I was shopping around last week for car insurance for me and JD. Now, I have the same surname as him, because I liked his name and I chose to take it, etc etc. He didn’t care either way – his family is a sprawling mess of steps and halves, so name isn’t a big part of his identity. I didn’t like my surname too much so I chose to change it.

To begin with, I was always Mrs. Recently, especially while I’ve been looking for a job, I’ve taken to using Ms. I feel like prospective employers take in my married status and my age (25) and assume that I’m going to immediately get pregnant and need maternity leave, and leave them trying to cover that leave. Maybe I’m overreacting – and it would be highly illegal for them to even imply such a thing – but anyway, I’ve taken my rings off for interviews and taken to calling myself Ms. I like Ms. It says “I don’t consider you close enough an acquaintance for you to know the exact details of my marital status”.

Anyway, car insurance. My renewal came through and I wasn’t happy with the quote, especially given that I turned 25 this year – shouldn’t it have gone down considerably? JD’s did, when he turned 25. So I shopped around, found a deal, phoned up (because I couldn’t get the website to work), and was offered a ‘multi-car deal’, for both of us/both our cars. It was much cheaper than any of the quotes we’d each found separately, so I went for it.

She started taking details, and I told her I was Ms Married Name. She asked for my date of birth, the length of time I’ve held my license, and so on. Now I dunno about you but I got my licence “a long time ago”. Thinking back to exactly when that was is hard, so when  the same questions came about JD and his car, I REALLY had to think. (And I’d wager he couldn’t answer those questions about me. He’s lovely, but a bit vague.)

Anyway, my point to all this is, when the (very helpful) woman asked me fos JD’s name, she then hesitantly said, “Male or female?”. You see, JD has a name that can be used as a girl’s name or a boy’s name, although I’d say it was more male than female, but maybe that’s just me. But he and I have the same surname. I’m actually impressed that the woman asked.

Did my use of Ms. confuse her? Was she forward thinking enough to realise that just because two people have the same surname it doesn’t mean they’re a) married or b) of opposite genders? Does she have to ask the question? I don’t know, but I am impressed. Kudos, insurance lady.

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