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My Grandfather vs. the Patriarchy

When we got married, I kept my maiden name because: lazy. Or because: feminism! Or maybe a combination of lazy and feminism, and, if we're being honest, an attachment to the father from whom I inherited it. Whatever. I kept my maiden name. REASONS.

A brief list of people who have taken issue with this slap directly to FluterDude's face: the department secretary, FluterDude's junior colleagues, other faculty in our department, my private flute students, one of the yoga instructors (not the cool one), some dude at the grocery, the folks in HR, and ten other people I've forgotten.

You know who hasn't taken issue with this slap directly to FluterDude's face? My 91 year-old grandfather.

He just got a thank-you note from me, and from my cousin who married around the same time. "Who the hell is this," he asked my mother, pointing to the cousin's new name.

"Your granddaughter," my mother replied.

"What is this [new name] bullshit? Why couldn't she keep it the same, like Fluter? I want to know who I'm getting my goddamned mail from."

And there you have it, folks. My former-military, deeply Catholic, conservative-immigrant-descendant 91 year-old grandfather approves of keeping your maiden name.

Because he wants to know who he's getting his goddamned mail from.

Illustration for article titled My Grandfather vs. the Patriarchy

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