Thank you for that very eloquent statement. I took my husband's name when we married...but only because I wanted to. However, I rarely use 'Mrs.' When I select a prefix, as it were, it's invariably 'Ms'.
Same. Mrs. wigs me out. I guess I should have kind of expected to get the Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname on letters from his grandmother, but that doesn't mean I like it.
So I guess I am kind of the opposite of you, Gini. I guess I sort of end up with "I gave up my last name so I don't want to be addressed by his first name too", while my mom kept her name and says she doesn't mind being Mrs. His Full Name from time to time.
It's kind of like how much I still love all those church Christmas carols. It's not my faith, but there is beauty in it.
I was trying to explain this to boyfriend recently. "I don't *believe* in the religion. But I find some parts of it really cool--okay, honestly? If you didn't know what 'Hark the Herald Angels' or 'We Three Kings' was about, and you heard one of them in a fantasy game, you'd think it kicked ass, right?"
And then realized that several of my more Christian relatives just spontaneously combusted.
Heh. I used a similar line of reasoning in gifting a vehemently non-religious person with a copy of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" (one of my favourite books). The way I look at it, if she can accept magic and dragons and demons as the backdrop for a story, the existence of God shouldn't be a problem.
I used to hyphenate, but don't any more. First time I questioned it was when I miscarried our child and was being wheeled from recovery to the hospital room. The name written down was so large that the piece of paper was bigger than the slot where they put the names. (18 letters, plus my first name is two names so thats extra spaces.) That just stuck in my mind as I was wheeled past it.
Later on it just became sort of a bonding thing for me. I trusted no one (still don't), and even though we were married (partially for convenience -- I had medical insurance plus we were guardians for his brother), I still wanted my space and independence. As I let my guard down, I used his name more and more.
Now I use my maiden name only when making calls where I don't want to be identified right off the bat -- I am trying to get information on my daughter's sex ed classes (it appears they are absintence only and I am OUTRAGED) so I left messages with my first name, maiden name. Not a lie but they've played tricks when I called before and I won't have that NOW.
Your maiden name is your beard. That's amusing.
I lost myself in the first marriage so far that I wasn't even willing to hyphenate in this one. Though I'm not afraid of that anymore, I won't change names because mine is easy to remember.
It really is the choice that makes all the difference.
Tangentially, I dig how more and more lately, at least in my crowd, I'm hearing men referred to as "Mr. [her name]", when the wife is better known or her identity is the salient feature or similar. Greg Wise is the second Mr. Emma Thompson, for example. Hee.
I haven't noticed that, but I am highly amused.
I never changed my name. I've told my mother this about a thousand times. She still sends me letters in the married name. I've tried explaining it to my grandparents, but realised that old fashioned values will never change. Nor will they. It bothers me a bit, but if it's just Christmas cards and wedding invitations? meh. Ya pick yer battles, ya know?
I felt the same way, until I actually got to choose. It was interesting to find myself choosing tradition.
... and I think the important thing is that *you chose*, so you have all the freedom you want and need. You had the option to put what you wanted, and chose that, and no one should be able to validly criticise you for that. Excellent :-)
Old-fashioned of you, maybe, but gracious nonetheless.
In our house, it would be a different matter. Michael would blow a gasket if I used his last name. He would legally change his last name to mine if he could, and my father's already given his approval for such.
Yes, my boy has family issues.
[And I love Christmas carols, too.]
Umm...35 bucks and a couple hours at a courthouse...
i took my husband's last name when we married..
a few points people should know about that....
1. many old fashioned health plans and so on will just GIVE you coverage if your last name is the same, but they want proof of marriage if it isnt.
2. same for a lot of the city paperwork and etc.
3. one of my friends could NOT convince child services that she was too the legal guardian of her husbands kid.. because she kept her maiden name. she had to get a copy of her marriage license and find a supervisor to get the kid back after he was arrested.
4. hospitals. a friend of mine found out she couldnt get into ICU to see her husband until she provided "proof" they were married. (this never happened to me, i was allowed in to see my dad even though my last name is now different, but my mother had put me down on the list....)
5. the thing they didn't tell me? we go to sign the register (which we hadn't rehearsed) and i am honestly trying to find out 'do i sign under my married name, or my maiden name?" and they just said 'whatever you want.." well. THAT is what dictates the change of name thing in our city..... good thing i picked right.
I haven't had any problems, but I imagine that in some places it is a hassle.
I didn't take his name when we got married-- my brother is the last male with the surname, and chances of him having kids are slim to none, so I kept my name in hopes of keeping it around. My hubby had the same situation with his surname. We thought about hyphenating but didn't want the long(er) name; we thought about picking a neutral name but wanted to honor our families. We have no idea what to do about kids' names.
My boss kept her maiden name when she got married (although she goes by Dr. instead of Ms., which makes it easier in some ways). Her husband retained his last name. Their baby boy, interestingly enough, has her last name.
Keeping my name has made it exceedingly difficult-- if you have the same last name, it's amazing what information about your spouse you can control. Me, on the other hand-- people won't take me at my word when I say I'm his wife. Even matching addresses doesn't suffice.
His family persists in calling me "Mrs. P--" anyway. My coworkers call me "Mrs. K" ("Because you *are* married, even if you didn't change your name").
I LOVE Carol of the Bells. It's based on an old Ukrainian carol that somehow I suspect wasn't originally a Christian carol... It's not my faith either, but the songs were meant to celebrate and be sung by many people, making them easy to remember and easy-ish to sing. There's meant to be beauty in it, and there's nothing wrong with appreciating beauty in everything :o)
Speaking of appreciating beauty, you are brilliant, beautiful, and extraordinarily talented! Your quilt rocked my socks. Someone bid on it, even! My mother-in-law was also very impressed.
(I left a message to this effect on your hubby's cell last night.)
Mr. and Dr. Ferret McJuddmetz
but I don't know if you're a JD.
Yeah, that would work.
I am a J.D., but we can't use Dr. Instead, we can have Esq. after our names. But that completely doesn't work on a Mr and Mrs invite using his last name!
I'm having trouble with the whole last name. Our wedding isn't for 16 more months but I've been thinking about it a lot. Kyle couldn't care either way, at leas that's what he tells me. I think he's trying to remain as neutral about it as possible and let me make the decision.
I come from a country where women do not change their last name. I'm very proud of my Spanish birth and heritage. On the other hand, I kinda like the whole notion of taking Kyle's last name. There's no exact reason other than it makes me feel all warm and glowy when I think about it. So, not sure what i'm going to do.
As for Christmas carols my absolute favorires are "God rest ye merry gentlemen" and "oh holy night" even though I'm a horrible Catholic. I still feel some spiritual twinge when I hear them.
I made a final decision the night before my wedding. Up until then I was waffling and all my friends knew it, so I got asked a bunch at the wedding "Have you decided yet?" and had a lot of ideological discussions about it. :)
thank you for that last line. I was raised Protestant but now consider myself an atheist. that said, my singing voice lends itself well to gospel music, Christmas carols, etc. and I still like singing them. it's hard for a lot of people to grasp how I can balance/justify that.
What, we should never watch "Oklahoma!" or "Meet Me in St. Louis" because they have old-fashioned values we don't endorse today, either? It's ridiculous to think that the baby has to be chucked out with the bathwater.
2007-12-04 07:08 pm (UTC)
Yup, the ability to choose so makes all the difference. I took my husbands last name when we married, in part because he has a rather unique last name while I have a rather common one. Also because I'm not well known in my field under either name. If I had a lot of publications under my maiden name, for instance, I wouldn't want to change it for professional purposes. But in this case, taking his name had no practical barriers against it, and gave me a more unique name, and I like his name, so I switched.
I have no problem with recieving mail addressed to "Mr and Mrs Hisfirstname Hislastname", but I do feel uncomfortable when I'm addressed as "Mrs Hisfirstname Hislastname". For some reason the latter feels more like it's eroding my individuality more.
I guess if you're addressing us as a couple I don't mind being primarially identified as husband and wife, but if I'm being addressed individually I don't feel like my first identifier should be "wife of", just as I don't think his first identifier should be "husband of" if he's addressed individually. I have a perfectly good first name, and I like it! So I'd like people to use it if it's an occasion where they would be addressing ME by a first name, as opposed to addressing US with a single first name.
Forgot I wasn't logged in
I changed my last name but kept my maiden name as a middle name,which is actually a tradition in my family. So I legally have 4 names, first, middle, maiden, married. And I prefer not to use a prefix at all. I'm not a MD or a PhD or a member of the military or the clergy, so why use one. I always feel strange when refered to as Mrs. If I have to use a prefix, I prefer Ms.
2007-12-04 09:35 pm (UTC)
When you fill out a form that asks for first middle and last names, which "middle" do you use?
We're actually going to choose a totally different last name for both of us, since we're both nominally female, and the Other Half really doesn't like her last name. I like mine, but the one we've picked out is one that means something to both of us, and I'm down with that.
I suppose it'll get odd when she transitions to he, but considering, it'll actually be a relief and a pleasure to me to finally me Mr. And Mrs etc.
Yeah, I can see that. How are your families coping with it? People get really emotional about these things.
Very well put! I took my husband's last name when we got married, simply because I like his last name better than mine. I've been reading a lot about feminism lately, and was starting to feel guilty about changing my name! It was nice to read your post and see yet another perspective.
No one thing makes or breaks you as a person. It's symbolic. Glad you found this useful!
You forget the other reason why the wife would take her husband's last name: hers may be complex as all hell. Having a 9 letter Polish, -ski, name means I've lived through 24 years of mispronunciations, exclamations at my nationality and people just refusing to pronounce it at all.
So one of my (jokingly) objectives for marrying is to marry a guy with a last name easier to pronounce and spell than my own.
So far all of my boyfriends have been this way.
Oh, believe me, I'm not forgetting - it's one of the reasons I kept my short-and-easy last name the second time around - I was sick of years of spelling!
2007-12-04 09:45 pm (UTC)
I had issues with it until I got married.
Before meeting my husband, I used to say "wouldn't it be great if we could choose a family name, like say, Black, and then we could both move our surnames to our middle names and then our kids would have the same last name... would make it easier to track back families that way."
But then I met a man whose last name meant the world to him - because he was the last male of the line... and I realized that I didn't want to play the 'different last names or hyphenated' game because it drives me nuts.
My mother kept my father's last name when she married her second husband - because she had spent longer with that name than any other, and had made her professional reputation with it.
Then she went thru 10 years of nightmare stuff with people calling my step-dad by her exhusband's name and all...
Finally she ended up changing it after 10 years.
But I get the 'desire to not feel like property'
Everyone needs to make her or his own decision. It's nice we live in a world that lets us.
I could have kept my original last name-It was shorter, and how hard is it to pronounce Crichton? My hubby's lastname is Lithuanian and has been americanized. I don't know what the original spelling was.
My sister, when she got married, changed her name to firstname, middle initial, initial of her maiden name, hubby's last name. She gets really weird looks when people read _____ Suzuki and then met her in real life.
Yeah, I bet. I was listening to NPR the other day and there was a singer named Jose Garcia. I sort of blinked a couple times when he mentioned performing in his home town.
Just remember that Mrs. is short for Mistress, and you can be known as "Mistress Ferrett".