What's in a name?

Monday, December 07, 2009

I love getting snail mail. Love, love, love it.

I love getting letters, magazines, catalogs, and cards.

I love getting special offers that are addressed to past tenants, particularly when they're for high-end products at department stores where I'm much too po' to be a regular customer...nothing like knowing in advance when I should set aside $35 for a Clinique gift with purchase at Mills.

I love getting books of coupons for McDonald's that say "TWO CAN DINE FOR $8.99!" Because after a splurge at Clinique, dining out for under $10 is the only option for po' folk like me.

I especially love this time of year, when we're much more likely to get Christmas cards...not addressed to ghosts of tenants past, but to us!

Today I came home to find next month's Glamour (yay!), some crap junk mail that went straight into the garbage, and a Christmas card.

Only the card isn't for me. It's addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Amy Peterslastname".

My last name is not Peterslastname. I'm not Mrs. Amy Peterslastname. I'm Ms. Amy Amyslastname.

Looking at the envelope, I got frustrated...unreasonably so. (I'm blaming my hormones for both the unreasonable pissiness and the fact that I've been parked on the couch since 7:30 eating Ruffles and vanilla pudding with chocolate chips in it.)

I know I shouldn't be upset by the mistake. We're married, after all, so I understand that many people would assume we're both going by Peterslastname now. And the card was from a couple who grew up in a much older generation, when changing one's name after getting married was a must. And a lot of girls do it...of my friends that are married, at least half have taken their husband's last name. As I've said before, I chose to keep my last name for professional reasons and above all, laziness. Standing in line at the DMV for hours to change my documents to read "Amy Peterslastname" does not sound like my idea of a great time.

Even so, after picking up the mail, I had a few moments of extreme irritation. Then I felt guilty for being irritated. Then I felt indignant because, frankly, it's not my name. Basically I'm in a glass case of emotion.

When I worked in journalism, people would call the paper in the BIGGEST hissy fit you could imagine if their names were spelled wrong, as if it were a crime against humanity. I feel like I can relate a little bit, and I feel like a bitch for relating.

It's something I'm going to need to get used to, because I'll probably encounter the same situation hundreds of times a year for the rest of my life. But I'm not sure if I'll ever learn to not be a leeeeeetle annoyed when it happens.

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  1. I wish those were your actual last names. Seriously.

  2. I can understand how annoying that must be. I'm trying to make a decision on the name thing myself. But clearly the couple didn't know you chose to keep your last name. Be gracious, and send them a card back, signed with your full names.

  3. At least you still get called Amy.

    Everyone always reverses my name!!!

  4. Ben...So do I!!!

    Aubrey...She's an older lady and from what I've heard, she continues to refer to my sister-in-law (who also kept her family name) by her husband's last name and even addresses mail to "Mr. and Mrs. Husbandfirstname Husbandlastname"...despite being told the difference. I'm not sure if she thinks that's the way things *should* be and insists on doing it on purpose? Anyway, the return address on our Christmas card back to them very clearly shows my last name...same as it's always been :)

    FB...argh!! aggravating!!

  5. Ugh, I could see how frustrating that could be... Your name is part of what makes you you. P.S.--Isn't this month's Glamour fabulous?? Gotta love SJP :)