Tuesday, 3 June 2014

What's in a title?

As a divorced woman, you think about your name a lot.

Probably the first thing to address is whether, if you took your husband's surname when married, you want to revert back to your maiden name. Or kick both to the curb and come up with something else entirely (Fruitcakecumberbatch springs to mind).

But then there's the pesky problem of whether you are now Mrs, Miss or Ms.

Let's take a step back for a minute. I've often baulked at the historical shoddiness that forces women to either make public their marriage status, or plump for the middle-ground 'Ms' which makes just a bit too strong a point to be pleasant (IMHO). Men get to be Mr, whether they are married, divorced, ever-single, king or pauper. No one forces them to change. Ever.

So why should it be so for women? We have relatively recently started to baulk at changing our surnames when getting married; why has no one made a fuss about the whole Miss/Mrs/Ms thang? Why can't we just be Miss all our lives (and be forever young)?

'Mrs' was originally the abbreviation for 'Mistress' - the title prefixed to the name of a married woman - dating back to the 15th century (more about the history here). 'Ms' was first introduced in 1901 as a 'feminist proposal', and its popularity grew until, in 1974, the Passport Office conceded that we could use it as a formal part of our identity. How generous of them.

'Ms' is still a bit shit though. Why should we have to change our title at all?

Back to business. What is a Divorced Woman? She really isn't a 'Mrs' anymore - she's not married. And let's be honest, she's a bit long in the tooth to be a 'Miss'. Sad but true. And you know how I feel about the whole 'Ms' thing.

So. I have resolved to be 'Captain'. That's right - Captain. I have to admit, I'm not 100% sure of the legalities of the situation, but I have my pilot's licence - and it says Captain on there somewhere, I'm sure - so I assume I'm ok.

I'm not joking. I am currently the proud owner of a Friends and Family Railcard in the name of Captain Lomas. I am either a complete dickhead or the coolest Mum on the planet. Probably the former.

I mentioned this to a couple of friends and we wondered how far we could push it. Someone suggested that I could be 'Sister'; although wholly inappropriate, possibly illegal and probably a straight red card from being allowed into heaven - we all laughed wildly and I did consider it for a while. I'm sure I could explain the whole situation to St Peter over a small vodka or two.

And what if you signed up to the Seasalt mailing list as Lady Lomas? Duchess? Or even - and I'm tempted - HRH? Would I be pounced on by MI5?

Actually, that sounds a bit tempting. Yes please.

My next challenge will be to write to the DVLA and get 'Captain' on my driver's licence. And then, Passport Office, here we come. If you can accept Ms, two letters that mean diddly squat, you can bloody well make me a Captain.

Over and out.

Captain Lomas


Jess Paterson said...

Brilliant Captain Lomas! Very good point and well presented. I think It's a great substitute for Ms.

Lottie Lomas said...

Thanks Jess! Although I am tempted to alternate Captain with Grand Inquisitor, just to spice it up a bit :-) x

LearnerMother said...

I like it, Captain Lomas!
PS 20% off Seasalt tomorrow if you are in the mood for a bargain ;)

Lottie Lomas said...

Thanks for the heads up! I really would like one of their scarves - a woman in a scarf always looks grown up, I think - but I'd need them to tie it for me every day. Am clueless :-)

Liv bySurprise said...

Congratulations Captain! I'm not even going to put in your last name any more. What a PITA. I had to change all my documentation after my divorce and it sucked balls. The only way they'd let me change my credit card login was to delete my credit card history and start from scratch. Just silly really. I'd think of going to Captain, but I'm a Mrs. again. And I will be until and after I'm widowed.

emma lander said...

ay ay Captain haha I love it. True though why should women have to have more than one title? I also like to call myself Lady Lander but that's another story ;) #BinkyLinky

Louisa said...

After my divorce I went through the rigamorale of changing my name back. I've since remarried but kept my maiden name, I'm not giving it up again! #binkylinky

Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork said...

Captain! Brilliant. I'm with you on the Ms thing - it's what I use because it seems like the lesser of three evils but it always makes me feel surly. At least it exists though. Here in Italy it's either signorina or signora. Signorina is the ultimate tool in patronisation, especially as no-one in their right mind would say 'signorino' to any male under the age of 5. I get called signorina all the time, to accompany lewd comments, until they spot the child and suddenly get all formal and signora on me (because of course all women with children are married). I bitterly hate both. #binkylinky

EmilyTwin MummyandDaddy said...

Great post Captain! Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

Hannah Clarke said...

Fabulous! I have to admit, I'm a bit old school and I loved taking my husband's name and becoming a Mrs last year, but I have absolutely no idea what I'd do if we ever split up. Good luck getting the documents changed!xx

pixiedusk said...

Funny post! Captain Lomas sounds awesome superhero like even! Yes I think being pounced by the m15 guys are a bit enticing =P

DannyUK said...

Great post, Captain! I must admit that even as a man I have toyed with the idea of becoming a Lord on paper... #PoCoLo

Zena Goldman said...

Cracking post Captain! There's some food for thought here. I didn't take my husband's name when we got married, but I use Mrs. What a contradiction

Victoria Welton said...

What a great post!! I love that you have called yourself Captain - I wish I had thought of that. I was a Mrs then reverted back to a Miss. I refuse to use Ms, that is just completely rubbish - and very spinster like!! Great to see you on PoCoLo, thanks for linking and hope to see you again :) x