud what his Dad might feel about it, and I teased that his man friends might make fun of him. I also knew this was one more notch in some people's minds of me being weird or annoyingly against the grain. In any case I felt honored that I was with a man who suggest such a thing. Maybe a little bit of the feminist in me was gloating too...
I do think it is a shame that each of us has such varied and complex genealogy and ancestors, and it is only the paternal side that gets noted and passed on. My grandparents were Oakley, Westervelt, Francisco, and Loomer. Alex's grandparents were: Powers, McDermand, Carmona, and he doesn't even know his paternal grandmother's maiden name. Anyway, of all these last names, Loomer is what is being passed on.
Aside from it being "weird", there is a practical reason why not to do this. It was VERY difficult to make this legal. It seems wildly sexist to me that it was so hard~ but that is how it is. People look at you like you have three heads. Getting Alex a new social security card was the biggest rigmarole headache... it was ridiculous how nobody knew what to do with him.
And people are always confused about Alex and David being brothers but having different last names. And I still have a nagging feeling that somehow I stole the father to son heritage~ or messed up the rational order of things at the very least.
I know a lot of folks are probably thinking "f-en hippies" while rolling their eyes when we have to explain that he took my name. But a lot of people say "that is really special" too.

It has become normal to me as the years go by but I was reminded of it all when Alex went to the vital records office last week to get Eliseo's birth certificate. Ralph, the man who types up the birth and death certificates for Buncombe county, looked at the form Alex had filled out. In the space reserved for my maiden name on the sheet Alex had written "same". Ralph stared at it for a long time and then cleared his throat. Then he said to Alex, "So uh... did you marry a relative?"

"The Loomers"
(plus honorary member: cousin Gita)
These were created for us by my friend Liz. Aren't they amazing in a slightly creepy (because they look so much like us) but fantastic sort of way??? Each doll is so thoughtfully made with tiny tiny details. Lili has been really enjoying playing with them. Click here to visit Liz's etsy shop where she custom makes these sweet dolls! (although at the moment she is taking a short hiatus while she sells her house and buys a new one)


Adam said...

I like that he took your name. Different is good.

I had some friends in college, Mr. Stanley and Miss Rittenhouse. They are now Mr. and Mrs. Stanhouse. I don't know much about their name-changing adventures, though.

Poor Ralph. That cracked me up.

Lindsey said...

I love that you kept Loomer, Kelc! That line "So uh... did you marry a relative?" Poor Ralph! And those dolls are amazing - looks just like you guys! Hope all is well! Love your blog!

Mandy said...

Ralph's comment made me laugh out loud!
Justin has talked about taking Francisco as his last name for a while now. He is the only St. Onge left, and he has no real attachment to it, and there are not that many Francisco's left to carry on the name.
Isn't it strange how you get judged by your last name? We always get strange looks because the kids have my last name and not Justin's. Hmmmmmm
Anyway, I think it's GREAT!

Kat said...

Oh, this made me smile so!...thanks for sharing. I think about this with regard to my last name. If the miracle of kat-marrying ever occurs, i somewhat ache at the idea that "darling" might be one for the geneological binderbooks. so I might lobby for "him" to take my name, too!

Adam- I think "Rittenly" would have been better than Stanhouse.
Mandy- I know some St. Onges... Idaho, Utah, Boston aree

Caren said...

I love it all (the story and the comments too!) And I so love that you are a Loomer forever! Hugs, C