To Mr. & Mrs John Smith.
I know this has been talked about many a times, but clearly it bears repeating.
It’s been a little over a year since my amazing husband and I got married. We have had a wonderful first year together and of course have had to work through a lot as well. Marriage is not easy, but it is worth it (Love you Shaun 😘).
There is just one thing that I don’t get with such a strong emphasis on feminism and women’s right in the 20-teens, why is a woman changing their last name still such a big deal? Ok, ok, don’t everyone get all up in arms on me here. Yes, I do get it. Having the same last name means no confusion everyone will know you are a family because your last name is the same (unless you guys look alike, then people may get you confused for brother and sister or mother and son, EW gross! 😂). Parents and children will have the same last name so obviously that’s easier for school, and well all the mail that comes to the house will have the same last name on it, that’s important right? I mean except for the fact that you’ll definitely still get mail with your maiden name on it. And of course there is the many many many years of tradition behind a woman taking a man’s last name.
Here’s what I don’t get, why doesn’t the man take the woman’s last name? Why don’t couples choose a completely new last name? Why not hyphenate? Why not just leave well enough alone and let everyone’s personal decision on changing or not changing their last name be their decision? Because who the hell has time to change their SS card, driver’s license, all their bills, car and house deeds, and don’t forget those credit cards, oh and any place you have an account like the doctor or hair stylist. I’m not even going to mention what a pain in the ass it would be for me, as a business owner, to change my name on every important piece of paper work and tax document for my business. It gives me a head ache just thinking about it.
Ok, if you can’t tell already, I didn’t take my husband’s last name. This is the root of my frustration. I have chosen to go against the grain and am constantly ridiculed for it. Fine, I get it, tale as old as- I mean tradition as old as time. Who likes change anyway?
I have friends who didn’t change their last name, who have hyphenated, and who both husband and wife have both hyphenated/changed their last names. All of these are awesome and hey, changing your last name to your husband’s is totally awesome too! I’m not here to bash, I’m here to agree we should all make our own decisions and not be chastised for them ☺️.
Here’s what REALLY ruffles my feathers, like completely and utterly I do not get it and it actually hurts my feels (ok not like hurts my feelings, I’m not a child. But it just doesn’t feel good 😜). What I 100% do not get at all is writing something to a couple as Mr. & Mrs. John Smith. Literally the sound of it makes my stomach churn. When I see this on a piece of mail it takes everything not to scream and tear that shit up. Why? Do you really not even remember my name, is that the problem?
Ok, maybe I’m being dramatic, I’m sure it’s a ‘cute’ gesture and I should be excited to see it because we’re a family now. And I am excited to see our names together. Both of our names together. Shaun ❤️ Ellie like a tween in my school notebook. I’ll write Shaun and Ellie 4eva on everything. Just for the love of God, don’t take my name away and refer to me as Mrs. Shaun. I am my own person and I am not defined by who my husband is nor is my husband defined why who I am (for real can we call him Mr. Ellie Elisabeth 😂 #sendThatLetter).
Why do people feel the need to take away a woman’s identity entirely? Write Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Smith family. I get that, just use the last name it’s neat, easy, saves time. Heck I didn’t even change my last name and seeing a letter that just has my husband’s last name on it addressed to both of us does not bother me one bit. What bother’s me is taking away my identity and making me so and so’s husband. Oh that’s the girl who married…. Really, it brings me back to grade school and being the third of four kids and being referred to as Ruth and Zach’s younger sister. It didn’t feel go as a kid and I’ll be honest, it feels worse as an adult.
And try to get this through to a man or woman who has been struck by the tradition stick, good luck! Deer in the headlights look all the way.
Flat out, feeling like you don’t get to be your own person just because you’re married is not cool. Am I the only one who feels this way? If so, bring on the backlash ’cause baby, it won’t change how I feel. But I’m always open minded to hearing what you guys think 🤔😊🌺
If you’re a woman, I just want you to take a moment and think about who you are- woman, mother, sister, friend, hard working, creative, motivated, what ARE you? Take a moment and say, I am ___(name), I am ___(adjective), and I am proud to be a woman! (If you’re a man, be proud too 😉). Just don’t forget how far we’ve come. There was a day when we couldn’t vote or own property.
Personally, I’m moving forward and think my husband and I should both change our last name to Madagascar. Ellie Madagascar. I like the sound of that. 😜