Knotted Knickers

Sometimes, it really is the principle of the thing.

I got my invitation to my alma mater's Homecoming festivities last week. Addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Husbandsfirstname M." Which I don't like to start with, but find particularly offensive given that he's not an alumus of this particular institution, and that I'm still sending them checks, both tuition and donations.

So I sent the following email, which seemed reasonable:
Good afternoon,

I very much enjoyed receiving my invitation to this year’s Homecoming events. However, I was puzzled by the address on it. My invitation had been sent to Mr. and Mrs. Husbandsfirstname M. My husband is not a Denison alumnus, and I’m baffled by why my invitation would have come in his name. In the future, I would prefer that my name be used.

Thank you very much,

Myfirstname (Mymaidenname) M, Denison Class of 2001

Today, I finally got the response:
The e-mail you sent to Alumni Affairs regarding your Homecoming brochure was forwarded to me. I just wanted to let you know that when Denison sends mailings meant to be for both you and your spouse to attend, they will include your husbands' name. There are times when only your name will appear: as Mrs. Yourfirstname M.

Let me know if you need anything further. Hope that all is going well for you."

No, actually, that does not resolve my problem. I am ashamed to say I got a little huffy:
It's good to hear from you, I hope you're doing well. I'm glad to have my husband included on my invitations, but I would like to be included as well. I would strongly prefer for the university I attended and still support use my name, and not "Mrs. Hisfirstname."

Thanks for your help.

Does anyone else get irritated by being Mrs. Husband?!?


  1. Update: we worked it out, and I got to have a quick chat with someone in the alumni office that I'd worked with as an undergrad. *Whew*

  2. To the point of being tempted to violence.

    Glad it was resolved. Wish it didn't still happen in the first place.

  3. I have to say, that is one of the very petty benefits of being a rev: you really can't be addressed as Mrs. Husbandsfirstname, because you can't include Rev in that. (Now THERE'S a meaningful reason to be ordained!) :)

    That said, my sister-in-law still, and always, writes Mr and Mrs Husband sfirstname S. It irritates me.

  4. Anonymous6:12 PM

    I think you have your panties in a bunch over nothing. Sounds like Denison was simply being correct in their grammar. Whether or not you prefer it that way, the way the invitation came is the proper way to address a married couple. Oh, and for "shalom" you can include Rev in an address; Mr and Rev. Husbandsfirstname S. What do you think women doctors who aren't married to men with titles do!?! Sounds like feminism at it's worst here...

  5. I would just like to point out that emilypost.com lists the correct way of addressing a woman who "outranks" her husband in title as,

    Dr. Jane Kelly and Mr. John Kelly

    Mr. and Rev. John Kelly would be incorrect.

    Carry on, Mrs M.

  6. every once in awhile people get confused and call him Mr. Rev. they don't know what to call the husband of the Rev.
    and I've gotten that incorrect Mr. and Rev. stuff on occasion

  7. This irks me as much as my church making my husband's info the default info for the entire family.

    And for the dentist assuming I am the one responsible for the state of the family's teeth...or is that totally off track? I don't think so.

  8. I'm always surprised to find that anyone, personal or institutional, still uses that form of address.

  9. If feminism at its worst is requesting that I be identified by my own name, and not someone else's, I can live with that. Frankly, I think that's a pretty decent simplified definition.

  10. I'm totally with you too. I happily changed my last name when I got married to identify with my new family (me and him) but my first name identifies ME - and that didn't just disappear when I got married, Thank You Very Much.

  11. Yeah, I'm a guy but I don't like the "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" thing either. What's wrong with "The Smiths" or "Mrs. and Mr. Smith"? I favor "The [lastname]s" in my personal correspondence.

  12. Anonymous6:49 AM

    I'm surprised by their default -- I would have thought universities and colleges did something like [name] '01 and [spouse's name] [last name is shared]. Especially since their events aren't exactly highly formal.

    I take a little bit of happiness in the Mr. & Mrs. stuff, just because it's new and shiny. More people were shocked that I didn't move my last name --> middle name.

    Now.. what will we do when he's a Dr. and I'm a Rev.? (by the grace of God and the bishop and people consenting, of course)

  13. I'm late here, Mrs. M., but I'm with you. I took my husband's last name- not his first. I don't don't care if you call me Rev., just don't call me J. arrrrgghh!

  14. Another good reason to keep our own names.

    I'm surprised Denison hasn't gotten with the program sooner. Then again, I'm an Oberlin alumna ;-).


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins