(No disrespect to Sidney Poitier!)
Do you have people like this in your life?
The people who know you use your maiden name but still call you “Mrs Husband’s Last Name?”
For a while, it was my mom.
In her defense, I did change my name when Mr T and I got married.
But shortly after we married, I realized I did not like my new name. I didn’t like not having my own name, the one I’d had my entire life.
(And yes, I know I am still perpetuating The Patriarchy because my maiden name is my dad’s name, but whatever.)
The other factor was I didn’t like sharing a name with Mr T’s parents, who hated me for reasons to numerous to list here but included the following:
- I eat bacon wrong.
- I use cabbage wrong.
- I use cloth napkins.
- I didn’t sit in the living room to watch a football game with them.
- I don’t cut off and discard broccoli stems.
- I don’t peel apples for pie.
- (I STOLE THEIR SON’S LOVE BECAUSE LOVE IS A ZERO-SUM GAME.)
For his mom’s funeral, I helped Mr T look for photos to show at the reception. Not that I cared if I were (literally) in the picture, but in their house, we could not find a single photo with me in it.
Even though I sent them copies of the photos my mom took at our wedding.
(They were cranky about that. There were no photos with them! How about because when my mom was taking photos, they didn’t ask to be included. They had their own camera and didn’t ask anyone to take a photo. And rather than coming to the lake to take more photos with us, they went back to our house to drink.)
They must have discarded the wedding photos I sent.
But I did not want their last name.
I changed back to my maiden name.
Mr T has a friend from high school who has taken a hard turn to the right since he and Mr T used to smoke pot together and since HS Friend had a one-night stand with one of the bridesmaids at Mr T’s first wedding.
Before we got married, Mr T wanted me to go with him to visit HS Friend.
HS Friend insisted that Mr T and I sleep in separate rooms.
I didn’t care because my mom used to ask the same thing when I took boyfriends home.
With Mr T, I guess she just got tired and she didn’t feel like making up two rooms, so she put us in the same room the first time we visited her.
But Mr T refused to visit HS Friend under those conditions and HS Friend finally agreed.
HS Friend has had his revenge. Every year, he sends us a Christmas card addressed to “Mr and Mrs T,” not to “Mr T and Ms Texan.”
Because dammit that’s who a woman is: She gets her identity from her husband.
For the record: Women get to decide what they want to be called! If you want to take your husband’s name when you get married, that is fine! It’s your decision!
When our next-door neighbors got married, they combined their two last names into a new name.
Mr T mentioned them to HS Friend, who scoffed and said that Neighbor 1, who had a baby two years ago, is a single mother. There is no way, HS Friend maintains, that our two neighbors, who are both women, can be married.
My friend C’s husband, after about ten years of marriage, decided to change his surname to hers. I don’t remember all the details, but I think they wanted all of them – C, her husband, and their two boys, to have the same last name.
HS Friend would probably have a stroke upon hearing that.
(C, apologies if I got the details wrong!)
HS Friend will always address me as “Mrs T.”
My mom, however, now uses my maiden name, as I have asked her.
Because my mom is not a jerk and HS Friend is.