DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a recently married woman, I must admit that I broke traditional protocol in addressing invitations, and I hope that others will do the same for me.
By JUDITH MARTIN
I kept my maiden name, and I have numerous friends who did the same. Rather than addressing them in the appropriate way, which would be Ms. X Smith followed by Mr. Y Jones on the next line, I addressed them as Mr. and Mrs. Y Jones and X Smith. When I address things solely to the woman in such a couple (and what I prefer to receive), I address it to Ms. X Smith.
I feel that addressing it as such is a more appropriate way to honor the sincerity and depth of the married relationship as well as the independence of the two individuals, which is generally the intention of keeping ones last name. (As an aside, we both intend for our children to solely have their fathers last name, as I kept my fathers.)
I feel that etiquette has fallen a bit behind the intent of keeping ones last name and should be helped along in this regard.
I married my husband because we love each other enough to have each committed our lives to each other, and we approach life as a couple and as a team, not as two individuals who happen to share an address which I feel the correct way of address implies. (It is the same way you would address an envelope to roommates who happen to be different genders, which I did also have on my guest list, and addressed them as such.)
As an authority on manners, can you help society work this out?
GENTLE READER: As an authority on manners, Miss Manners regrets that she cannot recognize you as a fellow authority. In the manners business, we do not grant ourselves privileges that we deny to others.
Etiquette did move ahead on the issue of surnames for married females from a standard formula that enfolded the wives identity into the husbands to allowing free choice.
As there is no practical way of recognizing all ancestry, we now have a wide variety. There are ladies, not all of them antique, who prefer the old form. Others may use the husbands surname but with their own first names; still others retain their birth names, or hyphenate the two surnames, or create an entirely different one. Couples may use the fathers surname for the children, or a hyphenated name, or alternate the two surnames when there is more than one child.
You have made your choice among all these possibilities. Why cannot you respect others right to do the same?
Why send an announcement?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it acceptable to send announcements that a couple is celebrating a 50th anniversary if there will not be a huge party? Were having a small family getaway trip for a week.
GENTLE READER: And why is it, exactly, that you believe that others need to know?
Or should Miss Manners be asking what is it, exactly, that you expect them to do about it?
© Universal Uclick 7/19
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