Saturday, July 02, 2005


Ms. Villalobos

I feel like I'm on the verge of giving up the Ms. - or rather, having the Ms. torn from my weary, still weakly grasping hands. I have begun to feel like some angst-ridden teenager, standing up for rights that nobody else gives a toss about, or can even fathom why I should care. It's 'Ms.' - not 'Mrs.' I cry in vain, each time I receive a bill, a letter, a card wrongly addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Villalobos (at this Tito chuckles into his sleeve, moving swiftly aside to avoid an elbow to the ribs). My credit and debit cards have even come through incorrectly, but I don't know if I have the energy to have them re-issued, again. No, I protest, ringing the gas company, the bank, the council... I am married, but I'm not a Mrs. - OK, if that's not too much for you to handle? People really, really don't get it. Why is it so difficult, in these modern times, to comprehend such a logical arguement? I thought long and hard about changing my name to my husband's, and about my decision to remain a Ms. nonetheless. What I object to is not the sharing of a name, it is the implications involved in having to, as a woman, make clear my marital status throughout my life. It smacks of ownership, and why the hell should I? Isn't it satisfyingly traditional enough that I've changed my name? I like his name better, I like having alliterative initials, I like avoiding poncey double-barreling. But I don't like having to repeat, again and again, that I am a Ms., as I was before my marriage. What if I were a Dr.? Would I have to give that up to be a Mrs. too?

Come to the US! I've never had any trouble being a Ms. Everyone is so freaked out that they might give offense by using the wrong word that Ms is the default, at least where I live.
Oh, don't give up the fight!! We'll win with our sense, hopefully the tide will suddenly turn and MRS will look antiquainted, quaint as bloomers, soon.
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