Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Rose By Another Other Name Is Not A Rose

Gannet Girl is pretty pissed at one of her best friends.

So Gannet has been married for, oh, well, 31 years. That's a long time. And during that 31 years she has never once, for any reason under the sun or over it, utilized the surname of her husband as her own.

That decision was something of a novelty in 1974 but the IRS ("You can't do that") got over it, Gannet's grandmother ("Aren't you going to want the same last name as your children?") got over it, Gannet friend's father who hadn't seen her in 20 years but still felt compelled to put in his .02 ("I guess you don't love your husband") got over it, and Gannet's then step-mother ("Oh, you'll change your mind someday") got over it.

In fact, Gannet had not thought about any of those conversations for decades. Until today, when she and her husband received a formal invitation to an event being hosted by one of her very best friends in the world and addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Husband's Name.

What the hell is this? muttered Gannet as she ripped open the offending envelope. This has to have come from some Republican mailing list by mistake.

How could this be? How could your own best friend not know what your name is?

Now that I think of it, I'm not so pissed. My feelings are hurt. How could someone think this is ok? How hard is it to address an envelope correctly? Isn't that one of those basic Emily Post things your mama taught you? If someone's name is Mrs. Miller, you don't call her Mrs. Brown. The exact same rule applies.

So here's the deal. You wanna be called Mrs. William Brown, Mrs. Joan Brown, Ms. Joan Brown, Mrs. or Ms. Joan White-Brown, Ms. Joan White, or Joan? I don't care. Your choice is entirely your business and I have no comment to make about it. I will accord you the courtesy of calling you by your name. Just offer me the same, ok?

PS: Did you notice that as soon as I tried to pretend I wasn't pissed off, I switched voices? I think that's pretty telling and pretty funny, too. So I'm leaving it that way.

PPS: Yeah, this is why my in-person friends don't know I blog.


DesLily said...

well now that's thought provoking.
I have no friends that didn't change to the husbands name when married (that includes me).. so.. if jane jones marries sam hill but doesnt take his name.. she's not MRS Hill and she's not MISS Jones (and MS to me was something you called someone you didn't know if married or not lol).. so.. if she's not Miss Jones nor Mrs Hill.. who the heck is she? lol.. I am confused. She can't be Mrs Jones cause she'd have to marry herself.. help me here lol..

Sorry.. not to make fun of anything.. I guess proper is to use both names but.. the Miss or Mrs does confuse me.. since i never knew anyone who didn't change their name i never faced that problem.. feel free to email me and straighten this old broad out!! (many times i wish i had kept my birth name but now i don't know "who" I'd be!)

Gannet Girl said...

If Jane Jones marries Sam Hill then she is Ms. Jones. Or whatever the hell else she wants.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Another blogger has been talking about this for about a week, too. Her blog is "Yeah But Houdini Didn't Have These Hips"---I don't know the HTML to link her here, but she's linked to my blog....might be worth checking her out...she's had 2 posts on this in one week! Must be something in the water! (And you're totally right. I get furious when people shorten my name to a nickname commonly associated with my formal name but that I don't use. It's not my name. I don't care if other Jennifers are Jenny or other Rebbecas are Beckys---I'm not, and you should bother to learn my name. I'd be ticked, too.

Globetrotter said...

Let me try this again . (Blogger seems to be PMSing tonight and I keep getting knocked off)

I don't blame you for being 'fressed' about the name thing! LOL, I love that word- made up my own meaning!

I also don't blame you for keeping your blog away from those who know you, as wonderful as it happens to be....

Ditto here...

Paula said...

My name was hyphenated when I was married. Not TOO unusual in 1985 (though stuff like this pissed me off all the time) when I was living up north. When I moved to the Deep South, it was still very nearly unheard of and, in many people's minds, unthinkable. The comments I received, and not just on cards on the mail, were unbelievable.

Did you get the un, un, un? Three of them? I would note that I am now divorced, carry my maiden proudly as I wish I'd done all along, and living back up north.

Vicky said...

I was married a long time and did take my husband's name. I like it better than my decidedly unglamorous maiden name and had been the husband's name for so long that I just kept it after the divorce. But I ABSOLUTELY respect your wish to call yourself what you will. And of course you have the right to expect that courtesy from others. Don't blame you at all for feeling hurt. Are you going to say anything to her?

Re the in-person friends thing, mine don't know either. But I am a teeny bit busted now because have met and befriended a fellow blogger -who has been sworn to secrecy in front of the in-person friends. Oh my, what a tangled web we weave. And guilt - yes I feel it. Confusion - oodles!

Sarahlynn said...

I got a fundraising call from my alma mater last week, and the caller actually called me Miss. I don't think that anyone's called me that since I was about 12. Certainly not since I turned 30!

As for Ms. being for someone you don't know if married or not, well, that's great! I mean, somehow we get along just fine meeting lots of Misters, and the fact that their title doesn't give away their marital status doesn't cause any particular problems. Why do we have to know about women?

I don't fight it when people call me Mrs., but if I'm choosing my own title, I go by Ms. Sarahlynn Mylastname.

And I wear a wedding ring.


Gannet, I still get those invitations, and from young, "progressive" friends, too. I try to take them in the spirit they're meant, but when it's someone who knows better (rather than my husband's elderly aunt or similar) it really annoys me. It's like some people can't resist the opportunity to make a political comment about my decision to keep my own damn name.

And while I'm all about having that discussion, the envelope of a wedding invitation is perhaps not the best place for it.

Bedazzzled1 said...

I am a Republican, and I still would have addressed your invitation the way you wished. ::smile:: I cannot believe a close friend did not have the courtesy or the class or whatever it is to do that. Some people live in la-la land, I guess.

I would have been pissed off and hurt, too. Thoughtlessness stings.

DesLily said...

hello again.. (sorry about the email thing.. i am also on AOL and didn't think out the fact that here on blogspot people don't necessarily know that)

so it is MS huh? I really didn't know that. But I'm trainable!!

ok. Be gentle with me I'm OLD has the hills here. I would have loved to have kept my maiden name but it was not really done back then..and by the time i got divorced I did want to keep the last name of my kids. (plus i was just to dang lazy to go thru all the name changing things) But definately someone you've known a long time SHOULD know your last name and USE it.

If she is a long time friend that when you take a long deep breath and think of her you don't really want to loose the friendship, I would definately get it out in the open and not stay torn up about it inside.
Possibly do a WE NEED TO TALK thing and tell that person they hurt you.

Paul said...

Dear et Ux,

You can BLAME Emily Post, who will tell you that Mrs. John Brown is the proper form.

And "fresser" means something in Yiddish. Not sure what, but Lennie Bruce used to use the word, so I'd be careful at work.

Gannet Girl said...

LOLOLOL I don't think I will try to look up the Latin for what I might wish to use to address you, Paul.

And despite my reference to our childhood guide to all things courteous, we have moved on to the more contemporary Miss Manners, who says we are all entitled to be addressed as we choose.

However, I will consider "ux" despite its meaning, since it sounds suspiciously like the English "ox" and therefore carries a satisfactory connotation of stubbornness.

I knew you would come up with the funniest comment.

bean said...

i'm with you babe. i didn't change my name and everyone knows it but i constantly get stuff addressed to dh's last name as if it's mine. i got married, not bought.

and a fresser is someone who can eat well. 'what a little fresser' you'd say lovingly to the little kid stuffing manicotti down their face.

stacy said...

PPS: Yeah, this is why my in-person friends don't know I blog.

It is easy to find this blog as well as your AOL journal by googling your screen name or e-mail address. You never know when someone might stumble across it.

emmapeelDallas said...

I'd be irritated if a friend did that to me, and I just want to say, you are SO wise to not have your friends reading your blog. I'm thinking I need to start a second, private blog so I can write about some of the funny things that I don't feel free to write about, knowing who reads me among my friends.


Kathryn said...

Now I wonder if I make your dh mad when I send a Christmas card to "Your-first-name Your-last-name and family" and leave his name out entirely. I usually try to get this right though because I hate being called Kathy. Your friend should have a clue after all this time.

Paula said...

I love that there were so many comments on this post...hah!

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