Written by Zoe Lyons


Mrs, Ms or Miss Zoe Lyons?

Zoe Lyons has just got married. So what the hell is she going to call herself now?

Winter weddings are wonderful and so, I can happily confirm, are winter conversions of an existing civil partnership between a same sex couple into a marriage (albeit a lot less easy to say).

The sun shone as we strode down Brighton Promenade toward the town hall for our appointment. My other half looked resplendent wrapped against the cold in her best cable knitwear.

“You look gorgeous,” I told her. “You remind me somewhat of a young Kirk Douglas in the 1965 war film Heroes of Telemark.”

This, I was informed, was not a romantic thing to say to a woman you are about to marry. Romance has never been my forte and, in my defence, Douglas was super hot in that movie. He was in his prime and his choice of jumper was nothing short of awesome.

Misjudged World War II film references aside, our day went beautifully. We had no guests as we had “done” the partying when we had our civil partnership in 2006. We were lucky enough to have the wonderfully-named Mr Love oversee our civil partnership conversion. A bit of paperwork, a couple of signatures and an awkward kiss in front of the filing cabinet and we were married. Properly married.

“What,” enquired Mr Love, “are you going to call yourselves?”

We were now newlywed and newly confused. Neither of us had even considered changing our names. Acutely aware of each other’s low-level arrogance, we had quietly assumed the taking of one or others surnames was not going to happen. Double barrelling wasn’t an option either, because we are neither shotguns nor idiots. (Between you and me I have never met anyone I liked with a hyphenated surname. I know the lovely Bertie-Montagus must be out there somewhere, we simply haven’t crossed paths yet.)

But as married ladies are we now both Mrs? Am I Mrs Lyons? No, Mrs Lyons is my mum!

I have long ceased to be a Miss, given it has certain age restrictions – Marple and Jean Brodie being exceptions to the rule – and more significantly I am now married.

I am also not too keen on the third option of “Ms”. For one thing I think it sounds slightly vinegary and I never know how to say it properly. Seriously, how the hell do you pronounce Ms? I end up getting the emphasis wrong and I make it sound angry when I don’t mean to, muzzzzzzzzzz. It makes me sound less like a modern, in-control women and more like a lunatic who keeps bees in her mouth for fun.

New marital status aside, I have always struggled with the slightly loaded titles afforded to us girls. It’s not just that they force us to reveal more about ourselves than the one-size-fits-all blokes option of Mr. It is also that, like any hat or skirt I have ever tried on, these titles simply don’t suit me, I don’t wear them easily.

I have decided, therefore, to rid myself of any further discomfort, I will shed off these titles society has dressed us in and I shall choose something I feel truly represents me. From this moment on I simply want to be known as The Captain.

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Written by Zoe Lyons

Comedian, dog owner, skier, eater, drinker, procrastinator, bad spellor.