NATALI MORRIS

Natali Morris Blog

November 15, 2010

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. 

83 responses to “The Journalist Formerly Known As Del Conte”

  1. Robt says:

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

  2. Cali Lewis says:

    What?? Santa Claus isn't real?!

    😉

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

  3. Slappy san says:

    "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. 🙂

  4. Natali Morris says:

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

  5. GDG says:

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

  6. Juan Navarro says:

    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.

  7. Christene says:

    An official Congratulations then to Mrs. Morris! 🙂

  8. Mrs. C says:

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

  9. Donald says:

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

  10. Sean says:

    We can't call you NDC anymore? 🙁

  11. Natali Morris says:

    You can!!

  12. Brent Watkins says:

    Good for you.

  13. Isaiah says:

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

  14. babamoto says:

    Natali
    R u changing your Twitter profile, etc.?

  15. Yerania Leon says:

    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!

  16. Chris fuccione says:

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

  17. Brocprice@aol.com says:

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

  18. wawa huang says:

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

  19. Jon Biddell says:

    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)

  20. Smitty says:

    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?"

  21. Pedro Ruiz says:

    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.

  22. Keith Miller says:

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

  23. Stephen Ramirez says:

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

  24. Nancy says:

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

  25. Susan says:

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

  26. jay jackson says:

    Your decision sounds very level headed. Congrats on being so grounded.

  27. Saweiler says:

    I'm proud of you… I honestly never thought you would, but you really surprised me! GOOD for you.

  28. Lynn Siegler says:

    My daughter figured out Santa wasn't real at age 2. So Santa is now just a fun character in a book or DVD like Curious George. Congratulations on your marriage and name change.

  29. Verna Morris says:

    So glad to have another "Mrs. Morris" in the family!!! Love YOU!!!

  30. Anthony Mark says:

    Well Congratulations! This is very happy news!
    We wish all Three of in the family many happy happy years together

  31. robinr says:

    It wasn't easy but I found you. Write me about CES ASAP! Lots for you to do.

  32. Luca says:

    So, no more pineapple pizza? 🙂

  33. Tyrone Hurley Jr. says:

    Good for you Natali!
    I've followed your "Loaded" segments on CNET for a very long time and I dare say this is your best work. 🙂

    I think you have a wonderful reason for the name change and you make your career, not just your name.

    So Congratulations Mrs. Morris on marriage and the baby and I will still be an avid follower of Loaded and all of your other projects.

    Blessings,
    Tyorne

  34. Roger Gil says:

    Congratulations! It's also great to see your candor and how you still effectively maintain personal boundaries (as you know, some public figures like to reveal much more about themselves). On an unrelated note, can you tell me where there are more people like you who "revolt against diamonds"? I'm just saying… you know?… so I can have whomever I end up marrying talking to these people. #3monthsPayForAdiamondIsInsane lol

  35. Natali Morris says:

    Ha! Mostly I take issue with diamonds because their significance is a relatively modern cultural construction. They didn't symbolize love or marriage until the 50s when DeBeers decided to make it so. It's an evil industry and I want nothing to do with it. Be glad you didn't ask about Santa! 🙂

  36. DB says:

    Fans will watch no matter your name. I'm just thankful you're back from maternity leave. Loaded lost it's charm there for a bit without you.

  37. Justin says:

    Congrats to the name change and new family addition. It surprised me for a moment when you said Morris today on Loaded. Your show is one of the several I watch before I head off to my classes for the day, or even sometimes while I'm in my Chem lecture. Figuring out a name change is hard, but I though I'd send a congrats to ya!

  38. AcidStuff says:

    Congratulations from Holland, Europe. I was surprised to hear you changed your name while watching "Loaded". It's burned into memory. "I'am Natali Del Conte and it's time to…"

    You motivation made it al clear. Lots of wishes for a happy and healthy life with your husband and son.

  39. Jaime says:

    As someone with the name Ditterline… Can I have del Conte if you are done with it?

  40. jack says:

    thats really cool !!!

  41. Chuck says:

    What about Del Morris? 😉

  42. Fabrice says:

    Noooooooo! You should have kept your Del Conte name for the show. I really love when you say your name "I'm Natali DelConte and it's time to get loaded" I think it is sexy.. I was surprised to day when I heard Morris on cnet. Well Congratulations on your marriage. I really hope the best for you, your husband, and your son.

  43. victor garcia says:

    Way to keep it simply Mrs. Morris!

  44. William Black says:

    Congratulations, Natali. On both the new family and the last name change.
    I enjoy "LOADED".
    Once again, Congratulations.

  45. Eric says:

    Congratulations on your marriage. I will say I was surprised when you said Morris on the show but thanks for the update on your blog. I wish you and your family well and i hope you have many wonderful adventures together.

  46. Russ says:

    I like the idea of you changing your name so that is the same for you and your son. I believe marriage is a child centered institution, and therefore unity of the family is very important. Congratulations, and God's blessings to your family.

    Russ
    http://russbonchu.com

  47. Kerwin says:

    Congratulations Natalie! Been following you on Loaded for some time now. And today when I watch "Loaded" podcast, I was surprised with your name change and decided to check it out. Wow, it is wonderful news – you're married and you have a baby boy!

    No matter what your name change may be, I'm sure you have lots of fans out there who admires your work, and know you are still the same chirpy news anchor we have grown to love. Keep up the good work.

    Kerwin.
    (Malaysia)

  48. Mike says:

    Congratulations on you marriage and your new baby. As a proud father of a 1 month old beautiful baby girl I understand fully how you feel.

    Since you have taken the time to explain your reasons for your name change I guess I'll tell you my thoughts about it. I'm sorry but I'm not as happy with that decision as other followers. Not only do I like your last name better, Del Conte sounds much better than Morris, but I think you chose the most archaic American tradition there is. Changing your name means you have become a possession of your husband not part of a family. If you want to feel the 3 of you as a family why don't you do what people do in Spain and in Latin countries? They give their children the fathers and mothers last names (Baby Morris Del Conte in your case) and mothers keep their own. That not only shows parents and their kids are one family but also shows the mother is as important, if not more so, as the father and not his property. My wife kept her name and that doesn't make her less part of our family. Without her there would be no family.

    I also have to say that writing an explanation in your blog for your name change tells me you are looking for reasons to feel good with yourself for making that decision.

    I'm a fan of yours as the other people that follow here and at CNET. Sorry that my comment is not as positive as the others but I had to express how I feel about your decision. I will continue to follow you as your name doesn't make you who you are but I just like your name too much…"Natali Del Conte" I will miss it!!

  49. CW2 Tarique Miller says:

    Congratulations Natali Morris! Love your work!

  50. Tomas says:

    Congratulations Natali! Looking forward to following your career as Mrs. Matali Morris!

  51. JimT Reno says:

    Mrs Morris; You are awesome irregardless of your surname and I'm sure he would have taken you no matter what your name. God Bless and be well; all three of you!

  52. blogger says:

    Congratulations! It's great that you had the confidence and determination to make the name change. I also agree very much with waiting to get married instead of letting it be forced upon you because of circumstances.

  53. Mark Nelson says:

    Thanks for sharing and congratulations

  54. Dave K. says:

    Hmmm, couple comments here……

    First, good for you for taking a common last name. Makes life easier.

    Second, for the few of you that have a problem with her doing so, grow up. It's just a name.

    Third, am I to understand that you are NOT going to let you son believe in Santa? Why? The belief in Santa is one of the wonders of childhood, and is too short as it is. I saw one poster say they didn't want their child to have "trust issues" because of it? Really? You honestly believe that? Possibly one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Robbing your children of that wonder is criminal IMO.

    Hopefully, your hubby is Jewish, and that's why no Santa. Otherwise, I can assure you that it's something you will regret. My son is 4, and last year was the first year he "got" who Santa is, and it was the best Christmas of my life.

    Please think about it, you have time.

  55. Ed says:

    I think it's classy that you took your husband's last name. But, I was saddened to learn you had a husband. Contratulations to you and your new family.

  56. GrifiN says:

    Congratulation! I wish you only happiness in all your endeavors professional and personal.
    Kudos for being liberated enough not to be reflexively anti-traditional, that is superficial. You think things through and for that you have my respect.

  57. Fordo says:

    Hey Dave,

    If people who don't like the idea of a woman taking her husband's last name need to "grow up" because it's "just a name", show us all how easy it is and change your name to your wife/husband's name now or in the future if you have one.

    The minute I read grow up and its just a name, I didn't even need to look down at the name of the poster to know that it was a man who wrote that.

    And go, Mike, for being brave enough to express your contrarian view in such a thoughtful, gracious way. I feel as you do and was really heartened to see that a male wrote that post. I would never change my last name if I got married and I don't think that having the same last name creates a united family but I agree with Natali- if you change your last name, fine, if you don't, fine. I like how they do it in Europe and other countries where both the woman and man's names are honored. And I wish this weren't just a decision that women still had to make. I wish that both partners shared the responsibility for making this decision. But that just isn't how it goes. We've come a long way, baby, but clearly not far enough.

    Congratulations, Natali! Wishing you all good things in your exciting new life and family!

  58. Dave K. says:

    Fordo,

    Thanks for stereotyping me! I can make a pretty good guess on who you are, based on your response. Not sure you'll ever need to make the last name decision. ;-D

    If you had read what I said, and not assumed what I meant, maybe the chip on your shoulder would fall off, or at least decrease in size. I said a common last name is smart. Whether it was hers, his, or another they choose together.

    And I said nothing about it making a "united" family. Being a family does that. Given the bureaucracy we live in, having the same last name makes sense. It does socially as well. Surely you can understand this?

    My "grow up" remark was, well, I guess aimed at you. If you think the last name thing is that important, I can see that you do, in fact, need to grow up, or grow wiser, to be more accurate. Having a loving, caring, supporting spouse is important. Everything else is just a name.

  59. Congratulations to you and your loving family!

  60. Mark says:

    Here's a take on the name change from another "romance language named" person, Camille Minichino:

    http://www.minichino.com/OtherWorks/name.html

  61. Michael says:

    Hey! Congratulations!! When I saw the name change, I kinda instinctively knew what happened. And I think you are definitely right to think of marriage as a team. Remember that team is a growing team. From two to three to how many more you want it. Take care of the new members, it'll take a couple of years of nurturing before they become actually productive. One more thing, as a team, emotions are not a critical component of the group, moving the team forward is.

  62. Gordon A Wilson says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your son and your marriage! I have been watching your "Loaded" podcast for a few years and continue enjoy the brief synopsis it provides. I have children older than you and grew up when it was almost universal that women took their husbands name. You have always struck me as a very level headed and intelligent young woman. A number of years ago a younger co-worker expressed her internal conflict whether to marry her long time partner. In this case there were no children. I am a strong believer in marriage and the commitment required to make them last. A marriage is much more than than a ceremonial action between two people. It is about creating and extending family. It gives the children of that family a legacy by which they gain identity and history. The name used to signify that identity is important. When my daughter asked me whether she should take her husbands last name, I said absolutely. Her children will be no less my grandchildren because they do not have my last name.

  63. Natali Morris says:

    Thank you Gordon. What a sweet story. I really appreciate the sentiment.

  64. AndyW says:

    Actually somebody in the control room doesn't like the change because the cyron never seems to change, its at least 3 times now had Del Conte on it instead of what you said during the update – lol

    I myself think for TV think you should have kept your Del Conte name and in personal live changed it to Morris

  65. Steve says:

    I was listening to you on Buzz Out Load talking about maternity leave and was a bit confused. It seems like yesterday you were talking about how hard it is to find dates, so how did this all happen so fast. Congrats on the new family! I think your blog post is very thoughtful and well reasoned on the choice you made which is right for you. I happen to agree with it, but you also made it clear that others may differ in what is right for them, good for you.

  66. Sdk says:

    You go girl,

  67. Eva says:

    Congratulations, of course! But can't quite see why he couldn't take YOUR name??? WomLib!

  68. Neha Tiwari says:

    To the new Mrs. Morris,

    As a recent newlywed and person with a semi-public life online, I can totally relate to all that you wrote about here.

    I've been going through the name change process as well, and it has been rough. I too thought a lot about my name, what it meant, and who I should become. In my husbands' tradition, the newly married woman not only takes her husbands last name, but his first name as her middle name. Often times, the boy's parents also select a new first name for the bride. I wasn't entirely comfortable with completely changing my name [and his parents are not that traditional], but I do think there is something very sweet about taking the person you love's last name. Since I don't have a middle name, I've decided to go with the happy medium- Neha Tiwari Joshi.

    I think it's wonderful that you've changed your name offline and on–it's not an easy process! Luckily, many of my online handles just involve my first name so I can imagine how much tougher it has been for you.

    I don't think it makes you old-fashioned to drop your maiden name, and conversely, in this day of hyphenated, bastardized names, it's almost refreshing.

    Kudos Natali Morris, and congrats on tying the knot and your beautiful baby!

    :)Neha Joshi formerly Tiwari

  69. MojaMike says:

    Natali,

    Dang! How did I get so far behind? I didn't even know that two of my favorite media stars were dating! I really need to get out of the office more often!

    Congratulations! You make a great couple. Clayton is one lucky guy!

    And now y'all have the little guy to bring even more joy into your lives. Best wishes to you guys going forward.

    Happy New Year,
    – Mike

  70. Reev says:

    Natali! This is inspiring. I wish all the "real women" would do the same. Haha. I've been a fan since your early Loaded days. I appreciate how you always try to respond to your followers. All the best to you!

  71. Shanghai gal says:

    Congrats on your little bundle of joy! Although it's sad to see such a "maverick" conform. Wouldn't the real trailblazing solution have been for your husband and child to take your beautiful last name?

  72. Nick says:

    Holy sh-t Natali. You're so freaking hot. I would like it it I you were the mother of my kids (I got 5)…just kidding. I got none.

  73. ToOld says:

    Congrats on the new little one! I enjoy watching your reports. Kind of hoped your guy was a poop – but too old for you anyway! Darn. Keep up the good work, yet spoil the kid they grow up to quick. See you online

  74. ToOld says:

    Congrats on the new little one! I enjoy watching your reports. Kind of hoped your guy was a poop – but too old for you anyway! Darn. Keep up the good work, yet spoil the kid they grow up to quick. See you online

  75. nir says:

    what a lovely way of looking at things
    that already is a special start to your marriage !
    all best wishes to you and the family

  76. Brian Reid says:

    I was just watching cnet tv and saw you come up and was imitating how you introduced yourself Just to be surprised by the name change… Lucky man!

  77. This is what I will be going through in a few years – trying to decide whether to change my name. Congrats and more power to you!

  78. Michelle says:

    I'd like to know why both man and women don't combine names to form the new family.
    I think DelMorris sounds great!

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  81. Mic Cullen says:

    Beautifully written. #lovesgoodwriting

  82. Kat Rich says:

    Your interview session on BiggerPockets Podcast was so intriguing, I listened to it twice and came over to learn more. I’m starting to read your blog from post 1 to see its development. It’s odd how Blogs don’t have that function that you can turn the blog around and “sort from A-Z” Oldest to newest in order to read it like a chronological book rather than from “Z to A” like reading the end of the story first.

    I enjoy the dialog you have with the facets of your own mind about your name change 🙂 Most of us have these dialogs in our minds but are not self-aware enough to notice why we feel the way we feel. It’s also interesting to hear the different opinions people have on your name decision.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about taxes, keeping track of expenses and being chief home officer. On the podcast, you mentioned so many good books and things you wrote about on your blog, I’m excited to read the book reports. You mentioned that you began as the ‘supporting spouse’ into an integral part of the business. I have a ‘supporting spouse’ who is learning real estate on the coat tails of what I’m doing. I’m sure I’ll see many similarities.

    • nmorris says:

      Thanks for this Kat! This post is still something I am proud of having written. I think I made a very lucid choice, even though I do sometimes miss my maiden name. I respect anyone’s choice, as long as they know why they make it.

      As for the rest of this blog, thanks for poking around! I’m so pleased to have found a kindred friend and reader in you! Hope to exchange ideas any old time!

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