"It's just a Christmas card"

(99 Posts)
BlingLoving Tue 18-Dec-12 07:59:10

A friend emailed me to asking I'd be offended if she wrote Bling and dh dhSurname on our Christmas card. I replied that yes, I would be slightly as my name is not Bling DhSurname. She replied saying she has already written it and "it's just a Christmas card".

Now, if she hadn't emailed me, I would have rolled my eyes internally but probably not said anything. But as she DID ask, I feel like I would like to respo d and point out that its not just a Christmas card. She is making decisions for me about what to call myself, knowing that her way is not my preference. It's irritating at the best of times, but when people use dh name for me when they know better it infuriates me. Before we for married no one had a problem using my name on a Christmas card.

How do. Reply, politely, but I a coherent way?

[ and separately, how disturbing is it that people are soooo uncomfortable using a women's name on a Christmas card when she is married?]

BlingLoving Tue 18-Dec-12 08:00:06

Sorry! I was trying to proof read and hit the start button first! Hopefully it still makes sense.

fenix Tue 18-Dec-12 08:13:51

What weird behaviour. Why would she email after already having written it? If she really cared about seeking your opinion, she would have done this before writing it. And for her to pose the question, it sounds like she already knew the answers. From what you've written, it sounds like she's trying to provoke you, so she can feel superior over how petty, and trivial you are to care so much about what was a lovely festive gesture on her part...

I would just write 'return to sender' to be honest, because this kind of passive aggressive rudeness is a real turn-off to me.

But assuming there's other points that make the friendship worthwhile, you can write back, politely but firmly, saying that your name is Bling Whatever, and that you respect her by addressing her as she chooses, and it would be colossally rude for her not to extend you the same courtesy. She will probably simper in reply about how it's tradition and she's simply following established etiquette. So I would suggest sending a strong reply and not toning down your irritation, so she really gets the message.

CaseyShraeger Tue 18-Dec-12 08:50:19

It could be she wrote the card to Bling and DH DHsurname on autopilot without thinking, then thought "oh shit, I bet that's going to offend Bling" but at the same time doesn't want to use up another card fixing her mistake. But the really weird bit is that she called you rather than either sending it and brazening it out or writing a new one. I guess she hoped you were going to say "Nah, it doesn't matter..."

bigkidsdidit Tue 18-Dec-12 08:53:41

I hate this. I'm Dr not Mrs and yet every other Christmas card we've had this year has come to Mr and mrs DH initial DH surname. I don't even get an initial!

I don't know what I'd say though. Probably what fenix suggests.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Tue 18-Dec-12 08:58:09

Drives me nuts! There was a thread on this last week (?) my DH and I hyphenated our names. Still people address things to me as mr and mrs his initial his surname! Rage!

It's not hard is it? Friends of ours are a Dr. And a vicar. It's not difficult to address the card to The Rev. And Dr. X is it?

bluebiscuit Tue 18-Dec-12 08:58:18

Yes, it does seem rude it ask and then do it anyway. However, it is really difficult to think who changed their name on marriage and who didn't. So much so that I have addressed one of my Christmas cards using just first names on the envelope to avoid causing offence.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 18-Dec-12 09:41:47

But blue that seems like a good solution!

AndIfATenTonTruck Tue 18-Dec-12 10:02:07

bigkids, I have the same. only one person got it right last year, and so far nobody this year. My FIL was asking me at the weekend whether I would ever "do something with" my doctorate. [seethe]

I have committed the ultimate MN etiquette shocker though, and asked via facebook if people would be so kind as to re-award my PhD next year, by using Mr and Dr [surname] or Initial and Initial [surname]. Amusing responses so far.

AliceWChild Tue 18-Dec-12 10:07:07

Agreed op.

It's dr and mr. Dr takes precedence. Even better.grin

And I use first names on envelopes most of the time. I also receive plenty with first names on.

bigkidsdidit Tue 18-Dec-12 10:11:01

Dr first yes. I've told DH if he gets promoted to major he can go back first. Until I'm prof, then he has to be field marshal to take precedence grin

AndIfATenTonTruck Tue 18-Dec-12 10:12:32

Blue, the first names on the envelope is a good plan and can't possibly cause offence.

We sent our thankyous after our wedding on a card we had made at photobox, stating our form of address really clearly, may have even said whatever the correct form of "on our marriage, we now wish to be known as...". The idea was that anyone with an address book would copy the details in and wouldn't have to remember. Now, clearly we didn't have everyone we know at our wedding and therefore some may not have got the cards, but we have used them since for other thankyous, and I think I may now do a New Year's letter (instead of Christmas cards) with some 'from' stickers on the envelope or letterhead.

I think the reason she's saying "It's just a Christmas card" is because she's cross with herself for writing it before engaging her brain, and is trying not to feel guilty by turning it into anger at you for being "difficult". She obviously knew you didn't like it, but wrote yours amongst a big stack without thinking properly, then felt bad and checked.

You confirmed her feelings of stupidity.

I'd just make a friendly "Oh well, I'm sure you'll remember next time, I know its not the usual thing but it really matters to me." and leave it at that, unless she wants to go over why you consider it so important.

Then see if she can rememebr it next time around...

BLOO3Z Tue 18-Dec-12 10:55:13

Arggh this does my head in every year the christmas card farce! mostly I get cards addressed to me first then hubby but there is still lots of people who address them to dh still I find this makes me feel like a lesser person especially when at the end of card they put the female first then dh just rubs it in a bit more that they think more of dh than myself in the pecking order... I actually did not send those people cards last year as I got so cross about it. I know before anyone says that there is more important things to worry about yes there is but it is still irritating!

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Tue 18-Dec-12 10:56:27

"and separately, how disturbing is it that people are soooo uncomfortable using a women's name on a Christmas card when she is married?] "

completely agree! why people have such a problem not changing their habits (of writing your name as it always has been!) after someone gets married is insane. i dont get it. it's very easy, my name is the same as it was, there is no effort required on your part to remember this, you have been using that name all my life.

Treats Tue 18-Dec-12 11:10:21

I think the trouble is that people have fallen out of the habit of sending 'proper' letters and so envelope-addressing etiquette hasn't evolved - it's stuck in the era of when people routinely sent letters instead of phone calls or email. So when we do have to do it, some people get a bit panicky about etiquette and reach for the old-fashioned ways instead of thinking about what would be suitable for the actual people being addressed.

Our solution is to address a card to 'The Surnames' or the 'The Surname Family' - not least because the couple's children are usually included in the card. If the couple have different surnames, we usually put 'The Hissurname/Hersurname Family' as being the most accurate description.

CinnabarRed Tue 18-Dec-12 11:17:00

I tend to address all envelopes to one person only, even when inside the card I write that it's to the whole family (as identified by first names).

The person whose name goes on the envelope is the person who most closely identifies as the original friend to my family.

So cards to my friends from Uni all go to them, even though we're now friendly with their families, and all family member names get writen inside.

Ephiny Tue 18-Dec-12 11:22:39

That sounds odd. Why would she bother asking if she's not going to change it anyway? Unless she's looking to provoke you, in which case the best thing is probably not to rise to it.

Herrena Tue 18-Dec-12 11:42:56

I do the 'The Surnames' or just address it to my friend (generally the mum, so her full name) and use all first names inside the card.

I get annoyed at this too OP. DH and I are both Drs and I didn't change my name. My MUM addressed our card to Drs Herrena and DH DH-surname. She of all people knows I don't have his surname!!

Poledra Tue 18-Dec-12 11:49:21

My DBro sends a card to Dr and Dr <DH initial> Surname. Why the fuck can he recognise that we both have doctorates but not recognise that I do not have my DH's initial? Not fussed about the surname as I use both my surname and DH's surname depending upon the circumstances. AND I take the time to address his card to him and his partner using both surnames. Git.

CMOTDibbler Tue 18-Dec-12 11:55:28

Does my head in. I refuse to open any post addressed to dh and his fancy woman -as the mythical Mrs DH is known here- and as dh and I have been married for 15 years, and both made it very clear what we are all called, I do take it as an insult.

vladthedisorganised Tue 18-Dec-12 12:49:40

Definitely "The Surnames", or "The HisSurname/Her Surname Family".
I know a couple who are both doctors and take great pleasure in addressing their cards as "Drs Surname".

I guess I'd reply with a "If I was writing to myself, I'd address the card to Bling Surname X and DH Surname Y." If she's being aggressive it diffuses it, if she's just embarrassed (entirely possible) then it's a factual response.

EldritchCleavage Tue 18-Dec-12 13:20:38

Weird to bother asking you, seemingly for the sole purpose of dismissing your answer. Very weird.

People should accept that you are called what YOU say you are called, whatever they may think of it.

I am Miss Maiden Name. I get people arguing with me being Miss Cleavage [fnarr] because I am married. I kept my title because I don't really like Ms, and was already Miss Cleavage at work for years and years where 'Miss' is traditional. I can hardly be Mrs. Cleavage, as that makes it sound as though I am married to Mr. Cleavage.

I don't get why people take issue with it though. If I say I am Miss Cleavage, who are they to argue, however odd they may find it?

SantasBigBaubles Tue 18-Dec-12 14:36:58

I think she posted with out though then realized she had a been a dick and wanted to give you a heads up. She should have apologized rather than trivialize it though.

monsterchild Tue 18-Dec-12 14:43:30

I often list one person than the other person with their surname. Like Eldritch and Monster Child. So the first person's surname isn't on it, but the last person's is. I vary if it's the man or the woman, depending. If they are married with the same surname, I put the woman first.

CaseyShraeger Tue 18-Dec-12 15:00:58

Yes, it was an odd way to put it. If she'd called and said "Oh, I'm a doofus, I've just realised that I put your name wrongly on your card, please don't be offended when you get it" you probably wouldn't have minded particularly.

BlingLoving Tue 18-Dec-12 16:12:23

Amuminscotland: I think that's exactly and I will take your approach.

I'm not wild abut the first name thing as I feel post is formal, and not secure, and I like to keep my first name private but I dont mind getting cards in that way. Blingloving/dhSurname family makes most sense to me and its what we do for friends with children as it includes everyone.

SomersetONeil Tue 18-Dec-12 21:07:57

Times must be pretty tight if she can't just bin the card and write out another one. hmm

I mean, seriously, if she went to the bother of checking with you, then why not change it to what you want...?

Passive aggression at its most petty, on her part...

rosabud Tue 18-Dec-12 21:10:09

I know it's really important, it's what you choose to be called and people should respect that............but it is Christmas, and we are all extremely busy and stressed and money could be an issue too. Is she a good friend? Is she there on the end of the phone when you need advice, does she take you out and fuss over you on your birthday, does she make you laugh? Is she kind, is she good to talk to? If the answer is no, then she is not a great friend, so what does it matter to you what she wants to call you? If the answer is yes, then she's made a tiny mistake, she's your friend and it's Christmas, let it go.

Perhaps she'd already put the stamp on? I was startled to find the cost of stamps this year, I don't often buy them grin

GalaxyDisaStar Tue 18-Dec-12 21:43:44

This is a bit of a side track, but for those of you with doctorates...

I have three friends who are Dr X in their professional lives, but have changed their surname for private life (so, say to Smith). So, do I address cards to Mr and Dr Smith (or, in one case, Dr & Dr Smith) or, if their doctorate is related to the surname X, do I write Mr and Mrs? Tis a minefield I tell you. Change, or don't change. Anything else is too much for a simple soul like me grin

tribpot Tue 18-Dec-12 21:46:48

I think anyone could make a mistake and if she'd written and said "I've been a divot and put Bling and dh dhSurname, REALLY sorry .. [autopilot etc]" That would have been perfectly fine. Because it is, after all, only one Xmas card.

BUT she had to make a massive hoo-ha about it, when god knows you are surely within your rights to choose your own name and expect people to remember and use it. I have to write cards which include people's pets (not on the outside of the envelope though) - you just make a note of how to address stuff to the people at that house and go with that. I've had cards addressed to Mr and Mrs MySurname-DHsurname and when I queried it they were absolutely convinced we had double-barrelled the names. We had never so much as HINTED at doing such a thing, but someone else my friends worked with had done this, and I think they just got confused.

Also, can't you tell what name people are using from Facebook? If someone calls themself [First Name] [Surname] WAS [Maiden Name] you know they're not using their maiden name any more.

CheerfulYank Tue 18-Dec-12 21:52:49

I usually just do whoever I'm closest to and then add "and Family."

Boomeringue Tue 18-Dec-12 21:56:50

If she'd not made a big deal about the addressing,chances are that you'd be too busy to notice.
I don't know how to address unmarried couples cards??

Boomeringue Tue 18-Dec-12 21:58:12

If she'd not made a big deal about the addressing,chances are that you'd be too busy to notice.
I don't know how to address unmarried couples cards??

VBisme Tue 18-Dec-12 22:06:10

Galaxy, surely that would be to Drs Smith?

I write to Mr & Mrs whoevers current surname I can remember, if people want to get het up about it then that's their problem.

As to "return to sender", people putting their return address on an envolope is far more old fashioned than "Mr & Mrs X".

GalaxyDisaStar Tue 18-Dec-12 22:44:11

Yes, but she's not Dr Smith. She's Dr Maiden name. So, say, Dr Jones. I guess what I mean is, does the title follow the individual, so attach to any name they use. Or does the title link to their name. So in an arena where they don't use Jones, do they because Mrs again?

VBisme Tue 18-Dec-12 22:46:05

Oh it's just a minefield, my BF is living with her partner and their daughter, their Xmas card is to herfirstname, hisfirstname & family.

AndIfATenTonTruck Tue 18-Dec-12 23:02:52

Galaxy, if your friends have told you their surname for private life has changed it still could go either way. I don't think anything other than a medical doctorate has name sensitivity, i.e. you have to amend your professional registration if you change your name. So in my case I studied while single and was then Jane Smith PhD, got married and added his name so am Jane Smith Jones PhD. I can choose to be Dr Jones or Dr Smith (the latter if I had an authoring history that I wanted to remain continuous). The only time I take Mrs is on web forms which only have MrMrsMissMs as options, and in a jokey "oi missus" sort of way amongst close friends.

Ask your friends which they would prefer. They will probably appreciate the thought. smile

CaseyShraeger Tue 18-Dec-12 23:03:38

That's probably one where I'd just go for Sue and Bob Jones, or S. and B. Jones, or The Jones Family, and leave the doctoring out of it altogether.

CaseyShraeger Tue 18-Dec-12 23:04:38

(oops. For "Jones" in the above post, read "Smith")

sashh Wed 19-Dec-12 07:23:10

I'm fairly traditional when addressing envelopes.

However, is no one having a rant at the Mr and Mrs? Not having the wrong name or Dr but why is Mr always first?
And doesn't it make sense to say Mr and Mrs Mr's initial and name, so that if you take out the Mrs you have Mr's initial?

LapsusLinguae Wed 19-Dec-12 07:37:21

sash personally I hate Mrs and am converting over to Ms as much as possible however I recognise that when I married I did change my name and tell people I am Mrs.

Your last sentence encapsulates the erasure of women from history and their position as a chattel of their DH.

It also makes ZERO sense to me and implies that you are prioritising the man.

Eg you have a friend Jane Smith she marrys William Lewis. You've known Jane for 20 years, you met William via Jane 2 years ago.

Now you are sending cards to Mr & Mrs W Lewis?! WTF happened to Jane.

And tradition is irrelevant.

Address to Jane & William Lewis if she changed her name.

If you are posting/reading this section of MN then here is an easy way to "do" some feminism!

Ephiny Wed 19-Dec-12 10:02:35

I would normally just use first names if writing to friends (or at most Firstname Surname on the envelope). Since when did we address each other with formal titles like that anyway?

We do get some cards with Mrs DH'sName on the envelope. It doesn't really bother me tbh, it's just an old-fashioned way of saying 'DH's wife' rather than actually implying that it is my name. Yes it's a rather archaic and sexist tradition though, especially as there's no equivalent in reverse, and I do find it a bit odd when the person knows my name but chooses not to use it.

Christmas is a bit like weddings IME, otherwise-sensible people go all weird about observing 'tradition'.

Chocchip88 Wed 19-Dec-12 10:07:41

Winds me up too. A friend sent me a cheque with my DH's surname on. I explained to her that I have kept my surname so she sent me another cheque with the correct name on. However my name on the envelope had DH's surname.confused

jamaisjedors Wed 19-Dec-12 10:16:19

I hate this.

ALL, and I mean ALL my English friends send me cards (even birthday cards) addressed to Mrs DH's Surname.

Or my first name then Dh's surname.

I had endless discussions with them about this when we were at university and they KNOW I don't use his surname apart from to book restaurants occasionally cos my name is a nightmare to spell in this country

WHy? I think it's to justify the fact that they all changed their names "because it's nice to".


badguider Wed 19-Dec-12 10:20:17

I can't bring myself to care very much, even though I understand the principle and I always address my friends however they have their email/facebook as this is how I think of them.

But for ME, I don't care, I did not take DH's surname but I don't mind being Mr&Mrs DHname for christmas cards. I wonder if it comes from having a name with a million spellings (similar to catherine, catharine,katherine, kathrine) and a surname that can have an e on the end but mine doens't... so i have pretty low expectations when it comes to people writing my name correctly!

Ephiny Wed 19-Dec-12 10:26:07

It would be annoying if it was a cheque (though who still uses those? confused) as I presumably wouldn't be able to pay it into any of my accounts if it wasn't in my name.

badguider Wed 19-Dec-12 14:38:41

I've paid quite a few into my account by showing a photocopy of my marriage certificate. The bank seem fine with it.

bigkidsdidit Wed 19-Dec-12 19:38:37

Galaxy - I have mine and DH's surname now and have a phd. PhD's don't stay with he name so before I was Dr a and now I am Dr ab.

Medical doctors are very different I think.

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 21:08:42

Ok. So maybe the medical Dr gets Mr and Mrs X and the other gets Mr and Dr. God, I am just going to start writing 'The X's' like others have suggested.

AliceWChild Wed 19-Dec-12 21:56:58

Dr and mr. Dr takes precedence.

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:01:31

Does it? Ooh, see I am not sure I could do that. It would feel too weird. The idea that a woman somehow gets promoted from being 'just' a woman and second if she has a doctorate. Goodness knows I struggle enough with Mr always being first, but only putting women with doctorates first would mess with my head even more. <Illogical>

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 19-Dec-12 22:15:28

Late to the thread.



I am so glad I found this thread.

I conscientiously write 'Ms Hername and Mr Hisname' and 'Jane and John Smith' to people because I'm sick of seeing it the other way around. But I call people what they want to be called.

So why the fuck does everyone suddenly thing I'm Mrs DHsname? I have never been Mrs DHsname. There has never, in fact, been a woman called Mrs DHsname. I'm outing myself here if you know me, but I've been extremely passive-aggressive and changed my name of facebook (ho, ho, the irony) so that my middle name now points out I am not Mrs DH'sName.

galaxy - with you there. I put women first (unless I'm writing to someone who'd notice and think it was rude - it usually comes naturally because I put the name of the person I know best out of the couple and most of them are the women). But I don't like the idea that Dr women become honorary men and therefore go first (because that's the implication, isn't it?).

We could just be alphabetical ...

bigbadbarry Wed 19-Dec-12 22:21:40

We both have doctorates and I haven't changed my name. I roll my eyes but accept mr and mrs <his surname> apart from when it comes from. My bloody mother who i swear does it to annoy, but dr and mrs makes me really cross

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:24:25

I've done the cards for this year, but I think next year I might consciously do 'The Smiths' and the 'The Smith Family' for those sharing a surname. For unmarried couples or those who do not share a surname I tend to just do 'Ms X and Mr Y' or whatever.

I have never put an initial on. It's Mr and Mrs Smith, not Mr and Mrs M Smith. I will do Mr M Smith, because that actually is his name. But Mr M and Mrs C Smith is just long and clumsy, so I drop all the initials. It's not like anyone gets confused who it's for.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 19-Dec-12 22:27:23

bigbad - my parents always get 'Dr and Mrs'. They both have doctorates. And my mother wonders why people don't take her as seriously in her job as her qualifications (directly relevant) would suggest. She still writes to me as 'Mrs Hisname', though, 'because DH might be offended'. hmm

If he's offended, he's putting up a bloody good front of being offended on my behalf instead!

I got taught it was rude to put 'Mrs Smith' without an initial (but then I got taught a lot of shit that I ignore), so I tend to put first names. Lucky my handwriting is small! grin

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:28:44

BigBadBarry- I would never assume that. But on the other hand I know a middle aged woman who uses both Dr McDonald (maiden name) and Mrs Williams (married name). Not a medical doctor. She actively dislikes being addressed as Dr Williams. She says that Dr McDonald is her work persona and if she is being Williams it is private time and she doesn't want the title used. She wouldn't mind the card coming to Dr Jones & Dr McDonald (husband also a non medical doctor), but would actively want Dr & Mrs Jones and dislike Dr & Dr Jones. She is middle aged and very proper though, all her thank you notes have the correct wording for ettiquette and all that stuff.

That's it. Next year I am doing 'The Williams''

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:31:27

LRD - I did too, but it is my compromise. I especially can't bear the idea that it implies women are divorced rather than widowed if you address them by their own name. So, traditionally, a widowed Sarah Smith who husband was John would still be Mrs J Smith. I can't bring myself to write that at all. She is surely Mrs S Smith.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 19-Dec-12 22:33:45

Technically, I think you're meant to stick to being 'Dr' with only one surname. Someone on here said that a while ago.

So I think she is probably just going by the rules (though most people I know don't worry about it/have never heard of it).

Also, some people just don't mind, which is nice. I don't in the least mind my mother-in-law calling me by DH's surname (not least because she does know how to say it which most English people don't). I mind people who know me as something other than DH's wife calling me it.

I think I would probably ask someone who used both which she would rather have, the same way I'd ask a man who went by both 'James' and 'Jim' which name he really preferred.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 19-Dec-12 22:35:00

galaxy - I don't know. Fortunately I don't know many people who've been widowed (because of the age I am). I think I'd just call them what I'd always called them as the last thing you'd want is a reminder that your status had changed. sad

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:36:41

Interesting about the doctorates with one name thing. She is very proper. So, it would make sense if there is a technical rule she is obeying.

I do tend to ask people I properly 'know'. The problem I have is that there are loads of people I am expected to send a card to who I never really chat to - cousins who live far away and that type of thing.

GalaxyDisaStar Wed 19-Dec-12 22:38:34

I don't know anyone my age who is widowed either - but in my parents and grandparents generation there are lots. Some of whom were widowed long before I was old enough to be writing cards so I never 'knew' any other way. sad

Yama Wed 19-Dec-12 22:40:24

I haven't had this since the first Christmas of married life. I politely told anyone who got my name wrong that they had got my name wrong.

Any simple souls who can't work out how to address an envelope with two names on it have the option to go with our first names.

sashh Wed 19-Dec-12 23:56:23

Your last sentence encapsulates the erasure of women from history and their position as a chattel of their DH.

Er actually I was making a comment about the English Language and naming conventions.

Does anyone know wht happens in Iceland? You could easily have a family of 4 with different names.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 00:13:18

Is it a naming convention really? I always thought that putting 'Mrs Husband'sInitial' was not really that you thought that was her name, but that it was somehow part of her title? So she's Mrs J Smith, but you know her name is Sarah. You don't think she's called John.

But I agree - that convention does certainly relate to the erasure of women from history, quite literally. It's a bugger tracing family trees matrilineally for that reason.

I don't think she was suggesting it was your personal fault!

rosabud Thu 20-Dec-12 00:17:39

Well I am divorced but I am still Mrs Old DH's name so where does that leave me? I don't think of it as exDH's name, though, it's my name - has been for quite a number of years, actually, why should I change it to be different to my kids? it's not DH's name. it's MY NAME!! just like my old name was not my Dad's name or my Mum's name - it was MY NAME, and now this one is MY NAME too!!

And, do you know what, if I was clever enough, and lucky enough, to have become a DR WHATEVER NAME - well, I'd be just about as pleased as punch with myself and not really give two hoots what my dear friends chose to call me. As I am far, far too busy to send cards this year, all my friends will have to put up with no address whasoever - and they'll forgive me, I'm sure. you are you, not your name, "that which would smell as sweet....." and all that.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 00:24:26

Nicely put! smile

I always feel like that when someone tells me it's not my name, it's my dad's name. No: it is my name. It's the name I've had while I've done all these things (good and bad) that make me who I am, so dammit, I'm sticking with it! grin

Ephiny Thu 20-Dec-12 09:55:11

I hate the 'it's not really your name, it's your father's name' thing too. Mostly because no one ever says that about men's names. Tbh once you're an adult, your name is whatever you choose to be known as anyway.

I think LRD is right about the Mr & Mrs John Smith. It is archaic and sexist, but it is an old-fashioned way of writing 'Mr John Smith and his wife', rather than implying that the wife's name is John (or even that she necessarily uses the surname Smith). This is why I'm just a bit hmm at being addressed that way, rather than taking offence or saying it's not me. I think some of DH's relatives probably don't know (or can't spell) my surname anyway.

However MyFirstName DHSurname is just wrong by any standard. It's not tradition and it's not a name I personally use.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 10:08:03

I think what this thread proves is, there are many, many ways to get it wrong but virtually always, one simple way to get it right ... call people what they like or ask if you don't know!

Ephiny Thu 20-Dec-12 10:25:25

Tbh it's still baffling to me that people are worrying about formal titles, doctorates etc when writing a Christmas card to their friends. Rather than just using their names confused.

I agree you can't go wrong just calling people what they want to be called. Though I'm sure most people are understanding about honest mistakes, it's when you get someone trying to make a point (whether it's insisting on 'changing' a married woman's surname for her, or pointedly using Ms when you know the person hates it) and imposing their idea of what you should be called, that it starts to be annoying.

YouCanBe Thu 20-Dec-12 10:28:21

I always write inside the card whatever I think... flows better. So, Sonia and Harvey would be rejected in favour of Harvey and Sonia, Mike and Jessica would be rejected in favour of Jessica and Mike (er, OK I know this is completely just my brain making up its own rules but never mind).

Then on the envelope, I write the names the opposite way around, to make it fair.

higgle Thu 20-Dec-12 12:00:08

We have always been Miss Higgle and Mr DH's name. My mother hates me not being Mrs DH and has "forgotten" from time to time for over 39 years. The worst example of this was when I was in hospital having had DS1 and all my flowers were sent back to the florist as they were addressed to "Mrs DH" and there was no one of that name in the hospital.

GalaxyDisaStar Thu 20-Dec-12 17:30:36

Ephiny - It's not the card. It's the envelope! I am always conscious that many people (as I think someone said upthread about themselves) don't like getting an envelope with their full christian name on it. They consider it too public a place to have their name like that.

I don't think Mr & Mrs John Smith is a short way of saying Mr John Smith and his wife. Traditionally a married or widowed woman would be known as Mrs John Smith, but if you knew her well enough you might possibly call her Sarah. It's very evident in Austen, etc. It was almost as if 'Mrs' was some honoury title that you only got to use by your connection to the man, so you also took his first name to replace your own. It would be correct, according to Debretts, to address an invitation just to the wife to Mrs John Smith here. So it's not just shorthand. It was sort of something you became if you were married. You were Mrs John Smith, or Sarah Smith, but never Mrs Sarah Smith.

Yama Thu 20-Dec-12 17:35:29

Higgle - I got home from work today to find 3 Christmas cards from my Mum (and Dad).

One addressed to Ms Me Me and Mr Dh Dh, one addressed to Miss Dd (my surname) and one addressed to Mr Ds (dh's name). Now, if my 66 year old Mum can get it right then anyone of any generation can.

Call people by their effing names people.

PlaySchool Thu 20-Dec-12 17:43:57

Why don't you just forget about it? Is it worth falling out over? If so, then the friendship is worthless anyway.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 17:44:26

Yes, it's worth falling out over, sometimes. Why do you ask?

GalaxyDisaStar Thu 20-Dec-12 17:48:07

I took DH's name, but I would agree it is sometimes worth falling out over. With your 90 year old granny, probably not. With your friend who you have patiently explained the situation and the reasons to a number of times, quite possibly.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 17:50:41

I'm with galaxy.

It is usually really easy to tell who's worth falling out with. Doesn't mean the friendship was worthless, just that sometimes you have to stick to what doesn't make you feel like a doormat.

rosabud Thu 20-Dec-12 17:55:32

I remember when my uncle (a single parent with 1 child) and my aunt (a single parent with 3 children) got together. They lived with eachother for a number of years and then got married. I've no idea what their official titles/names became but I always enjoyed. both before and after the marriage, sending cards through the post to "The Brady Bunch!"

I hope they didn't mind - they were never petty enough bothered to say if they did!

PlaySchool Thu 20-Dec-12 18:42:26

It just seems such a trivial thing to have a falling out over. If one of my friends had a row with me about something like that then I don't think I'd ever want to be in a position again where I might feel their wrath. I.e., that would probably be the end of the friendship.

Still, if you feel the friendship is worth less than the misdemeanour then return the card.

LRDtheFeministDude Thu 20-Dec-12 18:57:44

I think it only seems trivial if you're already not fussed. Like most things. I wouldn't fall out over a mate feeding me meat, or voting Tory, but to others those are terrible crimes.

We're all different.

Belittling other people's concerns is rude, however, whoever it comes from.

Yama Thu 20-Dec-12 18:58:48

Not trivial to me. Indeed, if my friend thought my beliefs trivial ...

GalaxyDisaStar Thu 20-Dec-12 19:02:59

It's only trivial to you if it's trivial to you. Just look at the baby name threads on first names. When an unusual spelling comes up, some people say 'everyone spells my name wrong and it never bothers me' and others think it has been very detrimental and would move heaven and earth not to put their child in that situation.

Ephiny Thu 20-Dec-12 19:10:38

Galaxy, actually that's exactly what I was trying to say about the Mrs John Smith thing, though clearly I didn't explain myself very well (often the case) smile

I had no idea people didn't like their first names to be put on envelopes, honestly never occurred to me that might be an issue. I guess you could just put the first initial instead?

GalaxyDisaStar Thu 20-Dec-12 19:18:05

Ah, sorry, cross purposes Ephiny blush

BlingLoving Thu 20-Dec-12 21:49:01

Playschool: it's not a big deal for you but it is for me. I'm certainly not going to fall out with her about it, but I think I am justifiably annoyed that what I call myself is irrelevant to other people. And as someone else said, it's rude to belittle what's important to others.

Sometimes I think more people should have read "the crucible" : even before my name became an issue, I always "got" that play.

tribpot Thu 20-Dec-12 22:09:23

Well, I had a parcel addressed to Mr and Mrs DH DHsurname today! I was annoyed. And will tell DH's uncle and aunt (in a nice way) when I see them that I haven't changed my name. It would have been perfectly fine just to have put DH on the envelope - the pressie inside is actually for ds anyway!

I have two friends called (not real names but illustrative) Catherine and Edward. Catherine hates to be called Cathy and Edward doesn't like being called Ed. Just good manners to remember this. And if you wrote an Xmas card to Ed, when he knows you know he doesn't like being called Ed, you would apologise and not say it's just a Christmas card. Catherine would probably set fire to the card and then post it back to you wink

CaseyShraeger Thu 20-Dec-12 22:33:40

I've noticed, actually, that people seem to be getting worse at this rather than better. I'm almost certain that shortly after we were married most people, at least people of our generation, used to write to us as some variant of my name and DH's name (whether first names only, or first names plus surnames, or initials plus surnames). But most of this year's crop of cards are to "Mr and Mrs X. Hislastname" or "Hisfirstname and Casey Hislastname" - including a card from someone who I know first (years ago) sent us a Christmas card addressed to "Casey and Hisfirstname Shraeger" as he'd only met DH through me and didn't realise that we had different surnames.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 21-Dec-12 18:40:14

I agree Casey - we've got more Mr and Mrs cards this year than ever before (married 6 years)

tribpot Fri 21-Dec-12 20:04:57

Yes - I've just had another one, from my SIL! And another from my friend who is clearly (despite being told repeatedly) convinced we double-barrelled our names.

Time to wheel out one of my fave name games: a friend of mine blended her name with her DH's when they married (they both did, obviously). First two letters of her surname, first two letters of his and then 'us' signifying togetherness. By this reckoning DH and my surname would be 'Pinuus'.

I think my family would be happy to revert to my actual name if I threatened to rename myself Pinuus.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 21-Dec-12 20:12:33

Ye gads. I have enough trouble keeping up with peoples addresses and childrens names without additional worries of vagaries of surnames or the order I address people within the card.

Am now worried that I may have inadvertently offended someone ( oh well they won't get their cards until after Christmas anyway as I only posted them second class yesterday)

LRDtheFeministDude Fri 21-Dec-12 20:15:46

Gosh, if you get any more bothered about your mates you'll be practically horizontal with worry, right?! grin

I think they probably know you don't give much of a fuck if you don't send cards to get there for Christmas.

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Fri 21-Dec-12 20:17:52

On envelope: firstname surname, the person you know best of the couple/family

Inside: firstname and firstname (and firstname and firstname etc)


TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Fri 21-Dec-12 20:28:29

It sounds like it is the wording of the email that is the problem here.

A defensive "it's only a card, I haven't done anything wrong" instead of an apologetic "I've written this already, hope you don't mind"

ChasedByBees Fri 21-Dec-12 20:38:49

tribpot grin

LRD I have the same problem as your parents. My DH and I both have PhDs and he's Dr Moo, I'm Dr Bee (not really but close). I'm often irked by the many mistakes in addressing that seem to erase my name but the one that really annoys me is Dr and Mrs Moo. If they've gone to the trouble of getting his title right then they can do me the same courtesy.

I can tell if something comes from his family as it only features the surname Moo (I'm really disappointed if one of my friends or family get that wrong).

Anything like 'the Moo-Bees' or first names are all fine.

KristinaM Sat 22-Dec-12 07:58:01

Surely it's Drs Jane and John Smith, if they share a surname?

Or Drs Jane Brown and John Smith if they don't?

Or Jane Brown and John smith if they don't use titles?

Or Dr Jane and Mr John smith if they share a title but not a doctorate ?

Or the Brown Smith family?

If either of them has and uses a title ( Dr, rev, rabbi, Major etc ) isn't it polite to use it? Obviously more fun if they have several. Sadly the only person I know with multiple titles is a Rev Dr, which isn't that exciting.

JuliaScurr Thu 27-Dec-12 12:27:10

'it's just a card' is dangerously close to 'haven't you feminists got something more important to complain about?'

bingo dabbers poised

scottishmummy Thu 27-Dec-12 12:40:20

gosh yes,the myname hisname it annoys me.I return them to sender.
I spent years politely emphasizing that's not my name,unmarried etc.no avail
i return cards to sender,with message not known at this address did you mean ms scottishmummy and mr my partner.it caused much huff and consternation but has reduced it to a hard core,his rellies.and for asking as they address me incorrectly I will return card. next approach is know I know the female maiden name I will address the cards to ms maiden name (they hate ms sounds weird apparently)

it's not just a card,it's v significant

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