"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.

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