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February 27, 2008

Being the Mrs.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/being_the_mrs_/

Last Monday I had a slight identity crisis. I was at a temple Sisterhood meeting when a file folder was passed around. If you owed money for ordering birthday and anniversary cards, you looked up your name, noted the balance due and put in a check.

When the folder reached me, I pulled out my checkbook and searched through to find my envelope. It wasn’t there. At first I thought maybe I didn’t owe any money – but I knew I had sent a few tributes.

Then it hit me: My envelope moved to a different letter. Sure enough, the one with my name on it was now in the “F” section based on my married name, not my maiden name—where I had originally been searching for it. My maiden name had been crossed out and the married name put in its place.

Later, when a sign-up sheet to help at the Women’s seder was passed around, I wrote my maiden and married name on it. I figured it was one thing for me to get used to it, it was quite another for my friends to keep seeing it.

I’ve been trying to use my married name more and more, but since I am not legally changing it, I have to check when I sign up for things which name I can use – more often than not, using both names is not a problem (like the “win a Disney Cruise ” contest I signed up for this morning).

On Feb., 14, my husband and I spent our first Valentine’s Day as Mr. and Mrs. – which meant I got to buy his card from an entirely different section at Hallmark: The “To My Husband” zone. (Amazingly enough, the “to my wife” section was totally intact, while the husband section looked like a hurricane had hit it.)

When we went to our favorite restaurant that night for dinner, the owner looked at us and said: “It’s the Fs!” And I got a warm feeling in my heart.

Last weekend I attended a Spirituality Day event at our synagogue – it was the first time my full name has been on a tag since we were married in October.

Being an “old married lady” is quite a kick. You seem to achieve this knowledge about life – other married women look at you differently. You are thought of as a peer. Others turn to you for advice. You become a guru — but without the chanting.

However, no matter what, I’m still me – just with a longer name … and a more squished name tag.

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