SARAH'S BLOG OF FUN: Email From A Follower

Monday, September 19, 2011

Email From A Follower

A couple days ago, I wrote a post called Did You Take Your Husbands Last Name.

I want to share an email I received from a follower of my site (with his permission) about his family situation in regards to the name change subject.

I absolutely love how Mark and his family have become one, and I wanted to share this with you all!!

"Dear Sarah,

I am writing to compliment you on this blog. I took my wife's last name, and our kids all have her last name. I feel, like you, that my spouse is my soul mate and one way of showing our togertheness is by having the same last name.

We worked things out somewhat unusually. We kept our names when married and after a while, I took my wife's name. I was born Mark David Layten, and I married Teresa Lynn Kemp. When we married, we each kept our name. Then, when our first child came along, I stayed home and we agreed that he would have Terri's last name – Kemp. Little did I realize how important that decision would be. When you're lugging around a baby named "Kemp" and are his dad, everyone calls you Kemp. At first, I always corrected people but as time went on (and as we had another son) I did this less and less. Finally, when I'd call doctor's offices and other contacts for the kids, I just identified myself as Mark Kemp. Eight years ago, my wife became pregnant with our third child and we planned to move to another city, to follow her job. Since we were moving and starting out in a new city and state, I figured we'd make a new start as "the Kemps,"so I offered to take Terri's name. She was somewhat mortified at first, but we eventually agreed to do it. I got a lot of criticism from some people, but in the long run it's made things simpler.

My official name now is three names - Mark Layten Kemp (I dropped the "David"). It's an unequal situation in that the name that defines you, for most reasons, is your last name and mine is the one that changed. It was hard on my male ego at first, but I've basically evolved over the years from signing and identifying myself as "Mark Layten Kemp" to "Mark L. Kemp" to "Mark Kemp" to just "Kemp." LOL! Heck, I even answer now to the "the Kempster." (Since I changed my name well after marriage, I didn't have to endure the spectacle of being introduced at our wedding reception as "Ms. and Mr. Teresa Kemp." LOL!!!)

All the best.

Mark Kemp"

After reading Marks email, I sent this response-

"Hi Kempster!!!!

Thank you very much for your email. I love hearing from my followers, and your story is great!!! How many years have you and Teresa been married now?? Would you mind if I shared your story on my site??

Thank you again for sharing, and I wish you and your family many more happy years!!!

All my best,


Marks response-

"Hi Sarah,

Sure. Feel free to put the story in. We've been married 21 years. The name change was officially made almost 8 years ago, but I'd been answering to "Mark Kemp" for 5 years before that. As I said, it was shocking the first few times way back when but now I've totally embraced it. The togetherness it symbolizes is awesome!"

Families come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in a wide variety of name situations too!!! As long as you are happy, that is all that matters!!!!

Thank you Mark for sharing this!!!

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