0 In Engagement

Marriage + 2 weeks

It’s 5:32 am and I’ve been awake for one hour and 26 minutes. I was ripped out of my dreams by the sound of my dog Kip sounding the alarm. This is the new norm for me now. My dog, who has grown up in apartment living, has found new purpose and a new job title: junior guard dog. It might just be a rabbit or a coon out there, but I’ve seen far too many movies. It’s a serial killer who wants to carve me up, or a robber that wants my fabulous wardrobe. Actually, half my wardrobe is being shipped by boat across the Pacific. A few of the boxes have already made it across and I can tell from the condition of the boxes that they have been haphazardly thrown about in cargo. Some of the boxes have been through so much abuse that the sides have burst open and been carelessly taped up.

It’s been 2 weeks since I got married and it’s been a curious experience. For one, I haven’t changed my last name yet because of my duel citizenship. I am not sure how that will affect my Korean citizenship. When I asked the officer in immigration at the ICN airport in Korea, he replied that he had never heard of a case where someone had re-attained dual citizenship and then went off and married an American. Because retaining dual citizenship has been a bit of a stressful, delicate matter, I’ve decided that I need to look into the matter further before changing my name. During our honeymoon it was a bit of a jarring experience to be addressed as Mrs. Kim and then Mrs. Abel depending on who had booked the hotel. 

There is also the question of, why I am taking his name. It’s an interesting experience being a feminist after having grown up in a patriarchal society. To make things even more complicated, Korean women do not take their husbands last names. They are listed under the head of the household in social securities, but they don’t change their last name when they marry. So my mother still goes by Mikyoung Sunwoo rather than Mrs. Kim. 

My husband is an equalist, but naturally still shows signs of having grown up in a patriarchal society. He has always respected me and told me explicitly that he expects our marriage to be an equal partnership. Yet he really hopes that I will be able to change my last name to his. Not particularly because he believes in the patriarchal idea of ownership or being the head of the household, but because he has seen a statistic in which couples that unify their last name are more likely to stay in the marriage with the mindset that they will stay in the marriage for a lifetime. 

Personally, I think that changing a last name has little to do with the success of a marriage. Considering the divorce rates, I’m sure there are plenty of couples that changed their last names and still ended in divorce. Still, I must say that it feels very, very strange to be called Mrs. Kim. I’m not used to being referred to as Mrs. or Madame in Europe. I’m not used to the idea of being an Abel as I have signed my name with the last name Kim my whole life. 

When I was signing a receipt in Greece during our honeymoon, I found myself hesitating; should I sign as Kim or Abel? Well, the back of my card was signed Kim so I figured it needed to stay the same in order to avoid a fiasco of forgery. But now that I think about it, I wonder how many women change their cards upon marriage so that they can now sign their names with a new last name? Or perhaps it’s all part of the process when combining accounts?

As for housework, so far we have maintained an amiable relationship on that front. I tend to do most of the dishes, but he takes out the trash and carries more groceries. Surprisingly, this doesn’t bother me very much because we had a chat about this, and Drew was firmly of the position that he does not expect me to cook and clean simply because of an archaic belief that I am the woman in this relationship. However, given that I am in between jobs and he is working full time + overtime, it is more difficult for him to get around to all the chores. This is something that feels more logical to me because when I was working and taking on a full load of graduate courses, the last thing I wanted to do when I got home at 11pm was to do chores. In any case, our current arrangement suits me just fine, because I hate taking out the trash and much prefer doing the dishes anyway. 

I’m anxious to get a job soon, but first I’ll need to renew my lapsed US drivers license and buy a car. I will probably not get a new car in the next couple of weeks because we are both feeling a bit financially fatigued after having gone through a wedding. I have to sort the books to be sure, but I’m pretty confident that we came in well under the national average in terms of wedding costs. Even so, anything wedding related turned out to be outrageously expensive, and I feel as though if I had more time to prepare for the wedding and had been local during the preparation I would have been able to save much more.

Perhaps I’ll share more about the whole wedding experience, but I might wait until I receive all my photos and videos for the wedding and honeymoon. Until then, I’ll try to catch up on my favorites posts and maybe share a bit about settling into a new home!

Your turn ♥ Let’s catch up! What have you been excited about lately? How has your summer been so far? Have you tried anything new?

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