Friday, July 07, 2006

Untitled and unnamed, or double named

As stated before, the French have a thing for titles. They also have a thing for paper work. And they also have a thing for titles on paperwork. So when you fill out any form here it's Madame or Mademoiselle or Monsieur. And then there's the name thing.

This afternoon I was to the Catholic Board of Education HQ to apply for a job for next year. While the other job I've found is cool, it's neither enough hours nor enough money. In order to avoid going back to my former place of employment (badly run), I'm looking at other options. Thus today's excursion.

Of course, despite having a copy in hand of my cv, they asked me to fill out a form. It looked like many other forms I've seen. First line says name, second says first name, and third says maiden name. I'm not a read ahead kind of person. When I see name, I write mine. Then I write my first name. Then I see maiden name. Hmm. Well, my maiden name is my name. What they really wanted for name was Husband's name. Which I don't use, for no particular reason other than I like mine, I rarely have to spell it even here (Husband cannot say the same) in France despite or perhaps because it's such a basic anglosaxon name. Furthermore, I've gotten very used to mine over the years and couldn't see any point to changing it. Particularly since in France, you don't really change it. Strangely enough, in this land where nearly all women use their husband's name, it's for fun and games only. It has no legal value at all and you don't do anything to change it, you just start using it the day you get married. Or you don't, in my case. A woman is legally Maiden Name for life. It is on all official documents, driver's license, passport and the like.

I've learned not to provide Husband's name anymore because once you do, even if you don't use it, everyone uses it for you. I actually sent back my health card twice because it had Madame and Husband's name on it. I know, I'm a pain in the ass. But jeez,Madame (someone's wife) Nicole Husband's name, what was left of me? Just Nicole, and that's not enough.


charlie said...

But, Nicole, a rose is a rose by any other name.

beth said...

Do people give you grief for not changing your name. My mother sends everything to me in my husbands name and she knows that I kept my name. . .that was until 2 months ago. . .I finally changed it because I got sick of the hassles from insurances, drs offices and stuff of that sort.

Legal Alien said...

My three favorite French names:


julie said...

You know I love my name, I kept my name, I don't want my husbands name, but I am starting to wish that I shared the same name as my children. sigh

Lorraine said...

And I, of course, couldn't wait to change my name. Not because it was ugly and thumpy. It wasn't. I just never identified with that name and taking The Spouse's was a way to reinvent myself (which I kinda felt I was doing by being married anyway). Although when I went to change my name I intended to do a hyphen thing with my mother's maiden name, which I identify with strongly, but I couldn't because I couldn't prove that I'd used it consistently. Which is really funny because if I'm ever published that is my nom de plume. So I guess I need to be published more so I can go to the name changing office and say, "Bah! See? Change it already!"

beth said...

Lorriane - I always get such a chuckle at your comentary! Thanks for making me smile!

Nicole said...

Charlie - that is so easy to say when you're of the gender that is NEVER required or requested to change names.

Beth - Why does that not surprose me of Mom C? What does surprise me is that you caved! Just kidding, do what you've got to do to get some peace and quiet.

Pat - Excellent choices.

Julie - I love your name too. But I haven't felt that wish yet.

Lorriane - I agree with Beth about you.

Amy said...

Have to say, first time I shuffled my maiden name off to Buffalo in a heartbeat... second time - it was very important to me to keep it. Not in a militant freakish way - but it just felt right.

beth said...

Nicole - they kept putting my first daughters last name as my name, and it got confusing and insurance has rejected so many bills due to this and then that creates such a hassle, that I said if I ever had a second child, I would change it, otherwise I wouldn't. I still use my maiden name on a daily basis, but as of 2 months ago, legally my name is my husbands - basically to avoid insurance issues. But, I haven't told my mother and I never will - just out of spite!