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The Journalist Formerly Known As Del Conte

Maybe I am more famous than I thought because I keep getting this response when I tell people that I am changing my last name:

"Oh but you're keeping Del Conte on air, right?"

Who am I, Madonna? Do I need a stage name and a real name? I'm not an entertainer, I'm just a reporter. If people want to follow my career, they will hopefully remember my name, right?

I never thought I would change my name but I surprised myself when I married a wonderful man four weeks ago and actually wanted to take his name. We became a family this summer when our little boy was born. He was an unexpected surprise and I did not want to get married just because I was pregnant. There are many ways to raise a child in these modern times and I felt strongly that a forced, unhappy marriage would not be the best environment for my baby. I wanted us to wait and decide to get married if and when the time was right because we loved each other. Not because we are forever bound to one another's lives due to the child. In the end, we married because we wanted to solidify to one another that we are a committed team and a family.

I have accomplished a lot under the surname Del Conte so I was hesitant to change my name. I felt like it was my brand. My identity. I was afraid that I would have to start all over again with a new name and I'm sure there will be some confusion.

I considered keeping Del Conte for professional use and Morris for personal use but that started to get confusing. Will my paychecks go to Morris but my email address will be Del Conte? Will my driver's license say Del Conte-Morris? What about registering for conferences? Will my badge say Morris but publicly I am Del Conte? It all was a little too much to manage and in the end, I decided that I am just not important enough for two names. And if I kept my name professionally, who would I be keeping it for? TV producers? Viewers? Twitter followers? I don't think those are the right reasons. 

So I am now legally and professionally Natali Morris. It isn't as "romance language" as my maiden name but it is romantic in a different way. It says that I am part of the family called Morris, which includes my husband and my baby boy. It is meaningful to me and that is saying something because I usually hate ceremony, ritual, tradition, pomp, and circumstance of any kind. Weddings embarrass me. I revolt against diamonds. And I really don't want to lie to my child about Santa Clause's nonexistence. Yet I wanted to have the same name as my husband and son.

I feel myself justifying the name change a little when people show surprise that I would leave behind a beautiful name like Del Conte. Why am I explaining myself? Why can't I just say, "It's Morris now" - end of story? Has women's liberation made us ashamed of old world tradition?

I am not advocating that married women change their name. To each her own. I think it is a beautiful thing to take on your husband's name and I think it is a beautiful thing to keep the name of the family you were born into. I am only sharing my choice so that I can stand up for it once and for all. It's Morris now. I am proud of that. 

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Reader Comments (79)

Congrats! But please I have seen Santa Klaus and he is very real :)

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobt

What?? Santa Claus isn't real?!


Congratulations, Natali Morris, on all your changes this year!

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCali Lewis

"It is meaningful to me and that is saying something because I usually hate ceremony, ritual, tradition, pomp, and circumstance of any kind. Weddings embarrass me. I revolt against diamonds. And I really don't want to lie to my child about Santa Clause's nonexistence. Yet I wanted to have the same name as my husband and son. "

I thought it was refreshing when you made references to this sort of thing on the 404. It doesn't get old.

As for the name change...good for you. Perhaps now people will only misspell your first name instead of all of it. :)

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSlappy san

I know, I'm a total Scrooge! And thank you!!

November 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatali Morris

Sound reasoning from the heart! Congrats on so many good thing, Natali!

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGDG

I would like to congratulate you in this new venture in your life. A baby as a surprise is nothing small of a feat to take head on.. but your doing it anyway and I think you and your husband are and will be great parents. I've been a fan since Textra (those 1st bloopers were classic!) and still enjoy your shows... Changing your last name is something that will be with you forever. And its nothing bad. Your son, your husband and you are now one family and will prosper beyond anything you can imagine. I hope one day I can do the same with my girlfriend... who I love so much. I'm glad to see people still out there doing what they do because of love.. and not because they have too. Again...

Congradulations to you and your husband on your little boy... Happy Early Thanksgiving and an EARLY Merry Christmas and New Year!! Take care Natali Del Con.... Ooops.. I mean.. Take care Natali Morris. :) hahah.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJuan Navarro

An official Congratulations then to Mrs. Morris! :)

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristene

Whoa! What, no spoiler alert? This Santa thing is not cool. And on a side note. Good for you. Congrats on all your happiness.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. C

Congrats on the new addition and being married. My wife tried to use both names, and I got confused lol.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonald

We can't call you NDC anymore? :(

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean

You can!!

November 14, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatali Morris

Good for you.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Watkins

Don't tell Cali about the Tooth Fairy. It could be earth shattering.

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsaiah

R u changing your Twitter profile, etc.?

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbabamoto

I just got married too and was going to keep my name. We just found out we're expecting a little one and I wanted just what you wanted, to share my baby's and my husband's name. Congrats Mrs. Morris!

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYerania Leon

If this is a good fit for you then go for it!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris fuccione

Resect you allot - you have been added to the "best moms of the world list"

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered

Congratulations, Natali Morris.
You are always Great Report/Host on my mind.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwawa huang

Congratulations on your wedding. And your baby boy is absolutely gorgeous. As for the name change, meh - what's in a name ? Your deeds in the IT news area guarantee you a "fan base", no matter what you call yourself !!

As for those that may say you've "sold out" by taking your husband's name, ignore them -they are just jealous. You now have your own family, and that should be the centre of your life, not what people think of you.

Oh, and your husband is one lucky dude !!

Jon (Sydney)

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJon Biddell

Congrats on the nuptials! I'll still enjoy hearing your insights, no matter what you choose to call yourself.

Oh, and I explained Santa Claus to my girls with the Mickey Mouse analogy. Mickey is a "real character" that we talk about, and we understand he does and says silly things, but he's not really "real." Santa is similar - everyone knows about him, and sometimes, people even dress up like him, and we all play along, because it's fun.

That way, they didn't ruin it for their peers ("There's no such thing as Santa.") and yet didn't have trust issues, and enjoyed the game when friends asked "What's Santa going to bring you?"

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSmitty

If Santa is not, then I hope at least one of the Three Wise Men is!

Congrats to you, your sensitive hubby ( yes I read that other post ) your baby and the Morris and Del Conte families.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPedro Ruiz

You have done great. We are all so proud of everything you have been - and will be - involved in.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Miller

Congratulation! It's great that you are true to yourself..

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Ramirez

Congratulations Natali, Miles and Clayton... the Morris family. This is wonderful.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Precisely the reasons I took the "Del Conte" name when I got married. So don't worry-- the world is now balanced again...

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

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