When I was growing up, I called nearly every one of my friend’s parents Mr. or Mrs.
“Hello, Mrs. Smith, is Julie home?”
If I was closer to a friend’s parents, I may drop it to one letter, i.e. “Hey, Mrs. I.”
For as long as I can remember, though, my mom ALWAYS went by just her first name. She definitely was the “fun” mom amongst my friends, probably because she was a lot younger than all of their parents. Plus, she owned a tanning salon and half of my friends either worked there or tanned there during high school. Oh, the good old ignorant days.
By the time I got to college, the Mr. and Mrs. was dropped for most parents, particularly my roommates. I don’t think I’ve ever called Missy‘s mom anything other than Michelle.
Frankly, last names can be too confusing. My parents got divorced when I was 4, and when I was 9, my mom remarried. People were always calling her Mrs. My Last Name. I know she didn’t mind necessarily but it was probably easier to just be Eva. I can also remember a couple of my guy friends calling her Jackie’s Mom, again, probably because they knew she had a good sense of humor and would find it funny.
When I was in junior high, I also started discovering that some women never changed their names after marriage, including my stepmom. So are they a Miss? A Ms.? A Mrs.?
I’m starting to think, though, that we may be entering a more casual time. I guess it’s a Southern thing to attach “Miss” to any adult (growing up in Pennsylvania, I don’t think I ever called anyone “Miss So-and-So”) but E’s friends have never called me anything other than Miss Jackie. To be honest, besides maybe a hotel front-desk receptionist or perhaps Bright House calling to see if we’re happy with our service, I can’t think of anyone who’s ever called me Mrs. Jovi.
It could also be because E’s in preschool, where all of their teachers are Miss Jessica, Miss Nancy, etc., and well, I just can’t imagine a 3- or 4-year-old calling someone Mrs. Jones.
We hang out with four sets of friends pretty regularly, and all of our kids call the adults by their first names. We also spend a lot of time with one of DadJovi’s high school friends and his wife and two kids, and our kids call the parents Aunt or Uncle. That’s also the case with my BFFs from college — I’m Auntie Jackie to them.
But as E. gets older, I’m starting to wonder if I should start encouraging a more formal greeting for adults. For example, this week, E. and her Daddy were getting ready to go for one of their training runs (she’s running a 1-mile kids’ race this fall and he’s
cracking the whip helping her build up to it), when Victoria aka The Running Peanut and her husband walked by our house. What, you didn’t know that all bloggers lived in the same neighborhood? It’s our super secret world. Kind of like “The Truman Show”
I said, “E., you remember Victoria. Come say hello.”
But after they left, I suddenly thought, “Crap, should I have E. call her Miss Victoria? Or Mrs. Peanut?” I think I felt a little different about it because E’s not friends with their children like she is with most adults she knows. But perhaps when their baby girl arrives, they will be friends!
And what happens when E. gets to elementary school in just over a year (sob) and meets many new parents? What should she call them?
I frankly could care less what the kids call me. Miss Jackie. Jackie. The Hot Mom. You know, any of those will do.
But do other adults take that as a sign of disrespect?
If you have kids, what do they call adults? If you don’t have kids, would you be offended if they didn’t call you Mr., Ms. or Mrs. Last Name?