The Name Game

I really like my name. Daniella Joy Beintema. I don’t love when people mispronounce it, but I’ve gotten used to it. I really love my first and middle name, and I hope to pass my middle name onto my future daughter.

My last name, pronounced Ben-Ta-Ma is Dutch. And 9 out of 10 people will pronounce it wrong. They don’t mean to…it’s the whole “i before e” thing that throws people off. I was more than prepared the first day of a new class, to have my name slaughtered. When I was showing I can’t remember how many horse show announcers would attack my name with their midwestern drawl. Even at my college graduation – it.was.a.mess. Lucky, I was so sleep deprived I didn’t even notice. <— That’s a story for another day.

I really do love my last name – it has history, and it’s unique. I’ve never met another person (besides family) with my same last name. I like that. I’ve also hardly ever met a Daniella – even better :) 

In college I watched a documentary titled “The Sweetest Sound.” It’s written and directed by a man named Alan Berliner. Alan decided to conduct and experiment. He searched the globe for any man with the name Alan Berliner and invited them all to a dinner party at his house. Alan felt his name made him unique, but what would someone else with the exact same name be like? He was very surprised to find that many of the men shared comment traits. Jewish. Balding. Mid 40’s. Married. Wonder what another Daniella Beintema would be like?

If you haven’t heard…I’m getting married. Crazycool, yea?! Manfriend’s last name is Murphy. It’s clean, and short, and people know how to spell it! His family name has history too – it’s Irish. 

My attitude about taking my husband’s last name has always been this: If I am established and known within my industry with the last name Beintema, I would keep it. If I was still working toward becoming established, I would take his name. Not very romantic, huh? My bother is the only male left to carry on the last name in our family – no pressure bro! 

I’m proud of my last name because my family is proud of our name. I think you bond over having it misspelled and hacked up. If my Mom hadn’t changed her last name from Christopher to Beintema I might think different. But, she got married and jumped into the Beintema family, setting an example for me. It’s much more common nowadays to retain your Maiden name, or hyphenate your name. Let’s be honest, Daniella Joy Beintema-Murphy is a pretty serious name. 

I also want my future children to be proud of their Murphy last name, just like I’m proud to be a Beintema. My legal name will no longer read “Beintema” after I’m married, but that doesn’t change me. It just changes the logistics.  

So, I’m changing my last name. I’ve already reserved my new email address. And even ICEE the Mini Cooper is getting into the spirit. On Monday Manfriend and I went to AAA and reserved this:

Because every MERFMAN needs his MERFETT.