Etiquette

How do you address envelopes? My friend is offended

245

Re: How do you address envelopes? My friend is offended

  • Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe DOES separate a woman's name from her title.  That is another reason it is wrong.
    Ms.  Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe gives both persons their proper names and titles.
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    doeydoRebeccaB88
  • My mom taught me all about feminism and kept my dad's name when they divorced. It just made sense for her, for multiple reasons. The fact that she COULD divorce him and choose which ever name she wanted, is true feminism.
    In the end it's just a name. It shouldn't define you or make you all ragey on Facebook.

    The wife in OP's post sounds a bit... over the top. There are calmer ways to address this problem. Being a drama queen on social media is not going to make anyone take you seriously, in any situation.

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    pinkshorts27
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's not 'just a name'. It's MY name. I completely understand OP's friend's rant and the emotion behind it. While I might not go to that extent on Facebook, for me it would certainly bear repeating publicly that not all women prefer the traditional salutation, and in fact, many are downright offended by it. Normally I'm a stickler for etiquette, but not when it's as sexist and degrading as to call a person by a name that is not theirs. If a woman prefers it, then fine, I will never get it but fine, they can have it their way. After all, that's what we fought for. But this is one area where traditional etiquette should be changed to reflect the current time. 'It's just a name, chill out' is incredibly offensive.
    scrunchythiefjenijoykrajahmdsnippet17
  • I'm sorry, there's just too much "offense" taken to too much silly shit these days. Sure, if you know someone's preferred title or how they'd like to be addressed, by all means, do it. But to get upset and publicly go off about someone addressing an invite to Mr. & Mrs. John Doe just sounds to me like that person just needing something to get upset about. Or wanting to make a stand but doing it in a really silly and ineffective way. 

    For crying out loud, this person should be happy that (1) she has a friend or family member who wants to invite her to something and (2) that this friend was trying to do things the "right" way and maybe that's a harbinger of things to come and hopefully she won't end up at a cash bar, potluck, seatless wedding.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • CMGragain said:
    Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe DOES separate a woman's name from her title.  That is another reason it is wrong.
    Ms.  Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe gives both persons their proper names and titles.
    I know it does, sorry, I meant that to be an example of separating a woman's name from her title.  I was wondering why it's ok to do the same thing to a man when using Mr. and Mrs. John Doe?

    I don't think a FB rant will help anything, but this kind of thinking that it's automatically ok to address women by their husband's name causes real problems sometimes.  I have a friend whose mom kept her maiden name, and her school would not accept forms signed by her mom because they didn't believe it was her.  They couldn't comprehend a mom and daughter not having the same last name.  Yes, even with her mom's name on file.

    I don't see this as wanting a social change just because it's someone's personal preference.  I think it's about wanting to challenge people about why they think it's ok to automatically treat men and women differently.  For instance, is Mr. and Mrs. Jan Doe, like my H and I are considering, correct?
    biggrouch
  • Technically, the way you addressed it wasn't wrong. She changed her last name to her husband's (I'm assuming) and hadn't made her preference known, so traditional wording is completely acceptable. You did nothing "wrong" etiquette-wise here.

    Obviously, she has a strong preference so it's only correct from an etiquette perspective to address her as she prefers going forward. If she attends the wedding and gives a gift, this would include the TY note.

    Her going into a public, passive-aggressive FB rant only makes her look rude. The way she should have handled it was to contact you directly and politely let you know her preference for future correspondence. 
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    PrettyGirlLostthemuffinman16
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Nymeru said:
    It sincerely bothers me to be addressed as Mrs. John Doe, and I don't consider myself to be some sort of rampant feminist.  While I wouldn't facebook rant about it, I would be thinking all sorts of negative thoughts in my head if I were to receive an invitation addressed that way.  I would also feel disrespected by my friends/family if they were to address anything sent to me in that way simply because they know I don't like having my name taken out of the equation.  Does this go against formal etiquette?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.  But that's just me.  I take it with good grace when it happens with mail sent by those who are 65+, but anyone else who knows me should know better. 

    I appreciate that people all of a sudden seem to care more about etiquette when it comes to a wedding, but if you know me well enough to invite me to your wedding, you know I'll take it as a personal slight to be called Mrs. John Doe.  It feels so wrong--before you're married, you are a person deserving of your own first and last name, but after you're married you're just a Mrs. before your husband's name.  I don't like how it looks and I don't like how it feels--kind of tacked on like an afterthought.  I don't feel like I'm somehow less now that I'm married.  So why should the importance of my name be diminished now that I'm married?  To me, marriage is about adding to your life, not taking away.

    This might sound like I'm all rage-y and not wanting the trappings of marriage, but really I'm just trying to express how my mind processes this.  My mind...it's a very convoluted place.

    STUCK IN BOX

    I totally agree with you.  
    ________________________________


    themuffinman16
  • edited August 2014
    We invited most of our guests using Ms or Mrs Jane and John Doe believing that the man's name was to go near his last name, unless the woman, "outranked" her husband as in Dr. Jane Doe and Mr. John Doe. 
    We had 2 ladies in their early 90's that we knew preferred to receive invitations as Mrs. John Doe and addressed them accordingly. Our invitations and wedding were fairly informal so the older ladies envelopes felt out of place to me but I knew it was what they preferred. If we had anyone else who had a strong opinion of how they preferred to be called, we would have gone with their preference believing that etiquette is in place to make sure that your guests are comfortable.  
    We also made many phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages to get 2 wives and children's names for 2 families but never did (not even on the response card or wedding gift!) and had to go with The Doe Family. I'm still feeling bad about that.
  • edited August 2014
    It's not 'just a name'. It's MY name. I completely understand OP's friend's rant and the emotion behind it. While I might not go to that extent on Facebook, for me it would certainly bear repeating publicly that not all women prefer the traditional salutation, and in fact, many are downright offended by it. Normally I'm a stickler for etiquette, but not when it's as sexist and degrading as to call a person by a name that is not theirs. If a woman prefers it, then fine, I will never get it but fine, they can have it their way. After all, that's what we fought for. But this is one area where traditional etiquette should be changed to reflect the current time. 'It's just a name, chill out' is incredibly offensive.
    It's only degrading and offensive if they do it while knowing you prefer to be called something else. Her rant on Facebook was immature. I mean, Facebook? Really? My first name was misspelled twice last month on two separate invitations. While I found it annoying, I wasn't degraded by it. They were just accidents, I'm sure. People are not mind readers and can not possibly know how you want to be addressed on an envelope. And not everyone has the same preferences, anyway. Why should your preference become the norm over someone else's? I prefer to be called ma'am instead of miss. I can't throw a public hissy fit and demand everyone start using ma'am as the new social norm just because it's my preference. Your name doesn't change who you are or what you are. It's your name, and it should be respected, but it really is just a label. In the grand scheme of things, it's minor. Totally my opinion, though.
    I agree with the bolded. I understand how a name can feel like one's entire identity, and to identify oneself as anything else seems impossible or just undesireable. But, really, your personality makes you who you are. My name is kinda unique, so I've been told many times how it sounds like a stage name, or I get asked if I'm a singer/artist/actor. I may not hear those comments as much after I get married, but that's ok, because I'm none of those things and so having my unique name does not really make up my identity, I do. 

    Just like some posters will "never get" a woman taking her husband's name, that's ok, because I honestly will never get a woman refusing to take her husband's name. I don't feel unequal, lesser, subordinate, or any of those negative connotations about the idea of taking my future husband's last name one day. I regard that practice in a much more positive light, and not a million feminists will change my mind or my feelings on it :)

    ETA Remember what Shakespeare said about the rose...
  • Being addressed the traditional way doesn't bother me but perhaps that has to do with how my mother taught me to address things. She said you use Mr. and Mrs. John Doe on social correspondence because that is their social title. A woman's name would be Mrs. Jane Doe, her title was Mrs. John Doe.

    I think because that's how it was explained to me, I've always seen it as two different things. Like Catherine Windsor is a name and Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge is a title.

    Regardless, I do understand people getting a little irritated by that and I would have no problem if a friend told me how they prefer to be addressed. I am, however, always annoyed by people who share their feelings and opinions by way of a dramatic Facebook post.
    mollybarker11
  • I would also be offended if someone addressed a wedding invitation to me as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" even though I would understand they were just going by the book. Lots of disprespectful things weren't considered rude 100 years ago. Doesn't mean we need to carry outdated customs forward to today.

    I addressed my invitations, "Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe" because I would much rather offend someone on grounds I didn't follow proper etiquette, than offend someone else for subsuming their first name. If someone's going to be offended, I'd rather it be the person with less logic behind their emotions.

    scrunchythiefbiggrouch
  • Here's what I don't get - why would a woman choose to identify as "Mrs" but also be offended to be called "Mrs. Husband'sFirst Husband'sLast." The title Mrs, by definition, identifies one as a married woman. If you are ok with identifying yourself as a wife, how much more offensive can it be to be identified as your husband's wife? I do not understand the logic.

    I am a feminist. I always address people in the manner they prefer, if I know.* But I also think you need to be able to cut people some slack. Unless they are deliberately ignoring your expressed wishes, people are just doing what they think is least likely to offend you.

    *This includes my married friend who chooses to go by Mrs. HerBirthName, even though I wonder every time why she is trying to become her mother.
    Simply FatedJellyBean52513
  • As other PPs have said. I think it's fine that she feels that way, etc.  I get it...I want to be recognized too as a person and not just someone's wife....But i think this is a smaller offense as opposed to not getting a thank you note!  Also I think her post has nothing to do with feminism...i think she just wanted to rant for attention (as alot of FB peeps do).  It's really not a big deal...if she has a problem, just tell that person who "offended" her.  Your friend needs to get over it.
    BrandNewJ
  • It's not 'just a name'. It's MY name. I completely understand OP's friend's rant and the emotion behind it. While I might not go to that extent on Facebook, for me it would certainly bear repeating publicly that not all women prefer the traditional salutation, and in fact, many are downright offended by it. Normally I'm a stickler for etiquette, but not when it's as sexist and degrading as to call a person by a name that is not theirs. If a woman prefers it, then fine, I will never get it but fine, they can have it their way. After all, that's what we fought for. But this is one area where traditional etiquette should be changed to reflect the current time. 'It's just a name, chill out' is incredibly offensive.
    It's only degrading and offensive if they do it while knowing you prefer to be called something else. Her rant on Facebook was immature. I mean, Facebook? Really? My first name was misspelled twice last month on two separate invitations. While I found it annoying, I wasn't degraded by it. They were just accidents, I'm sure. People are not mind readers and can not possibly know how you want to be addressed on an envelope. And not everyone has the same preferences, anyway. Why should your preference become the norm over someone else's? I prefer to be called ma'am instead of miss. I can't throw a public hissy fit and demand everyone start using ma'am as the new social norm just because it's my preference. Your name doesn't change who you are or what you are. It's your name, and it should be respected, but it really is just a label. In the grand scheme of things, it's minor. Totally my opinion, though.
    This is why I don't take offense to people addressing me as Mrs Husband's Name unless they know otherwise. My husband receives a wedding invitation to Mr and Mrs His Name, fine. I don't expect them to bend over backwards to find out every single person's favorite way of being addressed. I send back RSVP as Ms My Name and Mr His Name (I kept my maiden) and they ignore that? I let my self be miffed there. 

    Now, even worse- a friend knows I didn't change my name. She contacts me for our new address and I respond Ms My Name and Mr His Name at new address. Receive invite as Mr and Mrs His Name. I ignore it there, shit happens. Send back the RSVP Ms My Name and Mr His Name gladly accept. Place cards are Mr and Mrs His Name. So is the thank you note. At this point I am reserving the right to be pissed that she blatantly ignored my specific request to be called by my proper name 3 times. 

    BTW- I also prefer ma'am to miss. Maybe its because where I grew up I started being ma'am-ed right around when I stopped being a child, but yeah, I always thought ma'am was the social norm over miss after the age of 16 or so. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    PrettyGirlLost
  • biggrouchbiggrouch member
    100 Love Its Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    I'm a mileniual and it drives me up a wall when people want to get all bent out of shape over small things, yet still get offended when a guy doesn't pay for their dinner.
    Sigh. I wrote something snarky. let me erase and write something serious. This is a sad way to look at feminism. Many feminists are serious intellectuals - or just logical human beings - who care about equality both in terms of envelope invitations and who pays for dinner. You are doing your generation, feminists, women, and logic a big disservice when you lump all of these phenomena -- political correctness on envelopes, people still following traditional financial arrangements on dates, etc -- into one giant group and then label that group hypocritical.
    southernbelle0915jenijoykJeeGooDowsterBrandNewJ
  • When I'm married, I would prefer if people referred to us as Dr. AmaCassidy MySurname-HisSurname & Dr. Husband HisSurname, or Dr. MySurname-HisSurname & Dr. HisSurname, or my personal favourite, The Doctors MySurname-HisSurname. And I might be annoyed if we were addressed as Mr. & Mrs. Husband HisSurname or Dr. & Dr. Husband HisSurname, but I wouldn't rant and rave about it. However, I would seriously consider not going to the wedding if we were addressed Dr. & Mrs. Husband HisSurname. 
    als1982
  • We have a lot of Dr's even a "mixed couple" of a judge and a Dr. and we addressed them as Dr. Jack and the The Honerable Susan Smith. Then for the dual Dr. couple we did Dr. Jack and Dr. Susan Smith. Right, wrong, or indifferent we tried to pay as much honor to etiquette as possible, but for everyone else it really is to hard to keep up with how they prefer. For the OP I think that she is fine with what she did and her friend should have said something to her directly if she was so offended. Passive aggressive via FB is not my thing.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    She took her husband's last name, so I don't understand why she flipped her shit. When you take your husband's last name, the traditional way for you to both be addressed on a wedding invitation is Mr. And Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname.

    If she wants to be addressed as Mrs. Herfirstname Hislastname then she should *politely* tell people. I'm all about addressing ppl as they want to be addressed, whether it's traditional or not. But her rant on FB would make me roll my eyes and not be inclined to send her mail!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    huskypuppy14
  • jenijoyk said:

    I would also be offended if someone addressed a wedding invitation to me as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" even though I would understand they were just going by the book. Lots of disprespectful things weren't considered rude 100 years ago. Doesn't mean we need to carry outdated customs forward to today.

    I'm really failing to understand how addressing a married woman by "Mrs. HisLastName" is disrespectful, especially if the person doing the addressing has no idea that she didn't change her last name/prefers to be called something else. Like, the constant insistence that it's disrespectful to call a married woman by any name but HER VERY OWN NAME is really annoying. I can't wait to be Mrs. HisName one day, but y'all are acting like that's some terribly outdated, anti-feminist, WRONG thing to do.

    Aren't feminists supposed to promote equality and freedom of choice for both genders? So, if a woman chooses to take her husband's name and go by it socially & legally, then that should be totally cool and not met with such insult and degradation?
    pinkshorts27APDSS22
  • jenijoykjenijoyk member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited August 2014
    jenijoyk said:

    I would also be offended if someone addressed a wedding invitation to me as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" even though I would understand they were just going by the book. Lots of disprespectful things weren't considered rude 100 years ago. Doesn't mean we need to carry outdated customs forward to today.

    I'm really failing to understand how addressing a married woman by "Mrs. HisLastName" is disrespectful, especially if the person doing the addressing has no idea that she didn't change her last name/prefers to be called something else. Like, the constant insistence that it's disrespectful to call a married woman by any name but HER VERY OWN NAME is really annoying. I can't wait to be Mrs. HisName one day, but y'all are acting like that's some terribly outdated, anti-feminist, WRONG thing to do.

    Aren't feminists supposed to promote equality and freedom of choice for both genders? So, if a woman chooses to take her husband's name and go by it socially & legally, then that should be totally cool and not met with such insult and degradation?

    I didn't say I would be offended by being addresed as "Mrs. OurLastName." I said I would be offended by being addressed as "Mrs. HisFirstName OurLastName." There is an OBVIOUS difference there.

    And honestly, you go by what you want. But I don't have be totally cool with it. Will I go on FB and say, "CAN YOU BELIEVE JELLYBEAN51523 DOESN'T MIND BEING REFERRED TO BY HER HUSBAND'S FIRST NAME?" No. But I'll frown a little for you. On the inside. Them's just the facts.

  • morphemesmorphemes member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    I think posting to FB was a bit dramatic, but I also understand where she is coming from. I know that some women do not see their names as inherent to their identity and have no issue with changing to their husband's name. This is not the case for everyone. Some people, including myself, have lots of emotional ties to their name. I also don't want to be eliminated as a person. I have my own identity and I am a person outside of my relationship to a man. Addressing an envelope Mr. & Mrs. John Doe indicates that there is a woman, but does not give any identity to that woman--other than the fact that she belongs to/with that man. 

    Yes, that is the traditional and formal way of addressing envelopes. However, proper etiquette does change over time. I think (and hope) that the formal mode of addressing will evolve to not completely eliminate the woman's identity. More and more women are uncomfortable with this mode of address, that calls a re-evaluation of what constitutes formal address. 

    ETA: Since this form of address is still accepted in many circles, the addressors didn't do anything wrong unless they intentionally ignored her wishes. 
    jenijoyk
  • I honestly don't know a single woman, under the age of 50, who would be OK with "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." Maybe that's just because of where I live and what kind of women are in my social circle. But there is absolutely no way I wouldn't offend 75% of my guest list if we had addressed our wedding envelopes that way. And here is where I will state the most obnoxious, elitest thing ever, but the truth hurts: The rest of the world will catch up eventually.
    scrunchythiefRebeccaB88morphemes
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