Thursday, April 9

Mrs Who?

Reading my book last night i came across a passage which really struck me. As im at work i cant recall it verbatim (you know i cant even recall the author or the name of the damn book to lead you in the right direction) but it was along the lines of Ms Summer met a man caller Mr Winter, got married, changed her name due to the 'situation' of seasonal differences and upon being referred to as Mrs she reported a feeling of being struck with images of washing, banality and impending doom and aging. I laughed. How true. I hate the title myself. Have for as long as i can remember. Mrs was always someones mother, nondescript, like the furniture. As a kid i loved those mothers who asked me to call them by their actual name and i remember thinking it was a bit radical. Now both my children attend schools where their teachers ask the children to use their names, not titles , and it seems so much more human.

But late in my life, i have found I have become a 'Mrs', whereas in the past I have always been a Ms. Its really annoying. I feel like i have just dissappearred. Poof. I have had the fortune/misfortune to marry a man who has the same surname as me. Now people just assume and use the Mrs; 'take the name, take the title' it appears. I want to shout ' it was my name too'. In my last relationship where we had different surnames, i didnt get consumed into the Mr and Mrs thing, i remained me and he was him. Mr X and Ms Y. Now its Mr and Mrs Z. Im gonna have to have a word with my bank and the school. Sometimes im not even sure if its me or Si's late wife whom a letter may be addressed too (we've had that problem one too many times). We're generic. Whats your take on married titles? Passe? too 1970's to worry about? Not an issue? or totally outdated?


Anonymous said...

After 35 happy years of marriage my mother's best mate says she still wishes she hadn't changed her name. It still feels weird. I've always thought it was weird and there's no way I'd do it.

You're the third person I've known who's married a bloke with the same name!

Julie said...

I didn't technically change my name, but somehow along the way with three kids and between preschool and school I have started answering to Mrs K because I just couldn't be bothered pointing out I'm Ms G any more. Getting lazy and less prone to feminism rants in my old age I think. Having said that I would almost have changed my name to something else if DH had had the same surname when we first got married 10 years ago LOL! Just to be contrary ;-)

Anonymous said...

I kept my maiden name - and really could not imagine doing anything else (although I sometimes think it would be nice to have the same surname as my daughter - although don't like that that would mean I would have the same name as my MIL - LOL!).

I have also felt insulted by 'Mrs' recently. I was at the bank thismorning - and the bankmanager automatically selected 'Mrs'. I was actually insulted! I usually use 'Ms' (although i'm a 'Dr'). When did I become a "Mrs" and not a "Ms"?? I have no idea why 'Mrs' was so insulting??


Rest is not idleness said...

My first marriage I didn't change my name, (because I wanted to keep "my" name) which was fortunate as there were no hassles when the marriage didn't work out. This time, I have changed it, it doesn't really worry me either way, although the new surname is a helluva lot easier to spell and I no longer get people asking "how do you spell that?" but I never get called Mrs, I'm always referred to by my first name, or first name and surname together but not Mrs. In fact when I am referred to as Mrs .... I usually look behind me to see who they are talking to!!

Barbara said...

I was happy to change my name and
go from a strange name that
no one could spell or pronouce
correctly to one that was more
"normal" - but then I also always
use Mrs. not Ms. since I have
no problem with being married!

Barbara said...

I forgot to add - have a lovely
Easter with the bean!

Annuska said...

I have always found it a bit bizarre- in Spain you do not change your name and kids get both parents last name (just one from each) so not changing your name does not disconnect you from them. So to me I have always thought your name is a part of who you are, and yours alone and it has nothing to do with marriage, partnership, love or the like.
I had not realised Mrs meant you changed your name! Lucky I always choose Ms!

Laura Jane said...

I spose technically the title Mrs went with being Mrs Joe Bloggs. But we could always apply the title Mrs Jane Brown to Jane Brown when she married Joe Bloggs.

I have no problem being Mrs Laura R having changed my name from Murphy, a name which I was always quite keen to lose for reasons related to there being a wrestler (of all things) called Skull Murphy, so as a child I was Plain Jane, or Skull Murphy, neither of which felt desirable. I was BUSTING to get married and change my name, to ANYTHING other than Murphy. This explains a lot, ahem.

I am quite delighted to be known by my married name, it is a big part of my now grown-up identity. But I do feel a little sad that the surname has died out, although one of my sisters has never married and so still has hers. We are 4 girls so there are no male heirs to the name...

In your case - you're stuck with it girl! It seems to rankle that people can now assume your marital status, and therefore have ?differing expectations of you.

You remain a kick-ass feminist nonetheless.

Kel said...

hehe. Thanks for all your interesting replies. Im intrigued by tricias response to being called Mrs, feeling insulted and isnt sure why. In my case i get peeved because you cant tell if men are married by the title Mr but women are labelled. Goes back to the roots of the idea...i love being married i just dont like the inequality in the term. I love that some were just busting to get rid theirs. Hope y'all have a great loooong weekend.

Veggie Gnome said...

Forget Mrs Who, soon you can call yourself Dr. Who! :)

Ms Gnome

Kel said...

veggie- lol. too right. bring it on!