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She Mrs. The Point

Although I’m a staunch feminist, I took my husband’s last name. We regularly get mail to “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” Because of my long-standing hatred of this method of address (eliminating the woman’s first name), we deliberately return-addressed our wedding invitations and subsequent holiday cards with “Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Doe,” hoping people would understand our preference. Yet, even friends and family who knew me prior to marriage are writing “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.” Surely my own loved ones would consider me someone who still has a first name! My husband understands my plight, but postulates that if I’m so bothered, I ought to inform the offenders. I do feel strongly about this (and all matters pertaining to a woman’s right to her own identity), but I’m an extreme introvert who’d rather die than hurt people’s feelings. Should I care less about what others think and tell them they’re hurting me by perpetuating something I find reprehensible?

--Blinding Rage

Dear Mrs. John Doe,
Enough about your blinding rage, let’s talk about mine. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were staying at a hotel. I called down to the front desk with a request. The front desk guy said, “Certainly, Mrs. Sutter!” Well, I’m not “Mrs. Sutter,” and I have no intention of ever getting married. So…what was the proper response, lecturing him in the myriad ways people have committed relationships these days -- or simply thanking him for giving us late checkout?

Of course, I understood that the guy was taking his best guess in an attempt to be polite -- not suggesting that a woman sharing a hotel room with a man is either his wife or a hooker. Likewise, it’s doubtful your friends and relatives are trying to communicate that you’ve lost all personhood in their eyes. Tradition says, and etiquette experts advise, that the correct way to address correspondence to a married woman who took her husband’s name is the way that peeves you most. Just a little something to consider before you come on like the Kim Jong Il of Christmas card feminism.

Yes, you did mail out your personal Magna Carta on how you were to be addressed -- communicated as a hint, probably in tiny script, on the upper left corner of envelopes. Sorry, but what kind of person has the time to pore over every piece of mail they get just in case there’s a hidden message in the return address? Probably one whose choice of daily activities is largely limited to chiseling through reinforced concrete with a sharpened toothbrush or sitting on their cot waiting for parole.

The real problem starts with you, the “staunch feminist” who took her husband’s last name. A wee bit of disconnect, huh? Luckily, there’s no need to admit you didn’t quite think this name-taking business through when you can blame friends and family for your “plight.” Couldn’t you just be happy you got Christmas cards? You could also follow the lead of an increasing number of women who feel powerful enough that they can be traditional, or even girly, without feeling like some subjugated patriarchal tool. Then again, if you can’t help but see this as the Western version of female circumcision, quit gnashing and send out a polite announcement that you’ll be using your maiden name. Yes, a woman has a right to her own identity, but when she willingly takes a man’s name then wigs out when people actually use it -- well, it’s kind of like going to a Klan rally and getting all poopy when nobody will join hands and sing “We Shall Overcome.”

Posted by aalkon at February 27, 2007 10:43 PM

Comments

Wow! this is my very first reading of your column. Awesome response!

Posted by: Amber at February 28, 2007 7:10 AM

I read this in the newspaper. Liked the answer but the person who asked this question annoyed me beyond belief.
"I do feel strongly about this (and all matters pertaining to a woman’s right to her own identity), but I’m an extreme introvert who’d rather die than hurt people’s feelings."

I am also an introvert but dont have a problem hurting your feelings, YOU'RE AN IDIOT.

Posted by: PurplePen at February 28, 2007 7:39 AM

I like you, PurplePen.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 7:52 AM

Amy, You are the best at this advice column thing!

Posted by: cantchasea at February 28, 2007 9:30 AM

Thanks. I hope you'll request my column in the alt weekly or daily (that isn't too Puritanical) near you!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 9:33 AM

I would like to know what happens when/if they have children. Will the kids get saddled with hyphenated names (speaking as a guy who has several hyphens in his name)? Will she insist that the children have *her* maiden name? Will one kid have her maiden name and the other his name?

Bloody hell...

Posted by: André-Tascha at February 28, 2007 9:47 AM

Let's see... she's "an extreme introvert who’d rather die than hurt people’s feelings", having mail addressed to her and her husband in her husband's name (a man I'm assuming she loves and respects, and whose surname she legally assumed) "hurts" her and is "reprehensible", and she's in a "blinding rage" about it.

Something else - a much bigger something else - is going on here. I'm not even going to hazard a guess as to what the real problem could be, but it's a shame that she's not able to address it.

Posted by: soleil at February 28, 2007 10:04 AM

Amy, as an extreme introvert I'd rather die than accept a compliment.

Posted by: PurplePen at February 28, 2007 10:17 AM

Dude, what a silly thing to get a mad-on about. I hate it, too (mainly b/c I don't think I look much like a "John"), but honestly, its an old-fashioned etiquette thing that is still recommended to do. If you have to fight the system on something, pick a topic a little more relevant than a three-inch space on an envelope. Geez...
-CD

Posted by: CornerDemon at February 28, 2007 10:18 AM

I don't understand why you'd get so mad at other people when they've obviously not been clued in. Suppose I changed my voice mail to say, "Hi, this is Stephanie", and then get very upset when people still referred to me by my real name. How hard is it to correct someone if it really bothers you?

I must admit that in my personal correspondence I use a much more informal address "Joe & Jane Doe". Why? Well, having a super feminist grandma who refused to be called "Mrs." has made me hedge my bets. Sure I get a little annoyed when all those charities that I've sent money to send out free address labels in only my husband's name, but I don't think about it beyond the two seconds it takes to trash it.

One more point: Is it truly possible to be a "staunch feminist" and to "rather die than hurt people’s feelings"? Can one really ever be a staunch anything without offending or hurting someone? Should the black man not marry a white woman because it would hurt some red-neck's feelings? Should the woman go back to her house and start cooking and popping out babies because her getting the promotion over her male coworker would hurt his feelings? Why do we even care so much about other people's feelings, when in general people are peevish, infantile, and have a built in victimization complex.

Posted by: Stacy at February 28, 2007 10:38 AM

CD, you reminded me of a guy I was seeing who was fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence. He was fighting the system alright.... best exemplified by associating on a daily basis with native Southern Californians (we are known for our lack of interest in status symbols). Hopefully this girl was as attractive as my ex---that way you can ignore their baby talk and concentrate on what a sexy trophy partner you got yourself.

Posted by: PurplePen at February 28, 2007 10:50 AM

IMO, it's bad manners (rude) to get angry when people's intentions are to be nice, gracious, polite, thoughtful.

Therefore, if somebdoy holds a door for me, they get a thank-you, if somebody sends me a christmas card they get a thank-you, if somebody calls me by my husband's name (even though I never took it) they get a smile, and perhaps a friendly correction.

There's enough thoughtless or even intentional bad deeds out there, without getting all enraged by people who are actually trying to do the right thing.

Posted by: mitchki at February 28, 2007 10:56 AM

Is it truly possible to be a "staunch feminist" and to "rather die than hurt people’s feelings"? Can one really ever be a staunch anything without offending or hurting someone?

Me, I'm a staunch bitch. Well, that is, to the deserving, anyway.

And I'm with mitchki on people's good intentions -- which is why I simply thanked the clerk for late checkout instead of giving him a reaming about the myriad ways people have relationships!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 11:35 AM

Note to all women getting married: Whether or not you take your husband's name, at some point you will be addressed as Mrs. Husband'sFirstName Husband'sLastName. It will happen. Generally the people doing it are not trying to crush your spirit or deny your individuality - they're following a social convention. Some women would be offended were they *not* addressed in that way. Some women don't change their names but don't mind the convention...because if you're Jane Smith and you marry Joe Blow without changing your name, technically there is no Jane Blow, but there is a Mrs. Joe Blow. There's also a Mr. Jane Smith - if your husband has a sense of humor, suggest that he introduce himself as that.

I've noticed that my friends who didn't change their names are fairly relaxed about the whole Mrs. Whatever thing, especially given that it often comes from older relatives and family friends who like to give nice wedding and baby presents. The people I know who freak out about it tend to be just like Amy's letter-writer - they changed their names to make a spouse happy, but weren't really in favor of the decision. Oddly enough, none of these women ever think to send out cards announcing their names.

I can understand getting a bit irritated if people won't call you by the name that you've chosen. What I don't understand and what always irritates the hell out of me is people expecting others to read their minds. I doubt this is the only occasion of this woman expecting psychic powers from her family and friends.

Posted by: marion at February 28, 2007 12:15 PM

I actually don't think that the Mr & Mrs convention would be as bad if they didn't use the man's first name. I've seen letters to my mom addresed to Mrs. My Dad's Name and that's just WRONG, I mean the woman has a name, and it is not Bob. But Mr. and Mrs. Doe isn't as bad, I don't think.

I just wish keeping your name was more practical. When I was a little girl I promised my dad that I wouldn't take my husband's name so our family name could be carried on. Now if only i could find a guy who would agree to it.

I have friend who has a hyphentated name and she HATES it. (But her mom gets so MAD if you call her the wrong name.... she's kindof a psychopath though, and by kindof, I mean is.) She was sad when she got married because she now has THREE last names, and there is really no good way to use them all. I think she ended up making her maiden her middle or some such nonsense.

It seems like there should be some other solution to the combining of two people's lives than that one of them has to give up part of their identity. I like the idea of combining the names, but you certainly couldn't combine Doe and Smith without sounding like some weird manufacturer of female deer.

It sounds to mee like Mrs. Doe should just never have taken her husband's name in the first place. Bitter much.

Posted by: Shinobi at February 28, 2007 2:01 PM

"I've seen letters to my mom addresed to Mrs. My Dad's Name and that's just WRONG"

Shinobi, does your mom agree? I'm not asking to be snarky - I'm asking because I know a lot of women in their 50s and above (an age range I assume that your mom falls into) who would be offended were they NOT addressed as Mrs. HusbandFirstName HusbandLastName. You may find it intensely irritating, but she may not.

Posted by: marion at February 28, 2007 3:52 PM

I love the reader who wrote to me (from Pennsylvania, I think) with the Mr. and Mrs. Barbara So-and-So address label. Her husband thinks it's funny -- probably because he doesn't feel like a victim. Feeling victimized is the problem.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 4:07 PM

Ok, I understand drama. I came from a family of drama queens. But this is a bit much. Upset because she is addressed by the name she took? And what on earth does being a feminist have to do with it? I'm all for equal rights for women, but I also like to be girly. That means that I will wear skirts to the office, not slacks. Or I will put on makeup when I go out and wear jewelry. And when I get married next month I will become Mrs. So and So except at work because everyone knows me as Ms. Maiden Name and it isn't worth the trouble of correcting everyone. That and they have already told me that they will not give me a new email address with my new name. So why confuse people? And yes, part of the reason I am changing my name is because my fiance would like me to. Concession to him. But isn't that part of empowerment? That I get to choose what points to concede on?

Posted by: SarahBeth at February 28, 2007 5:24 PM

But isn't that part of empowerment? That I get to choose what points to concede on?

Ideally, that's what feminism would stand for.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 5:47 PM

It seems to me that feminism has become something that completely lacks feminity.
If you were truly secure and comfort with your status and your position, you wouldn't be afraid to be more of a girl.
Thousands of perfect strangers share your first name, and that doesn't affect you. Why should you be so worried over sharing the last name of a man you love?
If this is the most pressing issue in your life right now, then I congradualate you on having become truly mundane.

Posted by: Jaime at February 28, 2007 9:04 PM

I find that women who are powerful have no trouble being girly.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2007 9:28 PM

Prior to my divorce, I was (as any newlywed should be) VERY fond of my husband, and VERY happy to be both Daisy Jones (my name at birth, which I kept) and Mrs. Andrew Douchebag (which, as far as I'm concerned, is his name these days). The name thing wasn't much of an issue, though, both because I had more important things to worry about than Ms. Blinding Rage over there, and because practically everyone I know came to me and asked what name I planned to use long before the wedding.

They did this because whether a modern bride is a staunch feminist or not, there are SCORES of name related options out there these days, and they -- as my close friends! -- preferred to address me by my name than find out later that they didn't even know it.

Theirs was a solid solution to an otherwise potentially tedious "problem," don't you think?

Posted by: Daisy at March 1, 2007 7:41 AM

Personally, I just wait until I'm told somebody's going to be going by some new name. My sister uses her husband's. It took me a little while to remember to write her with it. I think she just cared that I cared enough to send her letters, postcards, and the occasional present.

PS Daisy, re: "Mrs. Andrew Douchebag"...thanks, made me laugh.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 1, 2007 7:45 AM

Seriously, this is what she has to worry about? Nothing about figuring out the new tax stuff, or getting used to considering two people's opinions regarding a possible relocation for a job, or where to buy a house, or how to survive the first year of marriage without any casualties? Seriously!?!?!?

Sounds like Mrs. Blinding Rage has entirely too much time on her hands and should consider finding a hobby (like educating herself on feminism so she actually understands what she should be fighting for) and keep herself occupied. She's going to drive herself out of her pretty little head. Amazing. Really.

Posted by: Renee at March 1, 2007 9:11 AM

Let's see...she's a "staunch feminist" in a "blinding rage" because of people "perpetuating something reprehensible," yet the "staunch feminist" changed her last name but still wants to reserve the right to get offended?
Well, someone has a lot of time on their hands. What a douche. I feel sorry for the schmuck she married.
My mum kept her last name, more out of convenience than anything else, and my sibling and I have her maiden name as our middle name. She doesn't bother getting offended if someone refers to her as "Mrs. My-Dad's-last-name," because, you know, there are better things to do with your time than run around in a "blinding rage" because of a fucking postscript. Like, maybe concentrating on not being such an annoying nitwit.

Posted by: amh18057 at March 1, 2007 10:59 AM

I agree with soleil; there seems to be some larger issue here, possibly something about how she interacts emotionally with other people. I don't understand why she thinks people's feelings would be hurt if she were to say, "Actually, I prefer to be addressed as 'such-and-such-a-name.'" One would think they'd actually be happy to know how to address her correctly in the future. Is "I don't want to hurt people's feelings" really "I don't know how (or I'm not able) to express my OWN feelings" in this case? Maybe I'm taking that too far; still, I thought it was odd.

Posted by: Emaryn at March 1, 2007 11:15 AM

You can go by your husband's name or your maiden (your dad's) name. Horrors! Either way it's a male!

Posted by: ms wicks at March 1, 2007 11:18 AM

Interesting point ms wicks. This is a patriarchial society after all is said and done. I think real feminism is about women being equal to, yet different from, men. I can be paid the same for my job as a man would, I can be given the same courtesy and respect a man would, but I can still be a woman. That means that I can wear clothes to work that show that I have a figure, without being slutty, that I can talk to my best friend on the phone about the best place to get a bikini wax, or that I can go out and attract male attention. All at the same time knowing that I have just as much clout as a man in the meeting that I have scheduled Monday.

Posted by: SarahBeth at March 1, 2007 2:37 PM

You want to know what I did? It's really bad...

I married a Latino, Mr. Antonio Gonzalez, so I thought it'd be cute to South Americanize my name and change my name from Ms. Brenda Schmidt to Mrs. Brenda Schmidt de Gonzalez.

And that lady thinks SHE has problems. Nobody, including myself, ever knows what to call me...ever. One time, my husband got a credit card without me, and when he called to put me on it, he said, "Yes, I'd like to get another card. My wife. Um, hold on. Hey! Which name do you want this time?"

Can't be in a blinding rage, though. I picked it. It's cool, it just takes a full minute to sign official documents...

Posted by: Brenda at March 1, 2007 5:52 PM

There's something to be said for having just one name. Madonna, Cher, Crid. I know Crid has a couple in real life, but I always think of him as just "Crid."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 1, 2007 6:06 PM

Jane Smith marries John Doe.
Her name can then be Jane Smith, or Jane Doe, or Jane Smith-Doe, or whatever she chooses.
However, her TITLE is Mrs. John Doe. It's not a NAME, it's a statement of her relationship to him.

Had a similar problem with a friend; in her case:
Jane Smith married John Doe. She became Jane Smith-Doe, they had four kids, each named Doe. If they had her name as middle I was never aware of it. So I addressed their Christmas card (to save space!) to:
Jane & John Doe
Susan, Billy, Janie, Kyle

I later got an email from her informing me that she is not Jane Doe but Jane SMITH-DOE, and so in future I could please address their Christmas card to "Jane Smith-Doe & John Doe" (& kids), or to "The Smith-Doe Family".

If she had not been my professional mentor, I might have responded with what I really thought of that, but as I didn't want to offend her, this year's card went to Jane Smith & John Doe. **SIGH**.

Really people, is your identity THAT tenuous?

Posted by: Divakitty at March 3, 2007 3:57 PM

THANK YOU, Divakitty! (And thanks, Amy, for getting a giggle out of the Mrs. Douchebag thing -- you rock.)

Divakitty is spot-on, 100% correct. I couldn't have been Mrs. Daisy Douchebag even if I had wanted to, because it's impossible for a person to marry herself.

My way worked great for me; I was Daisy Jones, and also Mrs. Douchebag, in much the same way that I am also Aunt Daisy, Cousin Daisy, etc. It was a perfectly accurate description of my relationship to that man, and it kept all aspects of my identity in the mix.

And, for the record, if my ex and I had ended up with kids, they would have carried their father's name, with none of that hyphenated crap.

Posted by: Daisy at March 4, 2007 11:17 AM

When I got married ages ago, me and my ex reviewed all the names that were an option (his mom had been married twice). We decided to go with his mother's maiden name, because that way I got to keep my initials the same, and I liked the way it sounded.

I think the best option is for both of you to change your last names to something you decide together works best. That way the guy has to go through just as much paperwork as the woman, and you're both equally inconvenienced. Faith Popcorn changed both her names, so it has been done before!

Posted by: Chris at March 5, 2007 9:25 AM

I'm a guy. I wish I could've taken my wife's name, it would have been a lot easier to spell. But no, it's harder for a man to change his name than it is a woman. Where's the justice in that, huh? ;-)

Posted by: anonimouse at March 5, 2007 10:36 AM

Yeah, I think it's great if a woman keeps her name but in a perfect world, whoever has the coolest last name wins.

Posted by: kevin_m at March 6, 2007 3:41 AM

Not to intentionally go too far off topic... The last three people (Kevin, Anonymouse and Chris) touched on points worth looking at. (Not just in this case, but in general.)

Not a lot of people may be aware of this, but the man CAN adopt the woman's last name. I know a couple who did this. The process is the same for either person, and doesn't really involve much paperwork at all. Both parties can change their names to one they come up with themselves if they wish to. (I did have my name legally changed. Not my last name, I wanted to keep it the same as our kids, but first and middle, so I'm up on this stuff, at least as it holds tru in Maine.)

My wife is a "staunch feminist" but took my last name. I'd have taken hers, it makes little difference to me, but she liked mine better than the one she had. (It was pronounced differently than her first name, but was spelled similar enough that people rhymed them A LOT)

ON Topic, if she was really "staunch" she shouldn't have taken his name in the first place. Even then, if people faux pas, "blinding rage" is for morons.

Posted by: Morbideus at March 8, 2007 11:08 AM

I didn't take my husband's name and I get addressed as " Mrs. John Doe" too. Yeah, it's annoying. I have some traditionalist relatives who insist on addressing me as "Mrs. John Doe" despite my repeated reminders that I've chosen to keep my maiden name. To them it's not an option -- they're still living in the 50s. Some people just don't get it. It's not worthwhile to waste mental energy on this kind of thing -- or to alienate family and friends because of it. I've learned to just let it go!

Posted by: Jenny Ondioline at March 16, 2007 12:01 PM

I dont understand how no one understands where Blinding Rage is coming from. I completely agree with her. It becomes a predicament. First off, there's a myriad of reasons women who would rather not just succumb to legally taking on their husband's name,do. I think very often they do it to avoid awkward and confusing situations; but mostly for the sake of children and people that will know you through them. 99% of the time it falls on the woman to take her husband's name b/c history and society is on his side. Let's be honest, even if you have a understanding, modern husband he'd have to be a total tree-hugger to take on his wife's last name. I love my fiance, but I am a modern, successful woman and even though I accept taking his last name legally (I will still be introducing myself by my maiden name)I think I deserve more than to simply be an 'extension' of my husband. To address me as Mrs. John Doe (as opposed to Mrs. Jane Doe)..., well now Im just the wife of John Doe...whatever happened to 'Jane Smith?' Did her identity as a individual person just get absorbed by her husband altogether. His didn't change at all! As if it weren't bad enough that women take on the man's last name, they seem to lose their first names too!
Now, I'm certainly not getting mad at the individuals addressing envelopes this way, b/c its the system...they probably have never stopped to think about it...it's true Blinding Rage- you shouldn't let this get to you. Be mad at the situation and not at the individuals operating within the standards of that society. It sucks, but it's life. In the current day this way of addressing things does seems really anachronistic though and if it hasn't been obvious enough, Im bothered by it too.
Stay strong blinding rage- these responders are all prob conservative mid-western chauvinists or betty housewives who get married and their identity becomes 'wife' and nothing else.

Posted by: Blaze at March 16, 2007 10:25 PM

See my response to the desk clerk above.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 16, 2007 10:33 PM

Blaze, it would appear that you are the betty housewife, since you are the one that took your husband's last name. Maybe you should work on developing a backbone and standing up for your 'ideals', instead of blaming everyone else for things that you don't like. But then you wouldn't get to be a victim and enjoy all that self-righteous anger.

If you were so strong and independent, you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place...but then someone might have disapproved of you-sob!

Posted by: Chris at March 21, 2007 6:54 AM

So she is a staunch feminist, but she wants to get married and take her husband's last name. Go figure.

She is an extreme introvert but she flies into a "blinding rage" when someone does not notice INCREDIBLY subtle hints of a first name preference.

My, my, my. I feel so sorry for the poor man she married. Within years if not months she is going to be blindingly enraged by what she will no doubt consider his "insensitivity", but will just simmer for months.

People with angry, hate-filled personalities just love the possibilities for self-righteousness that come with a cause, whether it is feminism, communism, vegetarianism, or Nazism. With feminism as the justification for her hate, her husband (poor bastard) is in for a rough life.

She married him because she has a weak neurotic personality (with a barely suppressed streak of violence) and is unable to face the world on her own. She will make him pay and pay and pay for countless imagined slights for their entire marriage unless she gets some professional help.

Posted by: big bill at March 22, 2007 4:50 AM

We have interesting experience with this. My wife & I got married in our late 30's. She wasn't sure what to do about the last name thing. She thought keeping her name would be confusing to kids. (Turns out that isn't a big deal: like in most matters, children are a whole lot smarter than we think they will be.)

Ultimately, she chose to keep her name. Initially, she was a bit put off by the "Mrs. John Doe" thing, but, for the arguments stated well by posters here, she *decided not to be* any more. The only one who gathers her ire is the woman who introduced us to each other. Even in informal salutations, she continues to address us as "John & Mary Doe." The kicker is that this woman also kept her own last name in marriage, and gets peeved by others "not respecting" her choice by the way they address their correspondence!!! Just as irrational as Mrs. Blinding Rage.

Incidentally, I never cared one way or the other, and encouraged her to keep her name. FWIW, she is the one who makes almost all of the arrangements for us (dinner reservations, trip plans, etc.) As a result, I am far more often addressed as "Mr. HerLastName" than she is addressed by my name. My response is sappy, I know, but it is true: I was, and still am (after 12 years) so thrilled that she married me, that I am proud of it!

Posted by: Setfio at March 31, 2007 2:28 PM

I know this is old, but couldn't resist saying that even my 8-year old son knows better than to get all bent out of shape when people call my fiancee his dad. No need to go into all the different ways a "family" might be put together. I guess this means he's not a "staunch feminist". Phew!

Posted by: Moreta at May 29, 2007 11:50 AM

I know this is old, but I've been browsing archives and..(P.S. I heart you, Amy!)

@big bill: yes, you can be a staunch feminist and still take your husband's last name. You can still staunchily believe in equality of the sexes and choose to act in a manner that's not "traditionally" feminist. The point here is about having the choice. In an ideal world, a woman taking her husband's name wouldn't need to answer questions like yours, and the woman choosing to keep hers won't need to explain herself to people like Jaimie. Everyone would just respect each other's choices and leave it at that.
That, however, is besides the point. What I found the most snort-worthy of the orginal question was the assertion that she doesn't want to cause hurt feelings. To think that correcting her correspondents would cause hurt feelings is to indulge in pretty enormous delusion: that anyone out there actually invested FEELINGS in how your highness wishes to be addressed. Hubris, anyone? I'm sorry if this might cause you to pass out, but almost no one cares. Just correct them if it drives you up the wall, and I promise this will engage people's attention for the five seconds it'll take them to update their address book and they'll go back to not givin a rat's behind. And as for the few who actually do care, (and there are some out there) instead of raging all over them and beating your head against the wall, how about just sparing a minute of pity for their lives so devoid of meaning they need to look for it in yours, and then moving on?

Posted by: Julia at November 3, 2007 1:36 PM

I know this is old, but I couldn't resist. I kept my maiden name when we got married due to my security clearance. We gave our kids his last name, but he was willing to use my last name. I'm constantly addressed by his last names by their friends and I just let it go. It isn't worth getting worked up over. At least i didn't do what my sister-in-law did. She gave each of her kids a different last name. That has caused some problems for them.

Posted by: Pam at December 2, 2007 7:51 PM

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