America, it finally happened. I kicked Angelina Jolie's butt at something. All it took was a bunch of social scientists with an Internet jones to give me the leg up over Ms. Sexy Lips. And you can do it too, my dear reader.
Angie is stuck being the caboose in Brangelina. But you can put yourself first in your relationship. Give yourself top billing. On your electric bill. On your Christmas cards. In your answering machine messages.
When was the last time you did that? Come on, no lying. And no excuses that he had the apartment first, so you just added yourself to the bill when you moved in. I'm going to bet it's a never.
So it's not much of a surprise that the new study about Angelina and Brad (or we should say, Brad and Angelina) and other male/female couples claims men almost always come first. Published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, they're basing it in part on web searches for pairs like Angie and Brad and on a hypothetical exercise wherein people were asked to write down the names of couples. Even in the case of gay couples, names that were considered more "butch" were listed ahead of those considered more "feminine."
So we've come a long way since ladies received a letter addressed to Mrs. John Smith, but we're still second class citizens?
Give me a break and put down your pitchforks. This does not make a male conspiracy or much of a sticking point in the battle of the sexes. It's your own fault. I read your Christmas card last year from Dave and Cindy. And then I saw your cable bill on the table. It was addressed to Charlie and Jane.
Hey, if I'm getting the hand cramp from writing out all the Christmas cards, you bet your sweet behind that I'm writing my name first. Ditto the name order on the answering machine where I'm embarrassing myself by making the recording.
I'm not making $21 million a picture like Angelina, but even I know how to get my name out there.
Overall, I'm getting a little tired of the insinuation that women can't hold their own in relationships because of how other people refer to us. A few months ago The New York Times offered up a banal look at how women are done wrong because the honorifics in front of our names, gasp, changes as we age and our marital status varies.
Whether you call me Mrs., Ms., Ma'am, or simply "Jeanne" doesn't diminish my expectations that my husband treat me as his partner. And if I'm talking, I have the right to use my name first. He can use his when he talks -- I won't break down in tears and stamp my foot like my kindergartner, and I won't feel like I'm less of a person.
For what it's worth: Jolie can't get the media to drop Brangelina, but I'm willing to bet that a woman with an Academy Award and a working relationship with the United Nations is not playing second fiddle at home either.
How do you think she signs her holiday cards?
Image via chris_natt/Flickr