Rolling Along into the 21st Century

Today, we got a legal document in the mail. It concerned a piece of property that my husband and I jointly own. The document included my husband’s full name and my first name and middle initial. Both our signatures are required. So, I have the choice of instructing the sender to redo the document to include all of my legal name or signing it like I was Cher or Prince, a person so unique I go by just one name.

Should I go ahead and sign it Janice K.?

Or maybe I should create an enigmatic symbol to replace my first name and middle initial. Something mysterious and unique like a masked bird in flight carrying a sack of tiny donuts. Sure, I’d have to practice drawing it a lot before signing a legal document but once I get it right, I could branch off into tattoos and nose rings.

When I tell the sender that they omitted my last name, they will apologize and say that someone in their office, some lowly secretary they call Melissa P., made the completely erroneous assumption that my husband and I share the same last name. It’s a common mistake, they’ll say, and then they’ll wait for me to say, don’t worry, everyone makes that mistake. And they’ll tell Melissa P. to make the change and roll their eyes like marbles across an old kitchen floor.

Oh heavens, people are so touchy about their names. Like it’s some kind of big fucking deal to them.


Photo by Andrew Coop on Unsplash

6 Comments on “Rolling Along into the 21st Century

  1. What you write about is so fucking real and so exactly on point. I should think if you were president, many, many wrongs would be righted. XXX

  2. Just changed my insurance from the firm I’d had it with for 30 YEARS because the two young women (!) who took over the office were issuing the policy in my husband’s name + Sarah A. Mind you, I have had insurance with this company and firm since before my husband and I were married, so I don’t even know how this kind of thing happens without someone changing the database. When I emailed and called, they couldn’t be bothered to issue a policy in my name + my husband’s name so I took our considerable business elsewhere.

  3. When my husband and I bought our camp in the U.P.–long before we owned a house–the deed was made out to him “et ux.”

  4. I think it would be amusing to sign with a completely different first/middle/last name just to see the reaction. Don’t they know you should never assume…

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