She’s a Faulkner, She’s a Robertson

Last Sunday Eric and I had dinner at his parents house. This is always a treat because the MIL, Debbie, makes the best meals, and on Sunday there is always, ALWAYS dessert. Homemade pies, cakes, cobblers, bunts, I love that woman.

But of course with dinner comes dinner conversation. And I’m not sure how, but in this particular conversation, it came up that I am not legally Alison Robertson. Legally, I am still Alison Faulkner. I have not changed my name. They were confused, and I wouldn’t say they were mad, I would just say they didn’t see why I have not proudly taken on my Robertson title.

I gave them my standing excuse, which I shall share with you…

A week before my marriage to the wonderful Eric Robertson, I got a fix-it-ticket of sorts for my over 6 month expired license. Does that make sense? I got pulled over for speeding (barely!) and after positioning some cleavage I was like, “Officer, I’m so embarrassed, my license is kind of expired! Oops!” And he was like, “How expired?” And after tussling my hair I was like, “Oh six months or so! Giggle!” Mind you I was in my pajamas and had just had a bridal shower so the back of my car was filled with lingerie. Oh, and I wasn’t wearing shoes. I don’t know how any of those details contribute, but just so you get the full picture.

The cop thought a while and then said, “Ok, I won’t give you a ticket for speeding, but you have 10 days to renew your license.”

“Oh! Thank you officer!” Wink.

So, the week before I got married, not only did I have to take the Utah Drivers’ License exam, and spend HOURS at the DMV, HOURS, I had to get a new Social Security card because I had no idea where mine was. Apparently you need a SS card to get a new license. Such a process! (Come to think of it, I don’t know where my new one is.)

So the excuse is: I’m not up for spending more time in our fabulous state-run facilities AGAIN so soon after I just had to.

But, I also really really like my last name. Faulkner is so distinguished! It’s who I am. It’s my name! It’s not that Robertson isn’t a good name, or I don’t want to be one. I’m proud to be married to my Robertson. I just really like being a Faulkner too…

My parents never gave me a middle name so I could take my maiden name as my middle name. So technically, I don’t even have to lose the Faulkner. Just become Alison Faulkner Robertson. But it’s not so easy!

And I don’t know why. Growing up I used to daydream about my new last name, Alison Depp, Alison Pitt, Alison Rossdale (yes the lead singer of Bush). They all sounded so fun. But then when it came down to it, after 24 years, I just became really attached to Alison Faulkner.

I won’t go into the whole misogynistic whoopla of the tradition. Or how it was Henry VIII (shocking!??) who ordered that marital births be recorded under the surname of the father. More or less I’m ok with the whole “I’ll change my name so people know I’m yours” thing just because it makes it easier for the kids. But I keep dragging my feet.

Apparently I’m the only Faulkner female who seems to have the problem, because ONE week after Andrea, my sister, was married, she had changed her voice mail to say, “Hi! You’ve reached Andrea Williams!” Traitor.

I’m interested to hear if others have had the same dilemma. You don’t want to insult your in-laws by saying “thanks, but no thanks” and you don’t want to confuse the children, but when it comes right down to it…I still feel like Alison Faulkner. If you google Alison Robertson, my blog doesn’t even come up!

I fully intended on changing my name, and I probably still will. But there you go. Eric’s a doll about it. He knows I’m insane.

But I’ve been thinking about it a lot because my boss asked me yesterday if I had changed my name. And when I said no, he asked if I wasn’t committed. And this made me wonder, is that how people view it? If you don’t take on the team name, you’re not in it to win it?

I’m committed dammit! I’m in it to win! I just also have my future fame and fortune to think about. I’ve already sowed my Alison Faulkner seeds, the harvest is inevitable.

So what have we learned from all of this? Flirting with cops is always a good idea and be careful what you reveal over dinner with the in laws.


Have a fabulous weekend. Don’t get too crazy. AND DON’T FORGET NOVEMBER 10th is on MONDAY…

It’s a big day.


Alison (making her father proud by holding out) Faulkner


  1. JenErik

    Since you asked – I’m happy to share my two bits. Yes I did take Erik’s last name, but I TOTALLY understand how much you DON’T want to sit at that blasted DMV/Social Security office. Don’t worry I had to wait 4 hours to get my new SS card with my “new” married name on it. After walking out of there I was also wondering if it was worth it. I mean come on – the whole getting married thing is just TOO easy for the guy – the girl has to change her name for goodness sake the only thing that seems like it would stay secure and the same. Nope, now we have to change our whole identity. Change it whenever you want. My sister in law never changed hers. Her kids take her husbands last name, she just never did. I will admit though I LOVE being Jenny Nelson (although of course I will always proudly be a RICHARDS – for it is through that name that we are related!) I miss you by the way. Ever come to MN?

  2. cheney cheney bang bang

    It took me two years before I changed my name. I eventually gave in cause it just got too hard having “two” names. But to make myself feel better about it, I gave myself a middle name, as my parents were against girls having middle names (the early eighties were a strange time). It made me feel like I beat the system or something and I would definitely recommend it.

  3. Liz

    You can always legally change your name, but still go by Alison Faulkner for fame purposes. A lot of celebs do that. And a celeb is exactly what you are.

    I got married about a year ago, and I didn’t change my name for a good 6 months. Not because I didn’t want to, but the paper work terrified me. It seemed so confusing. But I found this website where you pay them $30 and they do it all for you. Totally worth it.

    I have never felt attached to my last name, probably because no one in this history of the world can pronounce it, and it doesn’t even necessarily have a great ring to it. Sierer. What could be worse than Sierer you ask?


    My new last name. Impossible to say, but I do love being a white girl with such an exotic last name. And I love my husband, too.

  4. Tim and Sara

    At least your married name (should you decide to go with it) doesn’t leave people scratching their heads when they see it and muttering different words that rhyme with “crotch”.

  5. crystal

    I have always been proud of the Frost name. The Frost family is a great and proud line to come from. Plus, doesn’t Crystal Frost just sound awesome!? There was a Trident gum named after me for crying out loud. So to say the least, I was slightly hesitant to make the big change, but I did it. I gave my middle name, Suzanne the boot to make room for Frost. But I’ll be honest, being the first girl after four brothers, means I’m the only one in my family who isn’t a Frost. In fact, the other day Taylor was talking about how our baby was going to be the first baby on the Frost side that isn’t a Frost…. I started crying. It’s been a hard transition, but totally worth it, and I know it means a lot to my husband.

    It’s nice to be “unified” by our last names, but if you don’t want to make the switch and your husband is on board with it, then I say, do whatever the hell you want to do and screw anyone who says you’re not committed. My aunt remained a Frost after she was married and look where she is now…. Divorced with two kids… ok, ok, bad example, but I think it works out for a lot of people. Good luck!

  6. Sharon

    I had the SAME thing to go through, renew my Dr L then go back 2 weeks later and change it. You’ll get really used to being Alison Robertson. In fact, if someone called me Sharon Green now I wouldn’t know who they were talking to!

  7. naomi

    I kind of feel bad for my dad. His brother’s last name is Oung, his sister got married, so he’s the only Win in the family. So legally, on my residency card, I’m Naomi Martin, and I’ll eventually change my drivers license (for that blasted discount for being married) and my kids will definitely all be Martins, but still..Win is a great name.

  8. jenny

    It took me awhile to get around to that too and it drove Chris nuts! I kind of enjoyed watching him get irritated about it. My sister in law waited at least a year. You’ve got time.

    And Sara you have a good point.

  9. Ryan and Laura

    Alison, I should begin by saying that I found your blog awhile ago and I think you are hilarious. I was an RA your freshman year at BYU in Hinckley Hall. With that being said, it took me almost 2 1/2 years to get around to changing my name legally. In fact, when my son was born he was under my maiden name (oops) and nobody could find me at the hospital because my medical records were still under my maiden name.

    It really only took me so long because I worked too much and all the government offices were closed when I was off work. It is a strange feeling to give up part of yourself, and I know many people who stick with their maiden name, but I like being part of my new fam too 🙂 It’s been almost 4 years now! All in good time- as long as your hubby knows how much you love him.

  10. Samantha

    I think the keeping your maiden name as your middle name is a good idea, or like another reader said, change your name legally if you want and then still use your old one? But that can get confusing, so I like the adding-his-name-on thing.

    When I got married, I was so excited that I changed my name right away. Also, I totally upgraded. My maiden name was German and the way it was spelled was hard to figure out and everyone always got it wrong. My married name is way simpler and it flows better. I had no problem adapting. It’s just a name after all, you’re still a member of your family. I do hear you though, about people thinking you’re not committed if you don’t change your name. That’s how I feel about lots of celebrities, like they keep their maiden name not only b/c of their fame but b/c they’ll probably need it again in a few years. But I don’t think that about you!!

  11. rachel

    I’ve been married for a year and 4 months and I haven’t changed my name yet. Originally it was because we were planning a trip and I didn’t want to change my name on my passport during all the passport madness. I hate when people think I haven’t changed it yet, because I’m not in love or something. People are sort of weird about it. Also, I don’t have a joint bank account yet and people think that is weird too. I will change my name, but I’ve decided I’ll do it after i graduate. For now I’ll leave my married name for the church people, catalogs and my voice mail.

  12. noelle regina

    She’s a Nicolai. She’s a Lybbert.
    technical details.

    in more important news- I MISS YOUR FACE.

  13. Marcus Lane

    hopefully you remember me (taras cousin)but my wife has not changed her name either and we have been married for 6 months now. She gets the same responses that you get too! And apparently it is a process to change….

  14. fraggLe+monkEy+shysteR

    i think i take the cake- i waited 4 years 1 month to change my name. i was attached to both my last name and my california license. it made life slightly more difficult for the bank and the insurance company, but blah, blah, blah. i still keep my california drivers license behind my utah one- and as far as i am concerned my initials are still LC (when i’m feeling generous i add the S…)

  15. Amanda

    The transition from Bruford to Mudrick was pretty much seamless since they're both weird last names. I did get my diploma from BYU in my maiden name since I finished about 95% of BYU without being married. Ben didn't think it was a big deal. I waited about 2 months before I changed my name legally… and man it was a hassle.

    On a side note, I saw a Sprinkles look-alike on a t-shirt in Kids Gap today. I totally thought of you. It's the dark gray shirt:

  16. Matt and Jennae Porter

    I’m still going with my suggestion a while back- just ALISON. No last name!!

    In all seriousness, it was never an issue for me so I don’t have any advice on this. I was happy to trade Tengberg for Porter as the spelling and pronunciation became a cinch.

    Not saying this is the case with you (at all), but yes, when girls don’t take their husbands’ last names others view it as a lack of commitment. Silly, but it must be a culture thing or something.

    On another note, we’ve been in UT for a few days now and I think of you every time we drive by a Maverick gas station!!

  17. JenErik

    Happy Birthday my dear – can’t wait for your birthday post! 🙂 LOVE YOU!

  18. mrs. everything

    just don’t change it. we’ve been talking me changing mine back even.

  19. Chelsea

    its so weird. while your dating you cant help but sign “alder” and then as soon as you tie the knot its just so hard to leave the “lee” behind.
    happy birthday. i hope its supurb!

    chelsea lee alder

  20. Jill

    When we got married, I was in the middle of transferring to a new college and since all my records were under my maiden name, I thought I'd keep it until I was enrolled somewhere else. Then I was busy being a new wife, employee, and student and planned to change it when I graduated. But then I graduated and figured I'd keep my maiden name until I got a "real" job (since all my references only knew me as my maiden name). Then I got a job but no free time. And now? It's been 5 ½ years since I got married and I've yet to change my name.

    I too am not eager to spend hours pouring over paper work and spending my little "free time" at various government offices (where I swear one must first fail an IQ test to qualify for employment.) Plus, my husband's family is a huge mix of His & Hers, adopted kids, and several divorcees; so there doesn't seem to really be one unifying family name anyway. I'll get around to doing it sometime…like maybe when we have kids. Or maybe I'll do it as a 10-year anniversary gift. Or something. We'll see.

  21. Lauren Dyer

    Well, I haven’t taken Shane’s name yet, but I am going to (I’ve been married a year and seven months). And I have a deadline – before this baby is born, so I have 10 weeks. I don’t want to give birth to my son and have them write on his birth certificate Father: Shane Dyer Mother: Lauren Barlow. Although I will always be a Barlow, I am also a Dyer now, and I want it official.

  22. john

    if you’re not going to take Robertson, I will.

  23. jeff

    seriously it’s just a name, which in turn are merely words, which in the end mean absolutely nothing.

    an example of words that don’t mean anything: marriage is between a man and woman.

  24. Alicia

    Hello! I’m a stranger, but we know the same folks. This is an old post but I feel strongly. SO: Don’t rush yourself if you’re not sure! I was unsure but then got married and panicked and changed it. I still use maiden professionally (as I too am famous)but a year and a half in, I still feel grumpy and misunderstood when I’m called by married name, even though it’s legal.

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