Monday, May 24, 2010

i have issues with being a mrs.

to be fair, I had the same issues with being a "miss." except this time it's kind of hurting Matt's feelings.

for the record, I find nothing wrong with someone else being a Mrs or choosing to go by Mrs. To each her own! But I do take issue with our standard/default "titles." I think there's something terribly ridiculous about how a man gets to be Mr. regardless of marital status, whereas most women are referred to as Miss until they get married, and then become a Mrs. Couple that with the shockingly low use of the word "Ms." and I am just appalled.

For YEARS now I have politely requested that my name be listed as Ms. on all wedding invitations. I am not the same as a 5 year old girl, thankyouverymuch. And I can tell this is carrying over now.

(I must say, I probably also find it upsetting because the marital status boxes on medical forms say single, married, divorced or widowed, and I had been instructed multiple times that even though that was YEARS ago I still need to put divorced. It might've been my doctor's business immediately ex-post-facto, but really, until a month and a week ago, that was medically relevant? seriously? YUCK.)

So, anyway...I am trying to find a way to be okay with being called "Mrs." I did not correct any 8th graders at the dance on Friday. And actually, I didn't even correct any adults that day--but I *did* let them know that I would actually be R*ch@rdson F*y not just F*y. I think that hurt Matt's feelings a little, too.

I guess...I guess it's probably an identity thing. And a newness thing. And a NOYB thing.

I mean, I am okay with being called "wife." I actually liked having Matt introduce me as "my wife, Carrie." And I'm okay with being referred to as Mr & Mrs F*y, but I am not okay with Mrs Matt F*y or Mrs F*y. It's weird, I know. But I am having problems with it!

has anyone else had these thoughts go through their head? a little help, please?

14 comments:

m-m-m-melissa said...

i am not currently a mrs, but i do understand your frustration. ESPECIALLY with the "mr and mrs his-first-name couples-last-name." it's like, yeah, i'm married now, so i don't get a first name anymore. it's old-fashioned, which is kind of endearing, but it's antiquated, which just makes it piss me off. ANYHOW, i'm betting that the more you hear "mrs" the less you'll even think of it. and, please take no offense to the following, but i'm betting that with a hyphenated last name, you'll be correcting "mrs f*y" forever and ever... whatever happens, good luck, ladybug, and MANY congrats again. :) :) :)

Maria said...

I think it's normal. I use Ms. and my hyphenated name. I like being introduced as Kevin's wife, but Mrs. Johnson is his mama. I also call TB's teachers Ms. XXX.

care said...

@Melissa--you are right about that for sure. I will be correcting people for a LONG time. But I've decided that friends of my children can call me Mrs Fry and I won't correct them. Adults are fair game :)

@Maria--thank you for saying it is normal!! :)

Del said...

I have a different problem than you - I'm not used to the super common name that I 'got'. I am used to having a super strange and unusual name, and now I go to a super common one. It freaks me out. BUT I'm come to grips with the last name thing - it makes D feel better about the whole name thing. I do this with places like church or on thank you cards. Because it's where we are an 'us'. Not just me. With me, I am specific like you (though I have been bad with changing some things over). It helps that I can still use both names. Even at banks and such. I think that you'll get used to it with time. :)

Renee B. said...

i have always used ms. and still do, of course i kept my name so it makes the most sense because i am not mrs. boone. but, when i'm at mike's school i'm mrs. slack because it's just easier than correcting a whole bunch of people that i see maybe once a year or never again. and when he's at my school functions he's mr. boone, for the same reason. and we get a lot of invitations and stuff to mr. and mrs. mike slack and it kind of makes me role my eyes but whatever. i think we're just a generation away from that becoming obsolete and i figure i don't have to single-handedly do away with it myself. i'm just conscious of how i address people and envelopes. i only correct people if we're going to have long-term interaction and they might get confused.

Renee B. said...

um, "roll", not "role." :-)

M. said...

I totally, totally get it. The first time I got a piece of mail addressed to Mrs. [husband's first and last name] I almost gagged. I correct people whenever they call me Mrs. Once someone replied "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were married." I said "I am." Then I got a big roll of the eyes.

As time goes on, people will make fewer mistakes and this won't be as big of a deal. But I get it. It's annoying.

brooke knight said...

I had a lot of feelings about being B A K not just BK (though I have always been happy to go by Mrs.) until I worked at a school, and then it all went out the window. The teenagers seem to call me, and any other female teacher, any kind of combo of miss/ms/mrs. I also think that some people have a different (old-fashioned) view of Ms., seeing it as for old maids or something of that sort. I don't know where I am basing that from (or where they are!), but it just seems that some people have that mistaken impression. The only thing that drives me freakin' nuts is getting mail to Mr. and Mrs. P K. Because my name is not Mrs. Paul. It's theivery of my identity, and not to mention it makes me think of fish sticks (Mrs. Paul's). Buuuuut unfortunately that's what is traditionally formal for wedding invites and such. I always grumble about it, but it's just not worth the fight to me to say anything about it to the person. I do always try to put on rsvp cards "Mr and Mrs P and B K" just to make me feel better!

Hope you find what works for you!

gurdas said...

I so agree with you. I would go to the extent of saying that the whole system of having to change names (last names) after marriage is so stinking patriarchal. I disagree there is any romantic old-fashiond nostaligia to this. And I am surprised so many of your female friends talk of getting used to it. Or that a 'us' means the woman has to bend over to make it happen. Why can't two people be 'us' with different names?
I shudder to think how I'd feel if I were forced/expected to take my wife's family name. Why, then, should I expect her to take mine?
No, you are perfectly right in feeling offended at being addressed in any way other than what you want.

Anonymous said...

you GO girl! i am not married, but i am Ms. at work, and i feel like i always will be a Ms., regardless of marital status. Ms. is the equivalent to Mr., your marital status has nothing to do with the title. i love it! i think it's perfectly normal and acceptable to demand to be addressed the way you'd like to be addressed. i can't personally understand the women who just meld into the man's identity, lose their last name and are addressed as Mrs. Man's First and Last Name. it would frustrate me if i were in that situation. yes, you're married, but you're still you. your name is so much a part of your identity, hang on to it if you'd like. i don't think men have much of a concept of how difficult it would be to lose such an integral part of their identity just by getting married. anyway, march on Ms. Carrie!

Misha said...

I have to say that maybe I am more open to accepting the titles we are given by society...but I really embraced being Mrs. Williamson. The Williamson part was kind of strange to get used to...but I knew I wanted to be part of that family. And more importantly, to start my own family. I felt the most important thing was to have your own, solidified, Family name. Especially if you are ever going to have kids. But to each her own, as you say. I wouldn't think this would hurt Matt's feelings any...I'm assuming you discussed it at length and made the decision together. So he should be just fine with whatever was decided for last names, or if you are having a hard time being called Mrs.

{lauryl} said...

I too have issues with being a "Mrs," so I chose not to go that route. I spent 24 years of my life with my name, it didn't make any sense to me to suddenly change my name to my husband's. I adore him, but my identity is not wrapped up in him. I'm too much of a feminist to go along with patriarchal customs such as name change. My own mother retained her maiden name but added her husband's name and I always knew I'd go a step further and not add the husband's name. I've never gone by "Mrs" anything, and I routinely correct people who refer to me that way. Fortunately my husband has been 100% supportive of my desire to keep my name/identity since our early days of dating, so it has never been an issue there. I guess he is just a really "progressed" male. ;-) His family is uber traditional, so it did take some explaining for them to understand that a woman doesn't automatically become "Mrs Husband's-last-name" after marriage-- that it's a choice, and one I was choosing against. But here we are, nearly five years later, and everyone seems to understand and accept that he is Mr. FirstName LastName and I am Ms. FirstName LastName and that is that. We introduce each other as, "my husband, FirstName LastName" or "my wife, FirstName LastName" so it is clear right from the start that we are married but have different names.

Now when it comes to children... that's a whole other ballgame. We thought about just giving our kids one name or the other, since it's simpler, but the more we discuss it, the more we like the idea of giving our children a hyphenated last-name so they have a piece of each of us. Personally, I always wished that my own name had been hyphenated, so I'm definitely leaning that way. ;-)

care said...

you folks rock. :)

follow up question: when you are called, Mrs HisLastName in a situation where it would be appropriate to clarify (e.g. NOT by an 8th grader at school, but elsewhere)--what do you do?

especially if it goes like this:

hi Mrs. Fry!

Oh, hello! Actually, it's Ms. R*chardson Fry.

um, oh. but aren't you married?

???

melissa said...

i'm a few days late on this convo, but i'm proud to be a "ms." and nothing but. to me, "ms." is neutral and comfortably ambiguous - it's no one's business whether i'm a young "miss" or a married "mrs." so "ms." lets me be who i want to be.

i also kept my last name when jake and i, er, did not get married? because we're sort of common law? and my daughter has my last name as her second middle name which means she has a crazy long name, but honestly i did it because i wanted to be sure that my last name was SOMEWHERE on her passport.

 
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