It’s not often at work that something warms my cockles, but yesterday, when a foreign couple came into work to set up a new account, it was revealed that they have different surnames. “Even though we’re really married,” the wife explained. “I know that’s weird in your country.” The husband smiled apologetically.
“No, actually! I have a different last name from my husband, too.”
Most of the time I try not to get into politics at work, especially with the customers. I’ve been told some of the nastiest, racist, sexist, homophobic things I’ve ever heard in my life while helping out the regulars, and since I can’t stick up for myself and my beliefs I usually try to keep things airy. But this, this surname thing, something that always sets the femosphere aflutter — I was not going to let this woman think it was a sign of non-commitment in the US to keep your birth name when married, even if many mega-corps can’t manage to keep a handle on it.
They both looked a little surprised as I continued to enter their account information into the system. After a pause the wife asked tentatively, “Was that your choice?”
“Yup!” I confirmed.
And then she squeeeed! a little and clapped her hands. I squeeeed! a little too on the inside. Feminism in teaspoons.