Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another unsustainable Baby Boomer practice

When my parents married in 1977, women’s liberation was in full swing and my mother was a consciousness-raiser. She was about as likely to take my father’s name as she was to sport a veil at the wedding. She would remain Ms. Tuhus. Nine months later, the surname for their new baby (me) was self-evident. My parents yoked their names into a new one: Tuhus-Dubrow. ...

The problem, of course, is that this naming practice is unsustainable. (Growing up, I constantly fielded the question, “What will you do if you marry someone else with two last names? Will your kids have four names?”) Like many of the baby boomers’ utopian impulses, it eventually had to run up against practical constraints. ...

What did our parents expect us to do when we reached this stage of our lives? They trusted it would all work out somehow. As Ms. Segal-Reichlin’s parents told her, “We figured that was your problem.”
--Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, NYT, on another generational buck-passing