December 06, 2005


When I lived in Sweden, I noticed that my friend had a bald eagle trinket on her desk. "Where did you get this?" I asked. "Maryellen gave it to me," she replied. "Ahhh," I said. "Who's that?" "Your fiance's mother!" my friend gasped.

Is it regional what we call adults when we're kids? When I was growing up, I never would've dreamed of calling adults by their first names. All my parents' friends, all the leaders of my clubs, every adult I knew was called Mr. or Mrs. In fact, I still think of most of my parents' friends as Mr. and Mrs. (Hi, Mr. Schultz!) I didn't even call my in-laws by their first names until my husband and I had been engaged for quite a while.

Tonight I started volunteering with the Girl Scouts, and I was mildly shocked that the girls call the leaders by their first names. I guess there's nothing wrong with that if it's the leaders' choice, but it struck me as a little odd, given that I can remember all my old Girl Scout leaders' names, but they all start with Mrs! I couldn't tell you those mothers' first names to save my life.

I've noticed that most people around her prefer to go by Miss + First Name, as in Miss Sarah. That's OK with me, being 28 and all, but don't any kids call adults Mr. or Mrs. these days? Or am I just a stuffy fuddy-duddy from Texas?

Posted by: Sarah at 04:46 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1 I raised my children to address ALL adults as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. no matter what their age. Adult=living independently and paying bills Here in Oklahoma everyone is addressed as Ma'am or Sir. I love it! I used to think it made me feel old, but now I see it's a simple show of respect.

Posted by: Vonn at December 06, 2005 05:42 PM (dEgRi)

2 My daughter lives in Georgia, it is the norm there. Brad

Posted by: Brad at December 06, 2005 06:26 PM (Qz3ul)

3 Sarah, I don't know if it's regional, but I think it just has to do with how "fuddy-duddy" our parents were. My mom taught me to say "Mr." or "Mrs." until the adult told me to do otherwise. But I hate being called Mrs. Erin. It reminds me of when I was in daycare!

Posted by: Erin at December 07, 2005 02:26 AM (O0IlC)

4 That's interesting that you brought this up. When we were in Germany, I noticed that many children were addressing adults as (esp women) Mr or Miss, followed by first name. I was told that this practice was a "southern thing"...I had never heard of doing this...I'm from the north (Yankee) and I grew up addressing adults as Mr or Mrs, followed by last name, as you said. I actually prefer being called by my first name (Mrs makes me feel OLD). When I was in college, most of my professors asked to be called by their first names...liberal university

Posted by: Nicole at December 07, 2005 10:24 AM (KJBDI)

5 i agree. i still feel somewhat uncomfortable calling "adults" by their first name. Even though i fit Vonn's definition of "adult" i don't think of myself as one, and i'd e horrified if some young whippersnapper referred to me as Ms.

Posted by: annika at December 07, 2005 11:58 AM (6x0dA)

6 yes, we are fuddy-duddies, and we happen to be correct... i'm an asst scoutmaster for my son's Boy Scout Troop, and i can guarantee that all of our adults are "Mister" or "Mrs." we even had one of our Eagle scouts turn 18, so we brought him back as another asst Scoutmaster, and all the Scouts have to refer to him as "ASM {last name}", even though they use his first name in the hallways at school.

Posted by: MajMike at December 07, 2005 12:52 PM (zXWkt)

7 My friends children either call me Miss Tammi or if we are really close Aunt Tammi. It's always been there - with all of them. But I noticed so many children don't any more. I still struggle with that. I'm in Sales and when I'm making calls I still refer to them as Mrs/Mr/Miss until I've gotten to know them or they tell me other wise.

Posted by: Tammi at December 07, 2005 09:25 PM (fG4Jz)

8 There has to be SOME benefit to being an adult. I would have never dreamed of calling an adult by anything other than their honorific and surname. I expect the same treatment now that I'm the "grown up". Let's expect more from the kids of the world. GOOD MANNERS.

Posted by: Miss Rogers at December 12, 2005 02:15 PM (WE6BG)

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