March 21, 2007, - 12:47 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Last year, I told you about Mike Buday, who is fighting to change his surname to that of his wife, Diana Bijon. But he’s not the only girlie-man with SMID (Surname/Masculinity Identity Disorder).
Today’s USA Today Life Section has an entire page dedicated to spreading and mainstreaming the disorder. In it, you’ll see that the epidemic is worse than we’d earlier diagnosed:
The newlyweds knew it would be surprising, but they never expected it to go quite so badly.
As Donna and Mike entered their wedding reception, an unwitting announcer told the expectant crowd, “Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for the new Mr. and Mrs. Salinger!”
Some guests clapped, some chuckled at what they presumed was a joke and most looked at one another in confusion. The couple spent the entire reception and some of their honeymoon explaining to people what they had done.
The groom, you see, had started his day as Mike Davis and ended it by doing something precious few of his brothers-in-arms do: He took his wife’s last name instead of her taking his. . . .
Mike Salinger, who said it cost him about $350 to change his name legally, concedes he changed his name “because I’m a big ole granola liberal and I wanted to tweak the tradition while showing my wife I love her.” . . .
Christopher Sclafani and Jeannie Rhee avoided the wedding-night scene the Salingers endured by instructing their deejay not to introduce them with their last names, but their decision to take on both names without a hyphen caused other problems. The new Christopher Sclafani Rhee was immediately and persistently called Mr. Rhee, which most people assumed was his whole last name.
“People could not handle the idea that a man had a two-part last name,” says the 34-year-old Washington, D.C., lawyer. “The first couple of months were incredibly jarring. Then we realized both are hard names to spell and to explain, so I just accepted this (Rhee) as my new last name.”
Sam Van Hallgren, 32, co-host of the movie-review podcast Filmspotting, had to explain himself not just to his listeners but even to his co-host, Adam Kempenaar. Kempenaar was caught by surprise the first time Van Hallgren introduced himself at the top of their show with his new name. Van Hallgren was formerly Sam Hallgren until he wed Carrie Van Deest in August and they both took on the new, combined names.
Van Hallgren received a scathing note from a longtime listener with a subject line that read, “Sam, turn in your man card.” The listener asked what “sissy juice” the host was drinking.
Yes, exactly what sissy juice was he drinking? Was it Absolut or Caribou Coffee? Hard to tell.
The story also talks about other couples with hyphenated last names. I just can’t wait until two hyphenated surname kids get married, and they have four-hyphenated names and so on and so on and so on.
And that’s assuming the male half is masculine enough to produce offspring–in these cases, hardly a sure bet. For these guys, locating their testicles might be like playing “Where’s Waldo.”
Tags: Adam, Adam Kempenaar, Carrie Van Deest, Christopher Sclafani, Christopher Sclafani Rhee, D.C., David Lunde, Debbie Schlussel Last, Diana Bijon, Donna, Hizballah, Jeannie Rhee, lawyer, Mike Buday, Mike Davis, Mike Salinger, Sam Hallgren, Sam Van Hallgren, Surname/Masculinity Identity Disorder, unwitting announcer, USD, Washington