Names

Nov. 2nd, 2013 10:12 am
wood_elf: (zombie me 2011)
I've been setting up bills, ordering a bit of stuff online etc and I was giving some thought to my name and salutation. Currently going by Mrs Jen Husbandssurname on most correspondence.

Being separated (rather than divorced) is a kind of weird in-between status without any real guidelines about what you are supposed to do, and I'll be there for a while as we're waiting the two years rather than getting an expensive quicky divorce. Other women in my wider social circle who are in the same situation mostly reverted to their maiden names fairly soon after the event. This is understandable, if the marriage ended in hostile/unpleasant circumstances and you want to distance yourself from the other person and cut ties.

I have no particular desire to do that. Our break-up, while sad, was pretty amicable. My married name has kind of become my name through use and choice, and I haven't been asked to stop using it or give it back. It goes with my first name, is short and to the point, and is pleasingly anonymous - there are ten others with my name in the work email directory, one even in my department. This is appealing for various reasons, even if I do get copied into other people's messages occasionally.

It would feel very strange to go back to my pre-married name - not because I don't like it - I do and am proud to be part of the family I'm from - but it relates to a previous me, who was a lot younger and lacking in life experiences. It's also the name I was known by at school, in that no-one used my first name as I was a teacher's daughter and our surnames were the same and this was funneee! to repeatedly shout out when you're 13 and stupid. I feel that by taking on the name I'd revert to the person. Don't know if this would actually happen, but the possibility is enough to put me off. So I think I'll stay a for now. Choosing an entirely new surname, perhaps after the divorce, is a possibility too.

As to titles, I don't get along with Ms. Fond of the idea of a salutation for women that doesn't sort them by marital status, my mum used it instead of Mrs until she became Dr., but it just doesn't sound right to my ear. I'm kind of a traditionalist with language, and unless someone can come up with an alternative that is both nice in the mouth and doesn't draw attention to itself, I'll stick with Mrs. I like Mrs, although it feels a little fraudulent now, in a way that the surname doesn't. Not quite sure why.

It must be nice being a man and not having to think about this kind of thing.

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