Tag Archives: marriage

Should A Woman Take Her Husband’s Last Name?

Yes.  Duh.

Alright–I’ve seen it too much.  I finally have to speak up.  Ladies, why are you putting up such a fight to keep your own last name?  I don’t get it!  When you get married, it’s not like changing your last name to match your husband’s is a “bow down” to him.  It’s not like you’re losing your own personal identity.

Here’s my reasoning as to why women should take their husband’s last name:

1)  It unites you two as a family.  How often have you heard someone’s full name, like, “Oh hey, aren’t you Bob Miller?”  And thought, “Bob Miller, I wonder if he’s Kathryn Miller’s husband…”  (I don’t know a Bob or a Kathryn Miller–all completely made up).  What’s wrong with being identified as a man’s wife?  Not a damn thing!

2)  It keeps it easy on the kids.  Which last name do you give your kid then?  Hm?  Little Johnny goes to school and says, “My mommy and daddy have different last names, and mine’s got a hyphen in it.”

3)  Hyphenating is kind of ridonkulous.  Okay, so Kate Smith marries Joe Miller, and she becomes Kate Smith-Miller, and her children are Smith-Millers.  Judy Smith-Miller, their oldest daughter, falls in love with the dude who grew up down the road from him, who had a similar naming arrangement and whose name is Kyle Chandler-Bing.  So if they follow the rules of their parents, when they get married, Judy becomes Judy Smith-Miller-Chandler-Bing.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  A name could go on for decades!

4)  And just because back in the day, taking your husband’s name meant you were his subordinate does not mean that it’s true today.  It’s just tradition.  So shut up.

5)  Not to mention that it makes it really difficult for people to retrace their ancestry.  REALLY difficult.

P.S.  To men taking their wives’ names…I’m not even opening that can of worms.  I will just ask you to stop it.


Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Domesticity


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Moments Men are Allowed Expression of Total Vulnerability

I know.  Half of you are up in arms with my title already.  Who am I decide this, right?  Well it’s my blog, so I’M DECIDING TODAY!

You all know how big I am on gender roles.  I think it’s way more okay for women to cry on a regular basis than it is for men.  We are, after all, the emotional sex.  (YEAH, I said it.)  But I’m not disagreeing that women can be stronger than hell.  I mean, physically (lifting cars off of children) and emotionally (holding a family together in hard times, taking the brunt of the work, rarely getting thanked for it), and often mentally (8 soccer practices to remember and a career to balance with a home life and raising babies and all of that).  Women have a lot going on!

And so do men, I’m sure.  But men (according to me on my perch over here) have less of a right to be emotional.  And I think they just are less emotional in general.  I mean, seriously–guys don’t watch The Notebook and think, “Gosh, if I could only have a girl like Allie.”  Nope.  They’re thinking, “Damn, I wanna bang a chick walking up the stairs like Noah did.”

I think we can all agree that our brains/genetic make-up/hearts are different.

I know it makes me a bitch, but when men get over-emotional for no reason, I kind of secretly (not so secretly
anymore) deduct man points from them.  It’s like, “You’re a man, dude.  Hold it together.”  I like Marlboro Men, Old Spice Men, Men like Achilles in Troy.

But there are instances when men should be allowed to express complete vulnerability, emotion, sadness, whatever.  They’re allowed to break down.  So when is this acceptable?

  1. When they’re alone.  Always.
But in front of others?
  1. When they’re at a funeral.  Death is always worth crying for.
  2. When they propose (this is one of the most pivotal points in a man’s life.  He’s bound to shed a tear or be nervous).
  3. When they get married.
  4. When their children are born.
  5. When their wives or children are suffering.
  6. When they feel inadequate.
  7. When they’re in immense pain.
Well, that’s 8.  And the proposal and marriage (should) only happen once in a lifetime.  So that leaves 5 situations that could happen more than once.  If one of these situations is not happening, men should be acting like men:  crawling out from under trucks they just fixed, lugging timber across the yard to heat the house, holding doors open for women, carrying the heavier box, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Happy Friday!

Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Domesticity


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Engagement Etiquette: The Ring

The Ring.  THE ring.  THE RING!  This is a pretty darn important part of the whole engagement thing that I started discussing yesterday.  Trust me.  How important?  Well, not to scare you guys, but pretty damn important.  And just to be clear early on (I’ve found a few men who didn’t know this) you have to buy TWO rings, guys.  The engagement ring is the one with the big stone (the one that really matters) and the wedding band is the one you give her at the wedding.  So start saving.

First things first.  Surprise, or no surprise?

1)  If you’re going the surprise route. You don’t NEED to know her ring size, although there are plenty of sneaky ways to figure that out (watch her try on fashion rings in a jewelry store, have all her fingers measured just because, ring that does fit that finger and then take it to the jeweler so they can tell you what size it is).  You can give her a ring that doesn’t necessarily fit and she can have it resized after the proposal.  Most insurance policies on rings allow for lifetime resizing, so it’ll be included in the price.  AND YES, YOU DO NEED THE INSURANCE.

2)  If you’re not going the surprise route, you can ask her for her ring size.  And about all of the stuff below.  No big deal.

Ring Style

There are a few ways you can determine your lady’s ring style.  First, just look at the jewelry she already owns.  You’ll want to pay attention to the following trends:

Metal:  Is it consistently yellow gold?  White gold?  Platinum?  PAY ATTENTION!

Jewel cut:  Most women are drawn to a certain shape of a diamond.  There are round ones, square ones (Princess cut) and a whole slew of other shapes.  If you see one showing up more than others, chances are that it’s her favorite.

General Trends:  Are the stones held up by prongs?  Or set into the metal?  Does she have bold jewelry with one-3 stones?  Or does she like ornate jewelry with many little stones complimenting the main stone?  Are there more small stones?  Or does she like big flashy rocks?  You’ll notice things that you’ll see repeated in a jewelry store.  Promise.

The 4 C’s (or 5…or 6)

Generally, there are 4 C’s you should pay attention to in diamond buying. Cut, Carat, Color, and Clarity.  But there are also two other C’s:  Certification and Cost.

Ready for this?

Courtesy of Blue Nile

Cut:  We’ve already gone over this. See above picture in terms of shape.  But there’s also another version of cut.  The way the diamond is cut determines the amount of light that goes through it, and in turn, the amount of sparkle.

Contrary to what men want to think, THIS IS IMPORTANT.  I know many women who don’t care about diamond size.  You could give them a rubber band and they’d be happy.  But this is something they’re going to have to wear the rest of their lives (if you do it right) and something that everyone is going to look at.  You’ll want to be proud of the ring you buy.

This also has an effect on the type of ring you’re buying.  If your lady likes more than one stone, then chances are the stones will be smaller.  If she wants one stone (a solitaire), you’ll probably end up buying a bigger stone as it is the only focus of the ring.  Ask her if size is important (wink wink) and see what she says.  It’s also about what will look good on her hand.

Courtesy of Blue Nile

Color:  Yes, diamonds do have colors.  And I’m not talking about brown or black diamonds.  I’m talking about white diamonds.  They’re graded on a scale of D-Z.  The closer to the beginning of the alphabet, the less color they have and the more valuable they are.

Clarity:  This is insanely important.  Diamonds are rocks.  It’s important to remember that.  And not all diamonds are completely clear inside.  So it’s important to look at the grade of a diamond.  Here’s another chart.

Courtesy of Blue Nile

FL, IF – Flawless, Internally Flawless: No internal or external imperfections. Internally Flawless: No internal imperfections. Very rare.

VVS1, VVS2 – Very, Very Slightly Included: Very difficult to see imperfections under 10x magnification. An excellent quality diamond.

VS1, VS2 – Very Slightly Included: Imperfections are not typically visible to the unaided eye. Less expensive than the VVS1 or VVS2 grades.

SI1, SI2 – Slightly Included: Imperfections are visible under 10x magnification, and may be visible with the unaided eye. A good diamond value.

I1, I2, I3 – Included: Blue Nile does not carry diamonds of I-grade clarity.

Certification:  According to the, “A Diamond Certificate can be defined as a statement, issued by an independent Gemological Laboratory, that at the time of evaluation, the Diamond in question has been examined by experienced Diamond Graders, using various gemological instruments, and determined to contain the characteristics as stated in the Certificate. While discussing the various elements contained in the certificate, it is important to state which gemological instruments were used to evaluate the specific diamonds under discussion. Evaluation of a diamond is important because minute, microscopic inclusions, of a Diamond can have a major influence on the price. ”  Your call on this one.

Cost:  This is probably the one that matters most to you men.  The better the quality, the more the cost.  It’s important to think about what’s most important to you and your future wife.  If it’s the size of the diamond, you may compromise the color and clarity.  If it’s the value of the diamond, you may compromise size.  That’s your call, too.  🙂

In the end, don’t be a cheap ass.  She is going to dedicate her life to you.  Show her you love her by giving her something she loves.

IMPORTANT:  Ladies, considering that in giving an engagement ring, men give us a pretty pricey gift, I think it is our DUTY to buy them a hella nice wedding present.  Think big screen TV, or weight bench.  Or a gun safe.  🙂  You can keep your fancy ring in there.

Tomorrow, PROPOSALS!


Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Domesticity, The Book of Love


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Engagement Etiquette for Him and for Her

I just got really excited.  Not because I’m getting engaged (I’m not) and not because I know someone else who is (I don’t), but because the whole idea of engagements and marriage just makes me giddy as hell.

SO I was thinking, “What kinda theme could I do that would fit into my idea of gender roles, domesticity, and still help out men and women alike?”  AN ENGAGEMENT RING GUIDE!  Hell, an entire ENGAGEMENT GUIDE!  So this week, it’ll be about engagement, engagement rings, proposals, and all that stuff in between.

And what better person to do it than a person who’s never been engaged, right?  Oh shut up.  It’s for fun.  Also, I am only writing these rules to apply to heterosexual couples composed of a man and a woman.  This is your disclaimer,  so shut up or quit reading.

I’m going to break this down into points that apply to both the man and woman, specific advice for the woman, and specific advice for the man.


For Men and Women:
Talk about your future with each other:  If you think your relationship is heading toward the big M, then you should talk to each other about it.  You don’t have to plan/decide everything immediately, but it’s the perfect time to start seeing if you you both think that marriage is something you’d like to do, and what it means to you.  what about kids (and the # of them) and pets?  Where would you like to live?  What do you expect out of life?

For Men:
Don’t get all hibbity jibbity every time someone mentions marriage or engagements to you.  Don’t act like your bachelor days are so glorious.  And if you do truly enjoy being a bachelor, then make it known to women you play around with that you’re not interested in marriage.  It’ll save you a ton of trouble in the end.

If you do see yourself getting married, talk openly about it, and your expectations.  Don’t go overboard with excitement, though.  It makes you seem insanely girly and your lady will wonder why you’re so gung-ho about it.  Mostly, she’ll think, “Okay, he seemed great…but if he’s this excited about the idea of getting married, maybe he’s trying to pin me down.  Or he wants me to commit to him before I find out why all the other women left him.”  So do yourself a favor and show calm, genuine interest.

Also, it is YOUR duty to ask her father or guardian if you are allowed to marry her.  Don’t just take for granted that he’ll say yes.  He’ll respect you for coming to him man to man and talking it out.  It shows him that you’ll truly be responsible and take care of his daughter.  So build a relationship with your girlfriend’s dad if you see your relationship heading toward marriage.  That way that take isn’t so intimidating.

For Women:
Alright–I know you’ve been dreaming of this day since you were two.  Don’t act like a pre-bridezilla, but also express to the man you’re dating that you are interested in marriage.  Talk openly about what it means to you and what you want out of it.

Also, bust off your bras and get ready to burn them, feminists.  I don’t ever EVER think a woman should ask a man to marry her.  EVER.  Let him do it.  It’s a guy thing.

Hint around (not too obviously) that you’re okay with the idea of him proposing.  Saying things like, “I couldn’t imagine life without you” will be good indicators that give your guy the go-ahead.  But don’t rush him.

And don’t get ahead of yourself planning all the particulars if you think it’s coming.  It’ll just push it off longer.

Tomorrow, how to talk about engagement rings.


Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Domesticity, The Book of Love


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How My Life Would Have Been If…

You know how just one thing can change everything about your life?  If you had done just one thing different…  I’ve been thinking about all of the different ways in which my life could have been different if I had made a different choice in one area of my life or another.

I love my life now, and I have no regrets, but isn’t it kinda fun sometimes to think about what might have been different?

Like okay, say I never went to college.  What would I be doing?  Well, I’m tellin’ you right now that I’d have probably stayed at Whirlpool for at least a couple of years straight on till dawn.  I don’t know for how long, though.  Here’s the thing:  if I hadn’t gone to college, I would most certainly have remained in Fremont.  I’d have moved out into my own apartment or rented a house somewhere.  Eventually, I probably would have moved into office work at Whirlpool (I do type on average 116 words a minute) and married someone from there.   We would have gotten married at a Catholic church and had our reception at Ole Zim’s (you know what I’m talkin’ about, Fremont people), and honeymooned in Florida.

By now, I would have probably had our first baby and might be considering the next in about a year and a half.   Every Sunday we’d have dinner with my parents.  I’d probably join a book club and still be writing (about what, I’m not sure).  I’d walk around the Grove.  I’d snuggle up to my husband every night.

But here is the downside–I’d have never met any of my friends from Ashland (all I love dearly) and I would have never met the folks at UNCW (most of whom I love dearly), and I would have never met Mike.  I wouldn’t have my BA or my MFA, and I wouldn’t be working at this incredible job right now.  Both scenarios could have worked.  It’s weird, but they could have.  But this one brings me much more happiness (and often much more strife–long distance relationships suck).

I’m happy to be where I am.


Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Daily Happenings


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Why It Is Almost Impossible to Live In One’s Hometown

I don’t know about your family, but mine has been in the same place for a long long time.  Let me explain.

Fremont & Clyde

Fremont and Clyde, where my kin resides.

I grew up in Fremont, Ohio.  Most of my family has been in Fremont and Clyde for at least 70 years.  See that map?  My entire immediate family including grandparents is pretty much in there.  My maternal grandmother grew up in Clyde and searched for Jessie Simmons’ tongue on the very farm I searched for it years later.  She married my grandfather, who was also living in Clyde.  My parents, aunts, and uncles all married people in the same vicinity.  And let’s be honest.  Everything is easier for them in terms of seeing loved ones If my grandparents need something, they have 4 kids and their spouses right there, plus some grandkids and cousins.  It’s easy to pick a place to have a family gathering because everyone is right there.

And up until my generation, everyone was still there.  My grandparents have 10 grandchildren.  Seven of them are still living in either Clyde or Fremont.  I am just south of Cleveland.  My cousin Heidi is right around Ashland.  I know we would love to be able to get back more often and see our family, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.

Getting off of work at 5, driving an hour and a half home puts me at 6:30, long enough to eat dinner, say hi, and head on out before the hour and a half drive back, so that I can go to bed at a decent hour.  I’d love to be able to drive 10 minutes down the road to have a cup of coffee with my mother.

There are advantages to this.  If you marry someone from your hometown, chances are you get to be close to both of your families.  That makes celebrating holidays with both much easier.  It makes planning the actual wedding easier.  It creates built-in babysitters that you don’t have to pay and grandparents get to see their grandkids.  I loved spending every weekend at my grandparents’ house.

But it’s hard to do that as a Gen Y kid.  We move away, go to college, graduate, feel guilty for not using our degrees, and live somewhere we can get a job.  During that process, most of us fall in love, either with someone from our hometown, someone in college, someone in grad school.  And eventually you have to choose.  Do you live closer to your parents?  Or your lovers?  You’re coming from different places, after all.  Will someone be upset?  What if you both can’t get a job in the same place?  What happens then?

It’s just all very weird.


Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Domesticity, Fremont


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The Waiting Generation

My friend Jody asked me (and my mother silently asks me day after day) why my generation is waiting until later on in life to have get married, have children, start families.

I have a few theories on this.  THEORIES.  So don’t jump down my throat, okay?  This is just from my rattling 26-year-old brain that resides in my childless 26-year-old body on which resides a ringless 26-year-old finger.  Disclaimer:  This is not me complaining, it is just putting my comments into perspective.

I am part of the Waiting Generation–which is ironic.  We’re all so impatient to get things-information, the latest technology, instant contact, instant gratification…  But we put a hold on the moments in life that used to be the moments generations before us looked forward to, worked for, relished in, and any other number of prepositional phrases.

So why are we waiting?

1)  College.  We all were expected to go to college, which creates some problems.  We’re lacking skilled trade workers, and we’re all vying for college-level jobs.  Not to mention, because we went to college, we feel that we are entitled to things.  Better things than our parents had.  Better things than our friends have.  We are motivated in the work place, plus we feel that if we have to pay back the MASSIVE amount of student loans that most of us have hanging over our heads, we better be making damn good money.  Marriage and children cost money; therefore, we avoid them.

2)  Permission.  I’m not blaming our parents for this.  I’m not really blaming anyone.  Well, maybe society.  We still feel like we can live with our parents until we’re 30.  And sometimes, we have to.  No full-time job?  Well, how are we supposed to live on our own?  And with our college degrees in hand, God forbid we pick up a shift at the local Denny’s.  By living at home, we pretty much lose half of our prospective marriage partners because people that we are willing to date/marry look at us and say, “You’re living with your parents…”  It’s not a fair assessment, and it sucks, but it’s true.

3)  Inability to Meet People.  They tell us that our college years are the new golden years.  Fantastic.  And if that’s the case, you don’t want to “tie yourself down.”  So we don’t date anyone seriously.  We tell ourselves that we’re still so young in college, the way our parents told themselves how young they were in high school.  College IS the new high school.  And then we don’t meet anyone in college.  Sometimes we find partners in grad school, but even then, we’re so focused on getting that higher degree to put us above the Bachelor’s degrees out there, that we overlook love.  And when we get out of school…well, if you don’t remember how hard a time I had finding at least FRIENDS around here, I think it’d be doubly hard to find a mate.

4)  The Lure of Youth.  You see it everywhere.  Everyone’s mourning their aging (myself included) and trying to get back to being young.  From miracle salon products to Hollywood, to finally being at an age where we see those around us growing older.  We’re trying to hold on to our youth, and trying to remain independent, so that no one else can force aging upon us.

5)  Geography.  Even in the perfect storm (take me for example), things get in the way of marriage and children.  In the economy, and in this society, we are slaves to our jobs.  They’re few and far between, and we take what we can get, where we can get it.  So even though I met Mike in grad school, we ended up living in different states because we need our jobs…to pay for our student loans, to give us our independence, to keep us out of our parents’ homes.  And we can try as much as we want to move together, but because we both chose fairly specialized majors in college, we’re having a hard time finding a region that contains opportunity for us both

The truth is that we’re all about 5-10 years behind our parents.  High degrees are now required to set us apart from the masses, where once a Bachelors’ degree sufficed.  So we’re spending so much more time in school, chasing our careers to make our student loans seem a little less scary, yet at the same time, feeling entitled to not grow up.  We’re afraid to take responsibility for someone other than ourselves.

There are people out there, though, who did meet someone in college, or in high school even, and followed suit.  I see nothing wrong with the way my parents lived, or that entire generation, as a matter of fact.  They raised us.  And we’re driven, and successful, and smart.  But something happened along the line.  Somewhere, we became afraid of commitment.  The main reason, though?  We’ve forgotten what it is to live for someone else. 


Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Domesticity


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