Last week, while I was off the grid, two things happened. It was my birthday week, and it was also the first week of school. So far, the first weeks of work have been chaotic but fun, and my birthday week was an extravaganza, as usual. However, something arrived in my mailbox that was concerning.
It was a birthday card. From my grandma. Addressed to Mrs. Kevin Gas.
Now, I love my grandma and this is not a criticism of her, since I know she is very traditional about mailing cards and addressing them using married names. I will say, though, that it really irks me when I get mail (wedding save the dates, bills, and apparently birthday cards) that are addressed to me as Mrs. Kevin Gas. It makes me feel like I am now property of Kevin, and have lost both my first AND my last name.
I'm traditional in the fact that I took Kev's last name, even though I am an elementary school teacher. Luckily, the kids have been awesome about not making jokes this year, since it's now the second school year I've had it, and I've settled in. Personally, I like the idea of my someday kids having the same last name as we do, but I understand that there are lots of different opinions about whether or not to take the last name.
It's my first name where I draw the line. I'm not "Mrs. Kevin." I'm NICOLE, or Colie, or a host of other nicknames. When I see my name written as Mrs. Kevin Gas it makes me feel like Kevin's property, instead of myself, which is a person with her own career, interests, and passions that just HAPPENS to have fallen in love with an amazing man and gotten married. It irks me to the point that I asked the priest and bishop who married us not one, not two, not three, but FOUR times to make sure he announced us as "Mr. and Mrs. Kevin and Nicole Gas" when he was leading up to the big first kiss moment at the end of mass.
It's weird enough when my mechanic calls me Mrs. Gas, or when telemarketers ask for Nicole Gas. I don't need to lose my first name too. So there