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Author Topic: Further adventures in addressing envelopes  (Read 2513 times)

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Further adventures in addressing envelopes
« on: October 21, 2015, 11:23:50 AM »
I giggled when I saw the invitation in today's mail. 

Now, believe me, I'm not offended or insulted or put off in any way.  This darling bride is like a niece to me ("Lulu's" daughter; I'm giving her a bridal shower in a couple of weeks).  She absolutely knows what our names are, no doubt about it -- she's known us all her life.  Her parents both hyphenated their names, and she and her brothers had that name, too.  I think the bride and/or groom did the envelopes themselves.

My name is "Jane Doe."  Always has been.
My husband's name is "John Smith."  He is a clergyman, and his honorific is not "Mr."
We gave our children (including DD, who spent her childhood pretty much attached at the hip to Bride, her best friend) "Doe-Smith."  But neither of us has ever used Doe-Smith for anything. 

The envelope was addressed like this:

Mr. & Ms. John & Jane Smith-Doe

The reason it made me smile was that I know this was not the result of thinking that our names are John and Jane Smith-Doe, and certainly not of ill intent or even carelessness.  To the contrary: I'm sure it was just a question of trying to think up some sort of quasi-formal form.  I'm guessing the reversal (from our children's name) of the hyphenated surname was to keep the surnames in the same order as the first names, which were evidently put in alphabetical order (they aren't really John and Jane). 

I think this is how people trip themselves up.  But it's so simple to get it right!  In this case, they didn't even have to do any research (which at most would have been to ask her mom) to know what our correct names and honorifics and preferences are.  So all they had to do was use those:

Ms. Jane Doe and Cantor John Smith

Instead, they tried too hard, if you know what I mean.

It doesn't make a bit of difference in how much we adore them and certainly not whether we would attend (which, agonizingly, we cannot, as we will be halfway around the world).  But they went to so much trouble to design a cute invitation and even have a stamp with their photo on it, and then they have this odd text. 

What are some of the strangest addressing styles you have seen?


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Re: Further adventures in addressing envelopes
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2015, 04:57:54 PM »
Hmm. The most egregious is when I'm included in my parents' invitation, under the name I had when I was still living there as a child. It's a ridiculous name, almost unpronounceable and hard to spell even by family members, and I had it legally changed as soon as I was able.

I'm 41 years old, and I moved to another country 19 years ago and have been living and working as an independent adult. Since then I've done separate gifts and correspondence, all from my address. I also had a legal name change more than ten years ago, and sent out written notices to everybody so that they could have my current address also. For years, I kept sending holiday gifts and greetings, most of which were not acknowledged although my mother generally received thanks for them.

Invariably, wedding invitations from family members are sent to my parents, under a name that-- as I mentioned-- is no longer legally mine. I am also generally not thanked for gifts that I give, because the only thank-you note is the one sent to my parents. They appear to receive the gifts I send them, and they recognize me if I show up at the wedding.

It's occurred to me to ignore the invitation, not RSVP, send a card acknowledging the marriage, indicate that I'd set a gift aside for them but gave it to charity instead since I wasn't invited, wish them well, and suggest that they give my very kind regards to their imaginary guest "uglyoldname" care of my parents.