Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Surnames

10:10 sunset
15:49 sunset

Can someone please explain to me why the Christmas cards that are coming to our door are frequently addressed to "Ben and Jenn Hislastname"? And I don't mean this in a rant sort of way (I have ranted before and I am not so angry about it anymore). I just find it weird. These aren't from my grandmother or anything - these are our contemporaries, many of whom also come from two surname households. I don't think there is an intended, subtle message in it for me, but I am not sure why it happens.

Thoughts?

8 comments:

narly said...

My surname is painfully long and Rachel never took it, so most of our mail arrives addressed to either "Narly & Rachel". If someone adds my surname, they are almost invariably friends of ours who are trying to get a rise out of her :)

madam0wl, a.k.a Sandra said...

How are the ones you prefer addressed? Ben HisLastName & Jenn HerLastName? Maybe some people are just lazy and don't want to write it all out... or use computer address book things don't understand.

My sister still uses her maiden name professionally, however I was a schlump that didn't send out cards so I'm not sure how I would have addressed one sent to their household.

Jennoit said...

I would be perfectly happy with just "Jenn & Ben" or if last names are required I would like it to be "Ben HisLastName & Jenn MyLastName." If that's too much to write or it doesn't work in terms of computer sorting/labels then I would prefer the cards be addressed to one of us or the other. But I don't like "Jenn LastNameThatDoesntBelongToMe." My surname is now and has only ever been the one I was born with so it seems weird when I am presented with a different one.

Maven said...

This is the first holiday season that I'm dealing with this. None of our contemporaries are screwing it up, but weirdly his mum addressed the card just to him on the outside even though it was for both of us, and his dad--this was the best--addressed it to both of us with a hyphenated last name, which the Brit refused to consider doing. So that cracked me up.

But we have gotten a few Mr & Mrs T. B. HisLast from the English relatives, which I find confounding since they received wedding announcements with both our names and a return address label with both our names. I guess people don't consider that some women feel erased by this practice, but I'm trying not to let it bug me.

Maven said...

I forgot to say that we've gotten several from friends just addressed with our first names. That's totally fine but makes me wonder if they're not clear about what we did with our surnames.

Jennoit said...

We sent out wedding announcements partly because we didn't tell people about the wedding beforehand (only 5 people were invited) and partly so that I could clearly state that neither of our names was changing. But this is going on 7 years ago now...

I don't mind the Jenn & Ben His-MyLastName hypen sort of arrangement. It's not who we are, but it acknowledges both of us, which I guess is what I want.

That said, I have made a habit of making up last names for some of our friends - blends as it were. So for us, for example, I often call us the "Robridges." My friends with the surnames Williams and Cheng have become the "Chilliams." You get the idea. But I didn't ask how they wish to be called, so perhaps I am offending them!

So while I am not in a political, ragey mood today, it is indeed the "some women feel erased by this practice" bit that bothers me. It's not so much that it's a terrible idea to change one's name, it's that when I get called one that isn't mine, it feels wrong.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennoit said...

Oh Anonymous Chilliams my friend :) I know you don't mean to offend - and I am not. Apology accepted (I wasn't really looking for one, just trying to understand a mind set). xox