Monday, July 16, 2007

“This is his wife.”

“This is his wife.”

That’s a statement I have made way more times than a girl who has never been married should.

See, The Man does not like doing things like, calling people, or writing letters or basically doing anything that requires him to take his own time to speak to someone about something important. Really, it doesn’t even matter how important it is. Electricity? They’ll turn it back on when they get the check, right? Health insurance? Eh, those things don’t show up on your credit report anyway! (LIES.)

The Man and the kids had just moved in with me when Sunshine got sick. Really sick. I don’t remember details, but I know it was bad enough that we had to get her IN to the doctor. The problem we had was that Scari had insurance on Sunshine - because The Man hadn’t added her to his yet (ahem) - through the county. Because she got FREE health care. (And food stamps. And “living” money. Smoke crack, people, it’s the way to the easy life!!) However, Scari was no where to be found - nor was any information about her health insurance.

“Can we just get her in to see the doctor and deal with finding the insurance company LATER, like, when the bill comes?” I asked the receptionist at my clinic of five years.

“You’ll need a deposit if the patient doesn’t have insurance.”

“Oh, but she DOES have insurance, I just can’t find her cards, I think her mom has them.”

“Her MOM? Who is THIS?”

In this moment, I remembered something. They’re not going to tell me ANYTHING. I’d been in this situation before. It gets to the part where they say “And who am I speaking with?” - I say ’girlfriend’ and they tell me to have him call back. Girlfriends hold absolutely no credibility. You can be together for 25 years and know every last freckle on that person’s body - but if you aren’t married, you aren’t important enough to hear their private details.

“Her father’s wife.” I said.

“Oh! Oh, well, here’s what you need to do…”

There was also the time when we got a letter in the mail saying he had written - out of his own, personal account - a bad check to Denny’s. For starters, he hadn’t owned a check book for that account in years. Also, we don’t write checks…especially at restaurants. Denny’s is also not a normal stop for us.

When the thirty days to dispute the bill was nearly over, I finally said, “I’m calling about this! I’m not going to pay out the next time we need a loan because you don’t want to argue!”

So I called.

“Aaaand, who am I speaking with?” asked the cheery southern collection rep.

“Amy H.”

“Oops. We have this account under The Man‘s name.”

“Yes, that’s my husband.” I said confidently.

“But….your name…”

“It’s 2006 and it’s still ‘weird’ for me to keep my last name?” I laughed.

“Oh, no, hahahahaha, I suppose you’re right! Okay, let’s look and see what’s going on here.”

It has gotten much more use over time. On the net, ‘dh’ holds much more credibility with the other wives than ‘bf.’

“Oh! Wu-ell, he’s only, like, my BOYfriend, so, like, I dunno, like, all that stuff. (Heehee.)”

I know that’s what they hear.

Sometimes, it backfires. At work, I often confuse who knows me well enough to know that’s a big fat lie. “My husband said…” “Oh. My. GOOOOOSH! When did you get married!?!??!?” “Oh, well, we didn’t yet….it’s just, uh, easier, you know?”

I get by with it. My wedding will be coming soon enough (is a decade soon?) and I can stop living this horrible lie. I will actually be able to call and use my name and nobody will ever question WHO I am or WHY I would be calling.

While this problem has a solution for me, there are still a lot of people in my situation who’s problems will never be remedied. Loving, caring couples who want to be able to sort out legal documents, health insurance, credit problems - but can’t.

I consider myself a conservative person. I am a Christian. I still can’t - for the LIFE of me - figure out why two men marrying each other would have anything to do with anyone but them. (Although, upon searching for reasons, I found this funny list of reasons why.)

But I’m not really here to push that issue…I want to know, have you ever experienced this? Married women, have you ever felt out of the loop because you WERE married?


Goldy said...


Some interesting trivia about last names... so in Czech Republic it works like this... my last name is Goldstein, my wife would therefore be Goldsteinova. Or if my last name was Smith she would be Smithova. Same with daughters and sons... my son would be Goldstein by daughter Goldsteinova.

My wife is Czech but we went with the American way of doing things but I actually kind of like that system.

Kelly said...

As a married gal I get more credit at Dr. offices, sure. But Big D's girlfriend gets more street cred than I ever could.;)

Whiskeymarie said...

I only feel out of the loop these days when I'm around my single, still dating friends (of which there are very few anymore) and much older married couples.
It did, however, take a LONG time for me to think of myself as someone's WIFE. Like a year or so before I would automatically say it without having to think about it- even with me changing my last name.

Canadian flake said...

I can most definitely understand where you are coming from. My "hubby" and I have been common law for almost 6 years now . In our hearts we are married, but we just haven't gotten around to getting the paper. He is the same way...I call it "ostrich-itis" Most people just accept it, but his mom still introduces me as his it is 2nd rate or something...makes me wanna smack the sh...errrrr sorry, the snot outta

MommasWorld said...

It all boils down to paper work. The establishments - Drs., Schools, etc. - acting in their bes interest... CYA (Cover Your A**)

Brillig said...

I just wish there were another word besides "girlfriend." A word that means, "just because there's no document, we are committed to each other and I love him and am raising his children as my own." But until that word exists, I say that "wife" works just fine, papers or no papers.

exskindiver said...

wife works.

on a related but different subject...ever wonder why if you are paying for something over the telephone, establishments will talk to anyone--even the family dog--but God forbid you ask any sort of information that is not nessesarily confidential--suddenly they can't talk to you?!

Cherann said...

OK...I have to admit, I got a little confused reading your post. but I figured it out after reading the comments.

I don't know what to tell ya. Getting married does seem to be the answer to a lot of your problems. Like if something happened to the man and he was on life support-- you wouldn't have power of attorney.

You're very understanding. I would have been out the door a long time ago without a wedding band. (I'm bitchy like that)

And I do have to say, that I am kind of out of the loop on things because I don't know what's HOT.

Worker Mommy said...

It always gets on my nerves when I get questioned when I'm calling on behalf of hubby.

I want to be all sarcastic and say well this is a "criminal and I'm asking you questions so I can steal his identity"

But I know they are just doing their jobs and protecting his information/maintaining confidentiality so I gotta respect that.

Oh heres an interesting little tidbit: my in-laws actually just got married after being together for 28 years.

Casmee said...

I kept my maiden name for the first 6 years of our marriage (6 outof 12) until it really got to me having to explain that yes I was actually married and that yes, I was the mother of my children... I got the inquisitive looks and weird silences over and over...It was so embarrassing that I finally gave it all up to become THE WIFE.

moosh in indy. said...

First of all, what a life you lead. Second of all, I abuse the fact that Cody and I have the EXACT same initials and unisex names. It comes in major handy.

Sugar Kane said...

I might as well jump on the bandwagon and get something off my chest too.

To make things easy, I have often acted as though Magoo's father is part of the family. Of course I don't do this in situtions where he is directly invovled. Sometimes it's just easier.

Virtualsprite said...

Been there, doing that (until recently... but that's another story). I agree with Brillig... you're doing your thing, it's working for you, call it what you want. To me, married is as married does.

Screw the bureaucrats.

Daisy said...

You're right that the term "girlfriend" needs to be updated. The lack of a marriage license doesn't mean lack of authority.