What’s In A Name?

February 2, 2009 at 9:35 am 10 comments

I have been called many things in my life. Chelsea, Squirt, Chelsea Megan, C-Money, El Presidente, and (if my mom is speaking) Justin or Lindsay. But it’s about time to retire one name. Chelsea Rosenhagen.


To all of you married ladies out there, I’m sure you can relate to this issue. Changing your name after marriage is a difficult thing to get used to. For 22 years, I was Chelsea Rosenhagen. How, all of a sudden, am I Chelsea Hurst? Now, I love my husband dearly and I think it’s a great honor to be able to take his name. But I’m finding out more and more that other people don’t really care to remember that I’ve made this commitment and prefer to call me Chelsea Rosenhagen.


I guess we should have seen this coming. After all, at our wedding, the DJ announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Rosenhagen. (Let’s take a second to acknowledge the fact that this is extremely disrespectful to my man!) I’ve noticed that people at my church have the hardest time with this change. They know my siblings, they know my parents, the know my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Yes I have the same blood (and height!) but I do not have the same name.


Thursday night I was up at the church setting up for an event we were having on Friday. There were a few women there that I had never met. I guess one of them overheard me talking to my mom. She then said, “Hey Chelsea. Is that your mom?” (uh oh, here we go…) I tell her that, yes, that is my mom. “Wait, what’s your mom’s last name?” I hesitate. “Rosenhagen. But that’s not my name.” I could see the wheels in her brain turning, “Yeah, I know. You are Hurst. But, hmm, where does Kurt fall into this?” (Her little brain hamster was at a full sprint now!) “He’s my dad.” I could see her trying to sort through the family tree, placing all of the appropriate branches at the appropriate heights. I quickly thought it was time to add, “But, I’m a Hurst. My name isn’t Rosenhagen. I’m a Hurst.” She sort of laughed it off but I’m about 90% sure she’ll make that mistake in the next few months.


It happens all of the time. People who met me as a Hurst somehow think that just because they know my family, my name has changed back. People who were at my wedding make this mistake regularly. I believe that in marriage, two become one. (Not because it’s a sweet cliche, but because it’s Biblical.) On that day, Stephen and I became the Hursts. We didn’t become Rosenhagen-Hurst and Hurst. We didn’t become Rosenhagen and Hurst. We didn’t even become the Rosenhurstenhagens.


And yes, I know it’s a difficult transition to make. I first experienced this when my friend Rachel got married. And to this day, when I talk about her I call her by her first, maiden, and new last name. And if you ask her, I bet she’s okay with that. She probably calls me Chelsea Rosenhagen Hurst. And I’m okay with that. What do you call me? Look in your cell phone, how is my name saved? My mom and I got a good chuckle on Sunday. I was sitting next to her at church and as we went up to the front for communion, I was kneeling next to her. The man comes to her with the wafer, “This is the body, shed for you Alice.” (I always think that’s a nice touch.) Then he comes to me, “This is the body, shed for you Alice’s daughter.” You know what, I’ll take it! Because I am her daughter. I will always be her daughter. That part did not change on July 28, 2007.


So to the rest of you. I ask that you take the leap. Change my name. Edit your cell phone, your email log, your brain. And if it’s too hard to get used to Hurst, just stick with Chelsea. Or Lindsay’s sister. Or Alice’s daughter. Or Ron’s granddaughter. Or Becky’s niece. Or whatever. To those of you marrieds, you understand. To all of you un-marrieds, you will understand. I will forever be a Hurst, so I think it’s worth your time to get used to the change. (It’s 50% less letters, think about it as being more efficient!)


Wow. Spell-check had a heyday with this post!

Entry filed under: Chelsea, Family, Getting Old, Stephen. Tags: , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. osarah  |  February 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

    To those of you marrieds, you understand. To all of you un-marrieds, you will understand.

    *nod* I love this post. I have had similar issues with the name thing, and something I still find awkward is calling someone when I think they won’t recognize me if I introduce myself with John’s last name. They should, but I have called people before and used my “new” name. Often, I get silence on the other end until I add “used to be Carter.”

  • 2. The Husband  |  February 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks, Babe! I love you a lot and really appreciate what you put up with. I just have to become really popularly loved in the church too so Hurst is hit doubly on with both the men and women. :^D

  • 3. Lindsay  |  February 2, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    1. you are “Sister” in my phone..that will never change.
    2. was Pastor Schultz the one to hand you the wafer? that sounds like something he would say.

  • 4. Jimbo  |  February 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    You will be happy to know that you are “Chelsea Hurst” in my phone. I think that this was a no-big-deal change for me because I never knew you as Chelsea Rosenhagen but as Chelsea…then again, I think that James and I referred to you and Stephen as one unit (the Hurstenhagens) for the entire time we all lived in the same town. It’s kind of fun to have only known two people when they were together…

  • 5. Stefanie  |  February 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    At Gloria Dei i think me and Whitney will be forever Wood. even though she has been married for 8 years and me for 3 years. i just keep politely correcting people with a smile and a chuckle..haha

  • 6. Mom  |  February 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    maybe I will just put “Chelsea, Alice’s daughter” in my cell phone and email. I love that idea! It made me smile sooo big on Sunday when Pastor Scholz said that! (Although I love your new name also…much easier than ROSENHAGEN!) I hate to tell you this but when I go “home” to visit in Alice Texas, I am still Alice Smith…

  • 7. kelly  |  February 3, 2009 at 8:57 am

    stephen has always been “chelsea’s husband” in my phone. from day 1 (when he pretended like he didn’t like it…we all knew he did!)

  • 8. Rachel  |  February 3, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I am ok with that… And it is hard to give up your maiden name, no matter how much you love your husband. It is also hard to say Chelsea Megan… Hurst… it just doesn’t rhyme. 🙂 Remember when Sheila thought Megan was really your middle name? 🙂

  • 9. 100th Post « Roots and Rings  |  May 26, 2009 at 9:16 am

    […] 8. What’s In A Name? […]

  • 10. 100th Post | Roots and Rings  |  March 16, 2015 at 7:57 am

    […] 8. What’s In A Name? […]

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February 2009


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