What’s in [keeping] a name?: Part II–Mishaps of a Multi-Name Family

This last summer, I blogged about the many reasons at play in the decision for keeping my name. I am much more at peace with this decision overall than I would have been with taking The Chancellor’s or trying to hyphenate. It’s worked out well for me so far, especially since I get to introduce myself as Queen Bess at my graduate institution, The Chancellor’s students refer to me as “Mrs. Chancellor” and we refer to ourselves as the Bess-Chancellor household.

Not everyone has gotten the memo, though. Today in church, I was once again reminded of the heteronormative expectations that are often placed on young married women in religious contexts. I requested membership at one of the area churches, using the Queen Bess name, and after our marriage, I was welcomed into the church by that name. Today, there was a notice in the bulletin about introducing the church to the faculty of The Chancellor’s school. He was one of the teachers listed, with a blurb mentioning that he was married to his sweetheart, “Queeny.” Obviously that’s a pseudonym. But you get the idea. Again, in the self-same bulletin, we were listed in the prayer section as “Lord and Queeny Chancellor.”

First, I felt angry and violated. Not only was my name erased for the assumption that I had taken my partner’s, but my own first name was misspelled. Not cool, especially for a church that had managed to get it right the first time. Both my first and last names are six letters each–not hard to spell at all. Further, if they weren’t certain, couldn’t they have just asked?

I have since decided to take a humor-based approach. I texted The (former) Vice Principal of Everything (pseudonym for a dear friend who just moved away), “We’ve been asked to pray for Lord and Queeny Chancellor. Do you know who this Queeny Chancellor is?” She wrote back that she thinks The Chancellor’s been taking her to dinner behind my back. And thus is born my evil twin.

So, if you see anything addressed to a Queeny Chancellor, don’t assume it’s me. I have an evil doppelganger who wants nothing more than to usurp my rightful place in the Bess-Chancellor household.



Filed under Family, Marriage, Outlook

2 responses to “What’s in [keeping] a name?: Part II–Mishaps of a Multi-Name Family

  1. This is lovely. I love your pseudonyms, and I love the humor-based approach. 🙂 I’m sorry that this happened, though. You’re so right about “young married women in religious contexts.”

  2. kim

    -Vice Principal of Everything!

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