I’ve written, sealed and stamped 53 of my new year cards. I have 43 to go, plus 17 more for which I have no postal address. I’ve cut the no address crowd in half using Google and superpages. I’ve been using Apple’s Address Book – oddly not called “iAddress” – for want of a better database and I’m running into a problem that can’t be all that new or unique.


Many of my friends are married or otherwise coupled, and some of them have children. I like to address the card to the whole family, as in “Adam, Betty, Carl and Diane Example” so I’m forced to fill in the “first name” field with “Adam, Betty, Carl and Diane.” That’s hardly a giant hassle, but some of my friends have a modern mixture of last names in their family. Leaving the kids out for the moment, that would be “Adam Example and Betty Sample” which leaves me making the couple’s first name “Adam Example and Betty” and their last name “Sample” – hardly fair to either.

I suppose the address book software is designed from a business point of view – it has a field for “assistant” and the ability to handle multiple “work” and “home” addresses and phone numbers – where your contact is a single individual who might have a family you know socially, but it’s not designed to capture that in a useful way.


My friends are typically professional couples, (yes, I scrambled the names, do not adjust your set or your dosage) each individual worthy of a card in my virtual rolodex (does anybody have those anymore?) but I sure don’t want to print up two labels or send two new year cards to such couples. Is that too much to ask of an address book application?

I have faith in software. Software pays my bills. Can’t software solve this problem? Am I just doing this wrong?