I'm pretty sure this post will fall into the same category as the "when I was your age..." stories, but hey, I'll hit the big 4-0 this year, so I suppose it makes sense! :)

When I was a kid, most of the adults in my life had some sort of title. Mrs. Smith, Mr. Jones, Aunt Jane, Uncle John.

You get the idea.

When I had SS#1, I began referring to adults in the same manner, so he would learn. Then we met SuperNanny.

SuperNanny was the home daycare provider we chose for SS#1. She was incredible. When we first met her, she referred to herself as "Miss Super." As much as I kept trying to call her Mrs. Nanny, she kept correcting me.

Now, understand that SuperNanny hadn't been a "Miss" in more than a few years. Nearly old enough to be my own mother, I felt uncomfortable calling her by her first name, let alone with my child learning to call her "Miss Super".

I got used to it, because it seems to be the trend. Now, I understand that in the South, it's not uncommon for adults to be called by a title and their first names. But this isn't the South, and I didn't grow up in the South. What happened to the simple term of respect where children used titles for adults? My nieces call my by my first name because that's what their mom calls me. SS#1's friends call me by my first name. Their parents let SS#1 call them by their first names.

And it raises my hackles whenever they do. I must really be old if I would PREFER to be called "Mrs. Diva" by an elementary school aged student. For me, it's all about Ms. Franklin and her words...


Anonymous said...

In my neck of the woods, I'm called "Miss FirstName" by the neighborhood kids. Adds respect with the title, but isn't too formal.

I just started volunteering with the kids choir at church, and the director asked me what I'd like to be called. We have 2 alternate pronunciations of our last name, so to simplify things, I told her to have the kids call me "Miss FirstName." She looked at me like I had three heads.

Guess she's "old school" too. :)

P.S. I'm only 4 years behind you.

five tomatoes said...

Boyfriend's boss has two little ones and they call me Miss Five rather than Miss Tomatoes. It doesn't bother me but I feel weird being called Miss/Ms. anything since I still think I'm young enough to be called by a title rather than my name. My secretary always says "Attorney Tomatoes, I have someone on the phone for you" and half the time I don't even realize it's for me!

C. Beth said...

I do live in the South, and I like the whole "Miss Beth" thing. I'm 9 years behind you. My husband is going to be 40 in December. I have seen this difference between me and him too--I think formalities & "symbols" in general matter less to me than they do to him. So in my frame of reference, how a child speaks to an adult is more important than what they call that adult. But I do think it's a generational thing--even though we're only half a generation apart.

Very interesting post, Mrs. Diva! :)

FluteLoop said...

Interesting. I can see where you are coming from, although I am one of those people that have always said "Miss Firstname". My parents have always done the same (they are both 52). I suppose it all depends on where you are from and how you were raised.

I have always used first names, the only exception being middle school and high school. Believe it or not, in elementary school and at the University it was always first names. Dr. Jon, Dr. Beth, and our dept. chair we lovingly referred as Gwalt.

I suppose that has made the transition here in Finland a bit easier. If you use a title they look at you like you are an alien because they don't use them. If you do they automatically assume that you are a foreigner!

Although, when I am outside of Finland or "home" I always address people by there title and last name. I never want to offend anyone!