Post # 1
My wifely musings/rant:
Ok, so something has been bothering me. I kept my name (Smith) when I got married so etiquette-wise (thank you Emily Post) technically I’m still Ms. Smith. But I’m married! If I want to, why can’t I go by Mrs. Smith!
Here’s my rationale: technically “Mrs.” means “wife of.” So traditional etiquette has stated that you can’t use Mrs. with your own first name. So it used to be incorrect (etiquette-wise) to say “Mrs. Jane Smith” because she was the wife of John Smith, not Jane Smith. “Mrs. John Smith” was the only correct way to include a first name. Most women now go by their own first name with Mrs. That’s because people now consider Mrs. to mean “married,” not “wife of” some specific man.
So what’s wrong with using Mrs. with your own last name?
Yes, I realize I could always just go by Mrs. Jones (his last name) socially, but that’s not the point.
I’m thrilled to be married and would prefer the honorific that notes that. But I don’t think I needed to have changed my last name to get to do that.
Ok, if I spent as much time on my dissertation as I did researching etiquette and wedding traditions, I’d probably be “Dr.” by now anyway :p
Thanks for reading!
Post # 3
I say go by Mrs. if you want to! Keeping your last name doesn’t make you any less married. 🙂
Post # 4
Go for it! I see Mrs. as meaning “married” as well, though I’m sure etiquett would fight with me on that. 🙂
And being a Dr doesn’t always change much – socially, my mother is still “Mrs” even though she is very much a “Dr” in her professional life. Lol.
Post # 5
If you want to call yourself She-Ra, Princess of Power, I say do!
Post # 6
@helenberrycrunch: Hey, you know that I am She-Ra, Princess of Power.
@ginnyc: I have a few aunts that kept their last names and they all still go by Mrs. I totally would use the Mrs if I were in your shoes.
Post # 7
The only thing is that if you’re name was Mrs. Jane Smith, then people would assume that your husband’s name was Smith. If you corrected them, that could get confusing. Yes, Mrs. indicates married, but there is also the assumption that the last names are going to match. If they don’t, you run the risk of having people change your *husbands* name or having to explain over and over again why you are Mrs. Jane Smith while he is Mr. John Jones. Does that make sense?
Post # 8
In the oldest usage; “Miss”, “Mrs” and “Ms” are all abbreviations for “Mistress”, which did not mean “married” but referred to any woman when not in domestic service to someone else — in other words, who was “mistress” of her own time and resources. You can read sixteenth and seventeenth century novels in which unmarried girls were referred to as “Mrs Pamela” or “Mrs Clarissa” — using the young ladies’ Christian name in the same way it would be used with “Miss” a couple of centuries later.
Polite people will call you whatever you call yourself, provided they know what you call yourself. Having visiting cards or At-Home cards printed with your name and address on them (and email and phone; and, if you have them, your regular “at-home” hours) is dreadfully oldfashioned, but terribly useful for communicating things like, oh, your name and address and email and so on. Keep half a dozen in your purse and use them for writing notes on instead of the back of a grocery bill, and people will then have no excuse for using any other form of your name. But without them … how are people supposed to know what to use?
Post # 9
Actually after I got married a lot of my student’s parents saw me around town and they said “Hi Miss B” and then they said, “Oh, I should say Mrs. B” (to which I replied to tell them my new name). If more than one person assumed that might be how I changed my status, then I say it is a mainstream idea, so don’t even think twice.
Post # 10
Really, it’s what I think of myself more than what other people call me. I really prefer just to be called by my first name!
It’s true that if I go by Mrs. people might assume DH and I have the same last name. But people assume that just knowing that we’re married! Even if I would go by Ms., I think the issue would be the same.
There’s really no winning with the name change issue! No matter what people are going to be confused.
Post # 11
I’m a little confused. When do people go by Mrs.? The only occassions I can think of are wedding invitations and escort cards, and maybe holiday cards and such. I think socially, people call you by your first name, and at work, you would be addressed by first name or Ms. regardless of marital status. I’ve seen posts like this before, and I’ve always been a bit curious about how this actually comes up.
Post # 12
I’m confused .. if you use Mrs. with your current last name … and Mrs. means wife of .. doesn’t that make you wife of your dad?
Post # 13
Yeah, to me Mrs. means that I’ve married into the family. Mrs. Katelyn Brown indicates I’ve married into the Brown family, even if Brown is my maiden name. I mean that’s the point of a maiden name. Mrs. and your maiden name do not belong together. I mean, not that you can’t do it, but nobody will expect it and it will always confuse people.
Post # 14
One of my favorite coworkers goes by Mrs. + her maiden name and she’s in her 50’s so it’s not a revolutionary idea. When people ask her about it, she usually says, “Bob didn’t take my name when we got married.”
Post # 15
I go by my title all the time… but of course I’m a teacher! I would also tend to use titles for parents of my students… so if you sign a note Mrs. Brown and Mr. Hubby then I would be confused by who you were married to… I have a friend who does this… so it’s not a big deal but in my community it is considered an oddity… Everyone else here might be referred to as Mrs. Susan Brown Hubby… because many times the women are old friends and the new married name is not how the old friends think of the wife, but a new friend might only know the person as Mrs Hubby the wife of Mr. Hubby.
Post # 16
I’ve come to realized that people will be confused no matter what I do. Socially people are confused that DH and I don’t have the same last name. If I did change my name, professionally people would be confused or not realize that my work under my maiden name was my own work. There’s really no winning.
Like I said before, I prefer to be called by my first name so it doesn’t really matter. It’s more of how I want to refer to myself or think of myself. I’m guessing there will rarely be times when I will use Mrs., but I’ve decided that I am entitled to that title, even if I didn’t change my name.
I’m reconsidering though and my just go by She-Ra Princess of Power 😉