As I was reading Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog’s post about being called “Ms.” rather than “Mrs.” I was reminded of a strange experience I had shortly after I got married. But first, go read Rebecca’s post because it sums up my feelings on the use of “Mrs.” almost perfectly. I love my husband and I love being married, but I don’t think I need to be defined by that status. (And, yes, I took my husband’s name but almost entirely out of a desire to share a last name with my future children. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore my maiden name and miss it very much).
Anyway, after the wedding, I called to request that my name be changed on my credit card. I told the woman the reason for the change and she went ahead and processed it. About a week later, a new credit card shows up with this printed on it:
Mrs. Michelle Erin LastName**
Yep. That’s right. It had the “Mrs.” printed ON THE CARD. I was horrified.
I called the credit card company back up and the conversation when something like this:
Me: Hi. I was sent a credit card that has “Mrs.” printed on it before my name and I would like to have this removed.
Operator (with great confusion): Um, it says here that you requested a name change because you got married.
Operator: So I don’t see what the problem is.
Me: Well, I called to have the last name changed, but now it also says “Mrs.” on it, too.
Operator: But you got married, right?
Me: Yes, but I’d rather it not be on my card.
Operator (with much hesitation): Ok…we can issue you a new card if you’d like. Do you want it to say “Ms.”
Me: No. I would like it to say my first, middle, and last name only. The person ringing me up at the store doesn’t need to know my marital status.
Operator: Alright…expect it in 7-10 days.
She completely failed to understand why this was a problem. I am my own person. This was MY credit card. The one I had before I was married. My husband had absolutely nothing to do with it. Send me the occasional wedding invitation addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s FullName” but when you are talking to me, I am my own person, separate from my husband and I would like to be treated as such.
PS – Another time, I had an alumni credit card and they gave me one that said “University of Michigan – Flint” on it. I called to have it changed explaining that I went to the main campus in Ann Arbor and I felt like such a pretentious snob. I much preferred the outraged feminist phone call to that one.
** Please don’t ask me to explain why I didn’t put my actual last name here. I know many of you know it anyway. But just give me that.