Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Displaced Person...

It's holiday card season! I love holiday cards, and our recent marriage means that the Grige and I have gotten a LOT of them for the first time on our own. It's very exciting. However, I have an observation to make:

There is a thing, with addresses, where people send things to us as "Mr. and Mrs. Grige E. Fisk". I would really like someone to explain this to me. Is it just a convention that has hung on for no real reason? Is there a good reason that we can't just abolish it? Why do sane and reasonable people whom I love still do this?

It doesn't make any sense. I'm perfectly comfortable receiving mail as "Mr. and Mrs. Fisk", that is a good way to shorten us to our married titles. I'm not going to get up on my high horse and complain about the fact that no one cares that I would prefer to use Ms. instead of Mrs. But, if there is room for the Grige's middle initial, there is sure as hell room for my first name.

I'm sure the people who address things this way don't mean to upset me. But if no one ever says anything about the passive subversion of women's worth - my worth - that it implies, they'll never know how much it offends me. Choosing to take the Grige's last name was a hard enough decision for me, and one I'm still not wholly comfortable with. Receiving mail addressed to me as "Mrs. Grige" is like getting slapped in the face. It makes me feel like I no longer exist.

At first, I wanted to justify my anger by saying that I am and always have been the higher earner in our household. Paired with the Grige's debt and my lack thereof, higher earner has been equivalent to "breadwinner" for the last few years, way before we were married. Ergo, I deserve to have my name on the envelope, and maybe people should just start sending things to us as "Mrs. and Mr. Emily Fisk"

However vindicated that argument might make me feel, it's just another layer on the problem cake. Any wife, no matter what form her contributions to the household come in, deserves to have her name on her mail. The end.

So, I'll be spending the remainder of my funemployment contemplating a good way to address (ha! pun.) this with my loved ones. You know, feminist baby steps. 


  1. YES. YES. Yes. It's childish but, it makes me crazy when he gets all of his names (F, M, L) and I sort of get one of mine (his last that I'm not yet totally comfortable calling my last).

    No real words of advice, other than practice what you preach - I send everything to "The Blah Family" or if the names are short enough I include all of the names (Person 1 and Person 2 Last Name). I do that whether they have children or not, because two people are a family too!

  2. I totally agree with addressing everything to "the family" and I don't think being annoyed by this is childish. I legitimately think that leaving someone out like that is hurtful and un-necessary. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get!