Was I wrong?

Bumped into a friend today at the store. A friend who I knew for years in Montreal and now lives down here in Spring Valley. I have to tell you, it is so nice to bump into someone I know at the store. Sometimes I just feel so obviously NEW here. So this was welcome!

Anyway, she wanted to introduce me to someone she was with, and she said “this is my friend Hadassah ExsLastName”. She knew me for years by that name and even though she knows I am now remarried, maybe she didn’t know my new married name. So I actually said to the other person, “My name is Hadassah Milner now, nice to meet you”. I didn’t mean to make my friend uncomfortable, and I told her after that I wasn’t insulted that she used my former married name, but that my name is Milner now, and I am proud to use it.

On reflection, maybe I should have said something to her afterwards, not in front of her friend, but thing is, if I was going to meet this other person again, she’d remember my name as something different.

My friend seemed to be ok with it, apologized, I told her it wasn’t necessary – the schools sometimes slip up, although down here they really make an effort to get it right, but the kids friends call me Mrs ExLastName until my boys point out to them that we have a different last name. Getting heated about it is a waste of energy.

So, was I wrong? Did I handle this situation ok? What should I have said / done?

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  1. DenaS says:

    You weren’t correcting her, you were giving her new information. She seemed to understand that. No biggie, but nice that you were concerned.

  2. Was there anything which indicated that your friend was uncomfortable. or was it just the potential for discomfort that you were feeling? When I started going by my Hebrew name there were a lot of awkward situations where I was unsure of whether or not to make an issue of the name change.

    I think you handled the situation well, and that in time no one will be calling you by ExsLastName.

  3. tesyaa says:

    Of course you weren’t wrong. It sounds like you handled this just fine.

  4. If it had been me, I’d be relieved that you corrected my mistake in such a kind way. You could have gone in to a whole diatribe about how that’s your Ex’s name and you divorced on the 23rd of Tishrei 4 years ago after having found he was huggin’ up on some shiksa and you went through many therapists before finding the right one who allowed you to love again and then you remarried the most amazing man on the 10th of Kislev because that was the only time your Bubbe could travel due to her goiter and so now you go by Milner because you chose not to hyphenate because you knew there would be children whom you would raise in a progressively orthodoxish conservative type way while being respectful of your new husband’s dislike of the rabbi at your new shul that you just moved to and that is why you’re in the store today, to shop for the sisterhood function even though they don’t like you because you’re remarried and so young.

    Don’t fret this one, my friend!

  5. ERICA says:

    No you were not at all wrong! My impression, from reading your blog for several months, is that you seem to have a knack for handling interpersonal situations tactfully and kindly.

  6. I don’t think you did anything wrong! I think it probably depends on the attitude with which the correction was made. If you were chipper about it, you know, an “Actually!” rather than an “Aaaaaactually…” then I think you were fine, but I bet your friend appreciated your apology nonetheless.

  7. mokumalef says:

    For the past umpteen years BM (= before Milner) but also PE (= post-Ex) you were known as the AHS – the Amazing Hadassah SABO. Did your friend miss that stage when she introduced you?????

  8. sheldan says:

    You did good, kid… :-) I didn’t get the impression that you were insulting, but you wanted to set the record straight.

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