I remember being in my teens and thinking that marriage and kids were not for me. I had my reasons that I won’t go into here, but I was quite sure I would avoid the status quo. But society puts a lot of pressure on the young and soon enough I was walking down the matrimonial aisle.
A few days after we were married, I received an envelope in the mail from the DMV with a sticker to place on my license. The sticker had my new married name hyphenated with my maiden name. I had not asked for this change and I am not sure why they had sent it, but the letter stated they had already updated their records and just like that I went from me singular to half of a set.
A few years and children later, I dropped the hyphen and my maiden name making it easier for everyone else to identify me as my children’s mother and the spouse to my husband. Before I even realized what had happened I had completely lost my individuality.
Fast forward a couple of decades and a divorce later and I had a new sense of who I was if not exactly where I was going with this new found self. Still society has this overwhelming need to put titles on people. There’s this sense that who you are as a person is somehow related to your personal status.
When you do you taxes one of the questions they ask is your marital status. You have your choice of single, married, divorced (which defaults to single) or in a civil union. Nowadays, when I am required to answer this type of question, I put single. Period.
My boyfriend argues that I am not single and he doesn’t like it when I use that term. We are, in fact, in a committed relationship, he argues, making me “not” single.
I believe that I can be single and still be in a committed relationship. My status does not determine what I do with my life. I am opposed to getting married again, not because I don’t have an interest in spending the rest of my life with my boyfriend, but because I don’t want to be defined by who I am with. Nor will I ever change my name again.
I am me and it is very important to me that I stay who I am, if that makes sense. Perhaps I am a rebel at heart, but I do not think that society should dictate my status in life. I am happy with who I am, where I am and who I am with. I do not need some type of title as a way to explain this to others.
If I were a man, my title would always be Mister and would end in my given name. I would not have to adjust my title regardless of my marital status. As a woman, that is not the case. Am I Miss, Misses or Mizz?
My answer to this is none of the above. I am me, plain and simple.