Observation note 54: Ire. This is post is a vent.
Reading note 19: Names. In Unfinished Business: Notes of a re-reader, Vivian Gornick discusses her feelings on being a couple and that she “flinched when addressed as Mrs”. This is something that I keenly understood as I have never used the title despite being married now for 25 years. Even before I married, I was ticking the Ms. box as it just annoyed me that men got the standard Mr. and women had three choices, all of which sent quite clear messages to whoever was collecting your information (as trivial or disinterested as they may be by the selection). What surprises me is that I am the outlier here.
Reading note 20: Wait! This is influence?! A couple of days ago I wrote about Lauren Layne’s Marriage on Madison Avenue and that the main character was a social media influencer. I wrote that I have little interest in such a person let alone a fake such a person but what the book did for me was have a narrative against which I could compare the many years of watching a variety of people I knew posting their planning for their nuptials to the point of tedium. Reading about a character doing this added another level of tedium which may have contributed to my lethargic two week reading of the novel. I had to remind myself that the circus of wedding planning brings out the crazy in people who I used to like.
Self-flagellating note to state that it brought out the crazy in me too…mostly because I hated the whole process.
Observation note 55: Missed moment. A few months ago, someone I know, someone who I used to think was lovely and sweet and beautifully friendly, posted on their social media that she was “Miss to Mrs” and “rebranding in process”. I cringed and I felt saddened that despite decades and decades of women rallying to not be objectified, here was someone who willingly was choosing to be “rebranded”. However, this is not what made me angry. Disappointed – sure but people can do whatever they like in their life. But feeling angry – I left that for the wedding reception, upon looking at the list of guests so I can find the table I was seated at, I found that “Miss to Mrs Rebranded” chose to change my name from the e-RSVP database and bestowed upon me my husband’s surname. A name I have never used. A name that I don’t identify with at all. The rage I felt in that moment was red, it was hot, it made me want to flip tables. If this is what “influencers” think they can bestow upon people, changing their name and their title at will, then rage I will. A few years ago, another lovely young woman who married a family friend whispered to me “I desperately wanted to keep my name but [name redacted] wouldn’t let me. It offended him”. I am offended for her. I am angry beyond comprehension, to the point of my vision blurring. Perhaps this is why I am struggling in my reading of romance fiction especially. All I can think is of young obsequious women going from Miss to Mrs and forcing everyone else to do it too.
Vivian Gornick can cringe with me.