I believe that a lot of clumsy gestures in the States are a result of White folks who feel rotten about how “boring” they are and, therefore defensive. This sometimes manifests itself in misplaced loyalty to a European nation you’ve never visited. Take some time to consider your own present-day culture. I’m talking about your family, your hometown, your community. What do you love about it? What shaped you as a person? What are the rituals that help you to feel like you’re home? Those are your sacred cultural practices and artifacts. If someone found a way to corrupt them in your mind, you’d be upset. And if you let someone else know you felt upset, you’d have a right to hope they’d hear you out and find a way to accommodate when reasonable.
When it comes to my own wedding day I will be "ambitious", "pert" and "forward". To abandon my surname and take that of my partner would mean abandoning Sophie Coulombeau, along with all the errors, achievements and resonances she created over thirty years. I would become, first and foremost, my husband's wife. And that's not the whole of me. So I will keep the name Coulombeau. I'll keep it with all its baggage, its embarrassments, its frequent misspellings, and its bad jokes about detectives. And as I sign my unchanged name in the register, I'll think of the women who made it possible for me to do so.