This is Progress

When we got married, my wife and I decided that she would keep her last name. There were a lot of reasons for this but one of the most important is that the concept of a wife taking her husband’s name can be taken a bit far, in our opinion. For example, if Jenn had taken my name it would have been proper (but not acceptable by us) for Jenn to be referred to as Mrs. William Ruhsam. This eliminates all but one bit of her identity: her marriage to me. So, instead of being Dr. Bowie, she becomes my appendage. We wanted to make sure that did not occur.

We have joked at times that it would almost be more proper for us to be Dr. and Mr. Bowie, but I digress.

Where am I going with this? I was doing an ego-search today and came across the following engagement announcement: Capt. Ruhsam, Fiancee Plan Wedding in China:

A January wedding at the home of Maj. Gen. and Mrs. John P. Lucas, Nanking, China has been planned by Miss June Mewshaw and Capt. Harry Erwin Ruhsam, grandson of Mrs. William Ruhsam, New London, Wis.

The bride-to-be, daughter of Col. and Mrs. Harry C. Mewshaw, Nanking, is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta. Capt. Ruhsam is a member of Alpha Sigma Phi and a graduate of Iowa State University.

The couple will honeymoon in Hong Kong and live in Nanking.

In it, there are seven people mentioned: three men and four women. The only woman who receives the benefit of a name is the bride-to-be. Everyone else is Mrs. Husband’s-name.

For contrast, here’s an announcement I just now pulled from the AJC:

Ben and Paula Team of Snellville, Georgia, are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter Stacey Elizabeth Team to Robert Vincent Scott, son of George and Betsy Scott of Alpharetta, Georgia. The couple became engaged on November 28, 2009 at their favorite park in Milledgeville, Georgia where they both attended Georgia College and State University.
Robert is the grandson of Mary and Vincent Bode of Raleigh, North Carolina and the late Robert and Dorothy Scott of West Union, Iowa. Stacey’s grandparents are Ben and Helen Team of Lexington, South Carolina.
The couple will wed in early fall in the company of family and friends.

This is progress. Let’s keep it up, people.

By the way, Congratulations to Stacey and Robert!

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2 Responses to This is Progress

  1. Sharon says:

    I have always said that if I receive a piece of mail addressed to Mrs. Husband’s Name, I’m going to send it back with “No Such Resident” scrawled across it. Haven’t had to do it yet. Then again, most of the older generation in my family is already dead, and won’t be sending me any letters.

  2. Bill Ruhsam says:

    When we had a home phone, Jenn would answer any similar question (“I would like to speak with Mrs. Ruhsam”) by saying “No one by that name lives here” and hanging up.

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