In Which My Feminism Is Revealed to Be Quite Flimsy


Ordering a return address stamp for our invitations has had an unexpected side effect: it is making me reconsider taking Collin’s last name.

Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich
1234 Welivehere Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Something about the aesthetics of our names written out next to each other bugs me. It’s too wide, I guess.  Once I realized I should be writing out the state instead of using the two-letter abbreviation I felt better about it, but our names are STILL the widest line. It’s a little awkward.

And I have to think about the future. We might move to a place with a much shorter name! This could be our ridiculously top-heavy address:

Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich
7 Oak Lane
Ai, Ohio

What a nightmare! How much simpler if I could just make that top line read “The Diedrichs” ? But, no. Changing my name just doesn’t feel right, and I’m not going to do it, even with this first of many headaches punishing me for my stubbornness.


  1. For return address labels, I did the following:

    Mylast & Hislast
    77 Fabulous Boulevard
    Boston, MA 02155

    The person receiving the invitatino or sending the RSVP knows who it is from/for, and this is sufficient for the postal service. For most of the labels we did some varient of our last names (“Mylast & Hislast”, “Mylast – Hislast”, “Mylast / Hislast”, etc). Aesthetically pleasing and it leaves your feminism intact. :D

  2. No way, when I see long names like that I think they are so romantic! They remind me of old-fashioned high-society when everyone had like 5 names and things would be addressed to: Mr. and Mrs. James Earl Patrick Blumfield McCarthy Anderson III.

  3. Oh, and I agree with Sara. We just did response cards to Kerry & Craig, address address blah blah blah.

  4. An ampersand would save you a couple characters, but it’s probably easier to just never move to Ai.

  5. Flip,

    You are not allowed to have my last name. It is mine, not yours!

    I love you anyway.

    Mr. Collin Richard Diedrich

  6. We actually couldn’t order a stamp with both our first and last names on it, because nothing seemed to have enough space for all those characters. We compromised by doing MYLAST + HISLAST.

    I love worrying about aesthetics. One possible solution is:

    Robin Hitchcock and Collin Diedrich
    1234 Welivehere Dr. | Pittsburgh, PA 15213

    But I realize you were not asking for solutions so much as being funny. So I’ll just end this comment with: Ai!

    • Dude! This! This so much! WTF????

      Even bloody Etsy, where you’d THINK there’d be free-minded artists who are all about being CREATIVE and SOLVING PROBLEMS and BEING UNIQUE. Anything for return address stamps? ANYTHING?

      … Nope. Le sigh.

  7. I’m in the middle of painstakingly typing out RSVP cards and invitations on my typewriter (this seemed like a good idea, but typing 40 invitations turns out to be very very silly) and went with “My Last & His Last” too, like a few others have mentioned. I love it because it makes me feel a little like a crime-fighting duo or secret agents.

  8. Our return address label reads:

    J. Lastname & C. Last Name
    77777 Streetname
    Yuckwelivein, MI 55555

    His first name is actually Charles, so I keep trying to get him to do the old timey Chas. Last Name, but he won’t because he doesn’t want people calling him Chas or Charles.

    I don’t think the first address you wrote looks bad. You both have cool last names and I like the long, written out stuff. I’ve dreamed of having a first, middle, or last name that has more than 5 characters (Of course, now that I have the opportunity to get rid of my boring, short last name and take his distinguished sounding two word last name, I don’t want to just yet. Oh well.)

  9. You out of the family if you change your last name!

  10. After much debate, I have decided to do the Hilary Rodham Clinton thing, which for me means that my full name will be 26 characters including spaces, not to mention another approximately 20 for his name and “&”. Therefore, we will always be “Stephen + Rachelle” on our address stamp.

  11. I actually like that the name line is the longest line. I think it gives weight to the arrangement, in a good way.

    Just my 2c!

  12. Are you supposed to include a name on the return address? I thought the address itself was sufficient.

  13. So, technically I added his name to mine, so I’m Mylast Hislast and he’s Hislast. For some joint things I just put Hislast, but more often than not (and because if I’m mailing something it’s to someone who is closer to me than him — not that they’d forget I got married, but it’s just a more immediate association) I use Mylast/Hislast. Both are short and one syllable, so the length thing isn’t an issue. I totally understand thinking in terms of the shape though!

    Also this post, like many others (and many things in my everyday life) make me realize I’m not settled in to a new name or how to use it. (Though I did what I did with my names thinking that it would enable me to do whatever I want in various situations, so I suppose I’m doing it right. Sigh.)

  14. I refuse to change my name ever, ever again. I also agreed that I would not try to change my kids’ last names, and I’m pretty certain that after 40 years, Tony is attached to his name. Try putting THREE last names together.

  15. Ampersand! Ampersaaaand!

  16. I am just giggling loving all of these suggestions. And now I’m desperately wanting to pick a name for myself so that I can get a return address stamp! It’s not a waste because WE OWN A HOUSE so it won’t change!!

    I’m pretty sure that when that happens, I’d go with just the last names. Some people know me by my full first name, others by the nickname I almost always use. Plus lasties feels more old-school/ungendered to me. :)

  17. I agree with some of the top commentors. I like the look of both names even though it is long. could you fill in the space in the stamp with some decorative designs or something?

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