We paid off our thirty year mortgage earlier this year and recently the deed to the house arrived. I looked at it and was surprised to see that only my name was listed under “Grantee”. There appeared to be no mention of Anne, even though she is a co-owner. On some of the supporting documentation she is mentioned by name, but not on the deed itself. Even my name is kind of screwed up. It is printed in all caps last-name, middle-name and first-name, in that order and it is followed by the acronym, “ETUX”.
I eventually looked it up and in the online legal dictionary, not to be confused with the online urban dictionary, it is actually “et ux”, an abbreviation for the Latin words et uxor meaning “and wife” and is commonly found on legal documents such as deeds. So Anne is on the deed after all, just not in name. I should have known that it was something like this, because a similar thing occurred with Harry and Bubs and their cabin property. There though, no Latin was used and I assume because of the long last-name “and wife” was shortened to “and wif”. Bubs was none to pleased with that revelation, let me tell you, especially since the cabin was originally her family’s property. Harry found it quite amusing though.
Documents in the form “John Doe et ux,” are used to show that the wife as well as the husband owns the property. The connotation that somehow the wife is merely an adjunct to her husband, as well as the modern concepts of joint tenancy, tenancy in common, community property where applicable and equal rights of the sexes have combined to make the expression a chauvinistic anachronism. I guess this bit of legalese is just a relic from a more sexist time.
I can’t even use this latest example of sexism to rag on [Whoops! There I go again] the great, but rather backward state of Missouri, because at least in this incident Missouri seems more enlightened then Michigan. At least Missouri uses Latin that shows a bit of panache. Don’t you think? Meanwhile, Michigan is content to offend in the vernacular.
Anne always does our taxes. I think that this started off with something about my devil-may-care attitude towards banking. Anyway, since she does them, she feels that she should get top billing. This seems fair to me, since I don’t have to help except for some occasional rather menial tasks like copying them, but even there I’ve screwed up these tasks enough times that I don’t have to even do them anymore. I should mention that Anne kept her name, so when
we she files jointly Missouri doesn’t know what to do with our tax return. I mean they take the return and when there is a refund they cut us a check, but inevitably they come back with a claim that we never filed. Anne sends them a copy of our return and when available a copy of the refund check. It has happened so often that she started copying their checks. I think one year I convinced her to give me top billing and there were no problems that year, except that she got so frustrated with Missouri after that she went back to putting her name first. Now a day, when we file, we cut Missouri a check. Coincidently, about that time our auditing problems disappeared. I don’t know if Missouri fixed its process or if it was the money flow reversal that changed things.
Rey made it here. Now it is time for homerun derby.