Am I just being a bitch?

So here's the deal, people keep putting the title Ms. in front of my name without asking me first. I personaly feel that this is slightly disrespectful. I am Mrs. X not Ms. X, its not like people can't tell I'm married or not my husband loves to go around say things like hey wife look at this or I will just respond with what do need husband. Yet no one bothers with the check boxes any more to allow me to politely say Mrs. A good example is we just got some travel documents that no where did they let me check Mrs. and it was addressed to Mr. and Ms. X. I am I wrong here or is it my right to be called Mrs if I that's what I want.

Sorry for the rambling I've just had a really bad day and this is starting to drive me up the wall.

Mrs. Viruslife

Forums: 
MeiLin's picture

Most High

It's odd there isn't a place for that choice.

Brezelfrau's picture

Yeah. I find it strange that they would address it to Mr. and Ms. X instead of Mr. and Mrs. X. I guess proper etiquette would cause one to err on the side of Ms., in case the sender of the mail wasn't absolutely sure that you were married or not. I find it hard to believe; however, that the airline/travel company would be _that_ concerned with etiquette.

Your story reminded me of this one:
My first boyfriend's parents were both university professors, so both had their doctorate degrees, yet they'd always get mail addressed to Dr. and Mrs. X. His mom was understandably bothered by that. It's like the sender is completely disregarding the many years of work that she put into her degree. I don't see why it's not as common to address mail to Dr. and Mr. in that case. I guess that's what I have to look forward to, once I finally finish my life as a grad student (many, many, many years from now. :p).

But yeah, you deserve to be addressed as you want to be. I think of it similar to correcting people when they mispronounce your name. Yeah, I feel kinda bitchy doing it to everyone I meet (and I've finally given up at Safeway, for the most part), but I (and you) deserve to be called by our actual names!

manoki's picture

Supplicant

When I was in grad school, I would occasionally call one of my profs at home and ask for Dr. Cohen. Problem was, she and her husband were both Dr. Cohen, so they would always ask "which one?" And then I had to use a first name, which was really awkward since they were both in their late 60s and quite formal. Eventually, I figured out I could say "Mrs. Dr., please."

Brezelfrau's picture

Hehe, one of the great things about studying Earth Sciences is that most professors prefer to be on a first name basis. (Okay, I haven't met any that want to be called Dr. X or Professor X, but I don't want to put my foot in my mouth by saying all.) Even the 70+ year old ones insist on being called by their first name. It's great at breaking down barriers and putting everyone at ease.

manoki's picture

Supplicant

I was on a first name basis with all of my profs in grad school except the Drs. Cohen. But with undergrads, everyone seems to go by Dr. or Professor.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

I get the feeling that anything addressed to a "Mr. and Ms." or to a "Dr. and Ms." is due to ignorance as to what the difference between Miss, Ms., and Mrs. mean.
Thank you, Emily Post: http://www.emilypost.com/everyday/forms_of_address.htm

Quick summary -
Miss : [mIs] Young unmarried woman
Ms. : [mIz] Woman whose marital status is unknown (but old enough to be married) or (oh hey, I didn't know this) uses her maiden name
Mrs. : [mIs Is] Maried woman using her husband's last name.

As for insisting on the proper form of address, a quick "Mrs. X, if you don't mind" with a smile is probably just fine. I certainly wouldn't think you were being unreasonable. You could always just write it in.

Shinjinarenai's picture

Postulant

She's a veterinarian, and worked very hard to get her degree, and she will KILL anyone who calls her 'Mrs'. It's actually one of the only things I've ever seen her really upset about. When my friends from school came home, it's what I warned them about- they could call her by her first name or Dr. So-and-so or Doc, but never Mrs. I had one friend that kept screwing up, and things were tense for a while. I think my mom is overreacting a bit, but I still totally understand. It can be offensive to be incorrectly addressed.

manoki's picture

Supplicant

I have always thought that Ms. meant either married or unmarried--not telling. Which is one reason I've always like using Ms--it's my way of having gender equity because my title doesn't reveal my marital status, just the way a man's title (Mr.) doesn't reveal HIS. I never use Dr.; I am rather informal, even in my professional life, but in order to keep with the university norms, I answer to Professor, rather than Dr. It's very hard to get undergrads to stop calling me professor after they graduate.

What don't you like about Ms.?

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Existing in the legal field, I've found that Ms. is widely used. Any woman whose marital status I don't know, or happen to forget, I'll address with a Ms.

The Court, too, absent certain knowledge, will do the same.

I'm skeptical, also, of this "right" language. It's certainly -polite- to address you as you'd like to be addressed...

viruslife's picture

Supplicant

For the longest time I never thought my husband and I would get married and have a family. He was against the idea for his own reasons. Then one day it all changed, we are now married and I am very proud to be Mrs. X. We are even planning on starting a family soon. All this he has done to make me happy, using the Ms. kind of ignores the sacrifice that he is making for me. And I understand when someone doesn't know my status using the Ms that's easy to correct. It's the issue have having to correct people who know, or not even being given the opportunity to say what I prefer on a form. It seems that society has decided that all women are Ms. now and I never signed up for that.

The Vixen's picture

Devotee

That's what I was going to say as well. I always specify that I'm a Ms. because it's ambiguous.

Also, I call all my professors "Prof.". It feels delightfully British.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

As everyone has basically mentioned, Ms. has become the safe default.

I really don't know why people who know you would choose to go with Ms. unless that was THEIR preference. And I'd be disgruntled with a form that didn't have Mrs. myself. It isn't meant to be offensive, but to those of us who value being able to say that we are married and that we are not ashamed of it, it does sort of rub the wrong way!

What, just because YOU [non-specific you] think it's some kind of ownership thing doesn't mean that it isn't a VERY different sort of symbol for me! Humph! MRS. GG, if you please. Blum 3

MeiLin's picture

Most High

I go with Ms because I kept my own last name. I gave up my name in my first marriage and never want to do that again. I don't mind being called Mrs, and if people call me Mrs Sir I always answer without complaint. But legally, I'm Ms MeiLin.

Voyeur's picture

Why do I care if you're married? The tradition of calling women differently based on marital status is obsolete and paternalistic. If I called you Ms. and you corrected me to Mrs., I'd laugh at you and think that were a fool. I'd also ignore the request. If you think you get to be called whatever you like then feel free to address me as "Supreme Master of All the Universe" and then I'll consider call you Mrs. You can expect to be addressed in a respectful manner and that's exactly what Ms. is.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

I agree that it is fussy, but I don't think she is being a fool. I think people have a right to be fussy about names. I'm very fussy about pronunciation of names (I am not Mrs. Winters, Winkler, Winterly, or any thing other than Winteler). If I wasn't, I would likely have bothered several people in the last week or so (Mrs. Fuxa-Stout comes to mind. It is pronounced FYOOKS-A. At least I didn't say it the way it looks when I called her). Mrs vs Ms is similar. I don't think it is obsolete and paternalistic. At one time, maybe, for some people (like yourself) it is still. In this case, however, it is that she is proud to be married to him. Is there something wrong with being proud of who you are? If Mrs for a married woman is now inappropriate, we need to do away with wedding rings. Frankly, I did not have a ring through most of the nearly 10 years I've been married, and it bothered me. I am please to be married to my husband, and my ring shows that, as does the Mrs. I use. She is not saying she feels she gets to be called whatever she likes. She is saying she should be called as she is and has every right to be. Why do you care if she, or any of us for that matter, is married? You don't have to. But that doesn't change who we are. Why should you care if I am Brandy or Bethany or Barbara or whatever my name is? It doesn't matter, but my name is my name and it is what I expect to be called. And the Mrs. is part of it. When you are "Supreme Master of the Universe" I will gladly call you such. In the meantime, I suggest you register so we do know what to call you. Oh, when registering, you can use any name you like.
If I seem snippy, I'm sorry. That is my mood tonight and for some reason this comment pushed a button for me.

Vayshe's picture

Petitioner

I would say that being "respectful" is honoring someone wishes.

Your attitude is anything but respectful. Forcing ones views on another is NEVER respectful, even when its done in a respectful manner and with the best of intentions, which your post clearly isn't. Even worse is hiding behind the "voyeur" tag to make such a post. The tradition of calling women differently based on marital status, varies greatly depending on which area of the world you live in as well. Perhaps had you presented your argument in a less condescending manner it would have come across better to me, but this just really pissed me off. Its the sort of rudeness that is glaringly out of place in this forum.

***apologies, but I'm entitled to my opinion too***

Voyeur's picture

It's not "hiding behind any tag"... I just have not bothered to create a pseudonym for this website. When you post your full name and address, then you can complain about other people being anonymous.

As for being rude: the OP asked people for their opinions. I assume that meant everyone, not just people who agree with her. An in my opinion she's being foolish. If you think that's rude for me to say then I guess that's your problem, not mine.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

A rude way of putting it.
As I am one of those who commented on your anonymity, well, because I have hidden behind pseudonyms enough in the past, I do actually use my name now. Since the full name is a bit long for a username, I use my initials and last name. If you want to know more, it is not difficult. My last name is not common, and I have posted in multiple places the city in which I live. I have no reason to hide who or where I am.
Again, it isn't so much your opinion that is bothersome. I may disagree with it, but that isn't really the problem for me. It is the way you present it. I think what made it seem insulting to me was the "supreme ruler of the universe" bit in the midst of saying someone shouldn't expect to be called by her name. Just seemed very "I'm better than you, so what I say is what should matter."
Yes, being bitchy again. I'll get over this mood eventually. But my feelings on the matter won't change. My wording might, but that is it. Smile

V's picture

Embodiment

...everybody has one.

We deal with that, and life goes on. But everyone having one does not absolve you of needing to wash on a regular basis and wipe after you take a crap so as not to offend others with a strong smell of poo. There are contrary opinions, and then there are contrary opinions presented in a rude and insulting way. Please learn the difference.

"In my opinion what concerns you is not a big deal" is a comment on the topic, and a contrary opinion.
"In my opinion you are foolish" is a comment on someone's personality or intelligence.

If you can't get the two straight in your head I will consider you a troll and ignore you accordingly.

Voyeur's picture

"You are foolish" and "You're being foolish" are not the same. I said the latter, you expressed your opinion of the former. Everyone behaves foolishly at various times in their lives. It's human nature. The better of us realize this and try not to take offense when these occasions are honestly pointed out. The people who are foolish deny that they ever could act foolish, and in doing so remove the possibility that they are only acting.

Regardless, I still think that the OP is being foolish. Given that she originally asked "Am I just being a bitch?", I don't see how my comment is out of line with what one might expect for a response.

And you're right about opinions and assholes. The OP solicited people's opinions so I shared mine in all it's asinine glory. What is your reason for sharing yours with me?

(Yes, I realized that I've abused the language a bit in linking asshole to asinine.)

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

Several people disagreed! But they did so for personal reasons. You said you'd laugh at her and think she was a fool! What the heck? That is NOT an ok part of expressing your opinion! Even if you think the TERM Mrs. is foolish, PEOPLE who think it is preferable for them are NOT foolish!

Voyeur's picture

Well, it's true. I'd think she was being a fool. I probably would not say this to her face, and "I'd laugh at you" is more internal than that I'd laugh in her face. But the point is that I would think she's being foolish. She asked people "am I being a bitch". I said, in effect: no not a bitch, a fool. If she did not want to hear that, why did she ask? Maybe it was a question like "do I look fat?" where she really just wanted people to support and reassure her regardless of what they really thought. I gave her some credit and assumed she wanted a real opinion. And to be clear: I do think that an educated woman who prefers the honorific "Mrs" over "Ms", particularly in a professional or business setting, is being foolish in that regard. Further, I suspect people who find my opinion on this subject upsetting are themselves foolish or at best ignorant.

seia's picture

Devotee

Yes, she asked for an opinion. No, she didn't do anything to provoke a rude reaction. You could easily have brought up a little decency and presented your opinion in a more polite form (for example, calling the idea of caring about a honorific foolish instead of the person.) You could also do a little thinking and/or asking to find out why the people who responded to your comment feel offended instead of calling them ignorant right away. What you think is true shouldn't prevent you from showing a little decency and maybe even a little respect for the feelings and opinions of others.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

Please end this back-and-forth. At this point it's not serving anyone. Thank you.

Marri (version Lazy)'s picture

Not really a bitch, per se. I'd say: if you've told them you prefer Mrs. or checked a box on a form that say Mrs. or something of the kind, you might be justified. If the people who mailed you stuff didn't have anything saying you prefer Mrs, well, at least they were being polite. If they *did* have information to that effect, they're being kind of disrespectful.

packrat's picture

My mom prefers to be addressed differently depending on the social context of where she is, like changing hats (hence the post title). She is a psychologist with a PhD and in any professional setting, she is strictly Dr. G. In social situations, especially involving being addressed by my or my sister's friends, she goes by Mrs. G, although she is always approving when someone errs on the side of caution and introduces her as Dr. G or asks her what she would prefer to be called. Similarly, my friend's father is a surgeon, but I frequently call him Mr. W. If I have a medical question for him, my mom will suggest that I go and ask "Dr. W" and so I alternate between the two in my head, but I feel comfortable addressing him either way (and so does he).

Recently, my professor lectured on a similar topic, about how doctors are more valued than other professions in society. He commented that were he to encounter his dentist in the grocery store, he would greet him by "Dr. Z", but he would be greeted in turn as "Mr. Y" because nobody would think to address him (the professor) as "Professor Y" outside the professional/university setting. At first, he was somewhat offended by this, that the doctor-person's work was more highly regarded and respected than the work he did to become a professor, but later he changed his mind and thought differently, that he feels that it's principally incorrect to address someone by their professional title all the time because then we are defining a person by their career. It's one thing to recognize the hard work that someone has put in to acquire achievements, but do they need to be labeled by that one facet of their identity all the time?

I guess that you should ask people to address you by the most appropriate identifier for the circumstance. If you feel that it's important to your identity to be labeled as "Mrs." all the time, then you should request to be called "Mrs." On the other hand, if you feel that you have different circles where different identity facets are dominant, then you should ask to be called by the most appropriate one for the situation. Either way, it's still up to you.

Voyeur's picture

I have the opposite problem...I prefer to be addressed as MS and I just got a new job and all of the paperwork I had to fill out would only let me check MRS or MISS. I'm not married, but I feel like MISS should be used for those under 18...Maybe I'm just too picky...

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

You're proud to be finally married? Great for you. But why should *I* care? Or anyone else for that matter, unless your marital status directly influences what business they have with you?

Mind, I don't like 'Ms.' and would prefer following the way this is handed in languages like German by simply addressing all grown women as 'Mrs.', but since 'Ms.' seems to win the popularity contest for the marriage-neutral female address, I'll use that. Sure, if you want to be addressed as 'Mrs.', make your preferences known, and if you do so politely I'll gladly honour them.

It seems that society has decided that all women are Ms. now and I never signed up for that.

Welcome to life. Society decides a great many things, most of them seeming stupid to me, that I never signed up for. Lacking any alternatives, I deal. *shrugs*

Voyeur's picture

I'm a little late, but I'd sort of like to pitch in.
No one single here chimed in and said what a lot of my friends complain about (I'm 22, single friends are the majority for me at the moment Lol
As it were, I have a great many friends/acquaintances who are offended when randomly addressed in a letter as Mrs. than as Miss or Ms., because they don't like it being assumed that they are married (this does not include the feminist friends who find it sexist, this is just single people in general.)
That said, I will be getting a PhD, and was until 2 weeks ago in track to get an MD, and I'm also biased toward using the 'Dr' term toward MDs only, despite the fact that I will be a professor.

I think people in general are too uptight. I've worked in a hospital for over 7 years, and to this day it shocks me that patients (and they have this right) will actually insist that the title 'Dr.' appear on their patient labels-- no one can have mr, mrs, ms, or miss placed on them, but dr. is perfectly acceptable. Personally, when one is being treated, should they really be concerned with their title or just the fact that they are a patient and all patients deserve the same high level of care?

I take care to use the Mrs./Ms. distinction, in part because I was taught that Ms. can have a negative connotation, especially when it is in general used for divorced women, and have had to shake the idea that it's offensive, but I would rather write Ms. to a woman I don't know the title of than Mrs. or Dr. (and this issue came up not two days ago) so as not to give a title that is inaccurate or unearned, and offend people who did get married/earn a doctorate.

Sorry this is wordy. You have every right to correct people, and they should oblige you, but this travel company probably sent you a form letter (which in the US with it's instant gratification mindset) and didn't even know that it said Ms. and you were married. It sucks, you can correct it, but this country has pushed for impersonal business and that's a very real side effect.

Sorry, I will be incredibly proud do be a Mrs. X when I get married, too, but people really don't mean any harm by it :)... except the ticked off cheezit somewhere above me...

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I think that the association with divorce is the first reason I can think of that helps me understand why someone wouldn't want to be called Ms. If they got your last name right, they're already acknowledging your association with your husband, and Ms. seems to be the title that most respects the independence of women while allowing them to be addressed as an individual belonging to the family that their last name indicates. I think the name is the important thing, not the title.

As someone who is easily confused by other peoples marital status, Ms. came as a great relief. It was the silver bullet that solved all of my problems. Is someone too old to be Miss? Ooh, they're not married. To young to be Mrs? Oops, they are. Ms. solves all of the confusion, puts women on equal footing with men, and helps out those of us who have no idea what to call anyone. I never know when first names are appropriate, I'm terrible with guessing your age, if you're wearing gloves or your hands are in your pockets I can't guess if you're married, and I really liked the stress free, offend-none solution that Ms. offered. I'm really disappointed that's not the case. I often communicate through e-mail with people I've never met who are referred to me by full name, so for men, it's always Mr. and for women it's always Ms., just to be as respectful as possible when first names might be too informal. Your title doesn't go on your business card if it's Miss or Mrs, so I have no way of knowing. I can see why people care about Dr, but you didn't spend a decade working your butt off for your Mrs, and your PhD usually goes on your business card. If you weren't a Mrs, wouldn't you be more offended someone called you one just because they thought you looked older?

BCT's picture

Devotee

I'd say you're being a bit fussy. If someone greets you for the first time with Ms., they're trying to be polite. If they really ARE polite people, a simple correction of "Oh, it's Mrs. X," will fix the problem.

I mark every form I get with Ms., as opposed to Miss. I'm a young woman now, and while it hasn't happened yet, I will correct anyone who will use the form of address for little girls for me. I wouldn't expect perfection the first time around, though, and I wouldn't expect it from people I don't have to deal with on any regular basis.

fremmed's picture

Petitioner

I was definitely raised with the Miss, Ms. distinction (sad how delighted I was to see Emily Post referenced) and I've always preferred the marriage neutral option. I've always been prickly about being defined by my marital status despite being utterly delighted to be married. Even after having been married a couple years, still can't decide whether to keep my name or no (I don't want to have a different name than my kids and neither does hubby!) I wish there was an easy answer there.

On another side note, with my parents, my mother was the PhD and my father wasn't. Our mail was STILL addressed to Dr. and Mrs. (maybe this is where some of my Mrs. prickle comes from)

MeiLin's picture

Most High

My last name is different from my kids'. It's so common now, what with remarriages and the like, that no one pays any attention. The girls are No1 Sir and No2 Sir, with my last name being a middle name for them (NOT a hyphenated name, gah, I hate that, no offense to anyone who chose that way--just not for us).

fremmed's picture

Petitioner

I've always wondered what happens when hyphenated children get married themselves ...

Stormy's picture

Supplicant

it took hubby and me many months of trying various solutions before we finally decided to reluctantly hyphenate. We decided at that time that any children we had would not have the hyphenated name, so the sprog has mine Biggrin with Daddy's as a second middle name. I've been thinking about returning to my maiden name, mainly because I'm so sick of the looooong hyphenated one, but switching everything over is a massive pain as well. Shrug

Voyeur's picture

I kept my maiden name and so I find it very odd when my students refer to me as Mrs.. My husband teaches in the same department and so they largely know that I'm married and I don't use his name but they don't know the appropriate titles.

We are asked by our admin. to use Dr. or Prof. so that is how I tend to introduce myself particularly since it helps students avoid the whole Mrs..Ms. thing.

In general I suspect people go with the safest title if they have a clue. In academia, if the person is teaching a class that is Prof. and if it's in real life that is Ms. . I would definitely avoid assuming a Mrs. with any female in academia as that is likely to cause offense. I know an undergraduate who made that mistake when contacting potential graduate schools and got a very polite note back that it is always better to assume a degree over a marital status. He brought the note to me to see what I thought and I have to agree with the woman. There are not many folks with a Masters degree that are really offended by the title Dr. but there are many single women who are offended by the title Mrs..

I am personally a bit put off by Mrs. Dr. because that is the title that married women used to take when they married a man with the Dr. title. Ugh. Get your own advanced degree!

manoki's picture

Supplicant

I agree with this; I only used it to differentiate between the male and female Dr. Cohens.

[quote] I am personally a bit put off by Mrs. Dr. because that is the title that married women used to take when they married a man with the Dr. title. Ugh. Get your own advanced degree! [endquote]

Slagar's picture

Devotee

Honestly, I'm reluctantly forced to say "yes". It's one thing to have a preferred mode of address, nothing wrong with that. To expect people to inquire as to the correct honorific to put in front of your name, on the other hand, seems a little prissy. If you correct them politely, that's fine. Forms, business transactions, impersonal dealings, these are not overly concerned with your preferences on etiquette, nor should they have to be. As my grandfather puts it, "You can call me anything but asshole, or late for dinner." I'm twenty years old, I'm lucky to get anything better than "Hey, kid!". Without intending to be rude, my advice is to cope with it.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

You should show up in your armor more often. Then you might at least get "Sir Kid." Smile

sherinik's picture

Postulant

What is the status of married names in USA? Is it one of those things that changes across state lines?

Here in Oz, change of name on marriage is not a 'formal' legality, it is known as a legal convention. I used my husband's name socially and eventually for work when I became pregnant, but I kept my maiden name for legal stuff like drivers' licence and passport. When we separated and eventually divorced, my kids asked me to keep the married name so they didn't have the confusion at school. They did understand why I'd have preferred to use my maiden name, and even talked about getting it hyphenated, except that their father would never have agreed to it. So the upshot was that I continued both names to suit the occasion.

I have occasional issues with people who think there's some nefarious reason why I use two names, but most people are fine with it. Legally I only have a 'right' to use my maiden name, which is the case for 99% of married women in Oz. Because it is so widely accepted though, most people don't realise, unless it's part of their job to know.

I use Ms, and have always used it except for the first say 8 years of my children's lives. The status of my relationships is no-one's business but mine/ours, except that I felt public acknowledgement that their parents were married was more advantageous to them. Before anyone gets flaming, I definitely believe single/double or more parenting has nothing to do with legal status and more to do with a focus on the children - but that's for another thread.

So back to my original question - what is the legal status of married names in other parts?

The Vixen's picture

Devotee

I'm not entirely sure, but this is what I've been told. To legally change a woman's name after marriage, she checks a box on the marriage certificate and then her name is officially changed. So if my name was Jane Doe, and my husbands name was John Smith, then after filling out the marriage certificate, my legal name would be Jane Smith (neé Doe). Then after a divorce, my name would STILL legally be Jane Smith (my mom didn't change her name back), and to change it back, I'd have to go to the courts and fill out a name change form.

However, I plan on doing is changing my name to essentially Jane Doe Smith (no hyphen). It wouldn't be one's legal name to use Jane Doe, but it would be part of one's legal name.

In your case, it would be possible to put one's married name as part of their middle name, like Jane Smith Doe.

Hope that's not confusing.

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

I have a friend who's mother gave her NO middle name.
When she got married, she legally made her maiden name her middle name. She went from being Miss Jane Smith to Mrs Smith Jones. It works!

fremmed's picture

Petitioner

That's one of the ideas we considered, but my mother already did that so I'd either be losing her maiden name or ending up with an obnoxious number of middle ones. And either way, you lose the history connected with the family name which is what makes me so sad.

TheFerret's picture

Devotee

what Vixen just said. And I wish i could see it as I type this.
I took my hubby's name, so I am Mrs Ferret (and no, I don't remember what the marriage license said). Now, I have to go to the Social Security office, and fill out a form to get The Awesome Ferret added to my SS card instead of The Awesome Packrat. Then I get to go to the Driver's License office and get a new one of those. And I get to go to the bank and change everything on the accounts. And I get to go to the post office and figure out how to change the passport.
I could TELL people to CALL me Mrs Packrat all day long, but I'd better sign every legal piece of paper - checks, credit card slips, titles, ALL OF IT as Mrs Ferret. (on the other hand, that could become an out to some contracts.....)

My thing right now is, being 33, I'm starting to run into what to have friends of my girls call me. No 1's Mom is fine, if cumbersome. Mrs Ferret is actually what I'd like them to say (I am trying to teach my girl's to do so to other parents, unless told otherwise). BUT my real last name is a 9 letter mess for 5yr olds to say, and I don't want to torture the poor things (adults can't say it, what do I expect of the 3 - 9yr set?!?!?)
Their Sunday School teacher's are Mrs J and Mrs T or Miss W, for example, so that's what I'm about to start doing, but the alliteration with my first name actually drives me batty! (think Mrs Mei - it's similar and I just don't like it when tied with my name).

Bedazzled101's picture

Petitioner

... On travel documents cross out Ms. and write Mrs. That's what I do, and it gets noted that way. Whenever I send mail, I have the little return labels that say Mr and Mrs XXXXX. Whenever I type a formal e-mail I sign it Mrs XXX XXXXX.
Also a great way to get people to refer to you as Mrs. would be to introduce yourself that way. I think in general, nowadays people use Ms. to refer to single adult women, and youthful married women (I guess you fall here ;-D ). I personally, am always referred to as Ms. when the hubby and I go out to our favorite places, but for some reason I like it more than Mrs. They know we are married, but I think most prefer the more youthful term for me. But if I heard anyone say Miss, I just might bite their head off...LOL. So I get where you are coming from. If there is someone who keeps referring to you as Ms. I think its best if you say,"I prefer Mrs. XXXXX if you don't mind". You deserve to be referred to in whichever form you prefer, and I'm sure those referring to you as Ms. only want to respectfully address you.

PS I took my husband's last name.

manoki's picture

Supplicant

it makes me feel younger! Which, at 41, is not a bad thing. It's kinda like being carded, which, amazingly enough, I was last week.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

It isn't always the woman who takes the name. Believe it or not, the man has the option of changing his name too. I know a couple like that. The wife proposed, so the husband took her name. They just felt right that way, and it suits them.
She is still Mrs. B though and he is Mr. B. Sure, it isn't common, but it does happen.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

He briefly considered taking my name but in the end we decided to remain who we were.

Nye's picture

Supplicant

People used to have so much time to pay attention to names and titles and calling cards and hand-written letters... I think it all went away at the same time. I don't particularly care what people call me if it's not miss or ma'am. If I were a Doctor, I would probably care more.

Really, the number of times people refer to me by last name is so miniscule, anyway. The only stuff that comes to me as a Ms or Mrs if from junk mail or my mom. I still occasionally get my maiden name, too. I figure it's all the same person, so I don't worry too much. I took my husband's last name because I wouldn't have to spell it out or pronounce it any time it came up. I always figured if I married someone with an easier last name, I'd take it. If it were worse, I'd stick with the evil I know since it was at least short.

But if you want it one way, correct it on their form and send it back, or correct the caller/speaker gently and politely when they get it wrong.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

whats wrong with ma'am?

Tigger's picture

Supplicant

I have a problem with Ma'am because it makes me feel old. I give two exceptions: if they were obviously in the military (for some of us it's like radar), or if they're of the older generations (because I know they were raised with yes ma'am, no ma'am). People younger than I am (I'm only 31) who call me Ma'am (and aren't in the military) just make me feel ancient.

Miss - well, that's just another peeve. I'm not young enough to be a Miss, although I will definitely take Miss over Ms. any day! To me, Ms. always signified someone who was unmarried but old enough to BE married. I had a teacher when I was in grade school who was Ms. E, but I couldn't figure out how to say Ms and so I always said Mrs. E. Granted, it was third grade and I was probably excused, but I wonder now how much it bothered her?

As for the OP - it's your choice. Me? I prefer to just be addressed by my name. The fact that I have my husband's name is enough for me. Mrs kinda makes me feel old too, and I just don't see myself as a Mrs most of the time. Given the option to check, however, it would be Mrs...then Miss...then Ms.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

What if they're just southerners?
The place, combined with courthouse etiquette has me calling pretty much everyone "ma'am" or "sir."

Tigger's picture

Supplicant

I suppose, then, that there are more than a few exceptions. It's all about context, I suppose.

Then again, I don't speak up and say "I really prefer not to be called Ma'am". If that's how they were raised, so be it. At least it's respectful! My preference vs their preference doesn't really matter all that much to me, so long as they're not calling me by anything DISrespectful.

magalicious's picture

Postulant

They could be from a military family, or were/are in the military themselves. When I was in trouble it was 'Yes Sir, No Sir, Thank you Sir, I'm sorry Ma'am' or I would get in more trouble. Still when someone says my full name, or uses a certain tone, the automatic response is "Yes Sir/Ma'am?"
It's not bitchy to have preferences. But if once explained, your request to not use that title/use a different one is ignored, I can completely understand how that could become annoying. Ms. is a product of political correctness, one that I don't necessarily like, but has become the default.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

I was thinking about this as I dealt with numerous odd names at work today. It is almost more like a mispronunciation issue. Say "Mrs. Goats" instead of "Mrs. Gets" when you see "Mrs. Goetz" and you will be corrected. I also know a woman named Andrea. But don't say it the way you are used to. It is Ahn-dray-a. And she will politely correct you. But once she has had to correct you, it would stand to reason she could be irritated if you get it wrong again. So, if you can expect the rest of your name to be said (or spelled, for that matter. I have begun to be irritated by my first name being spelled repeatedly with an "i" by people who have seen it with a "y" several times) correctly, expecting it of the title is not unreasonable, foolish, or bitchy. Perhaps, as I agreed before, a bit fussy, but that is ok. I'm fussy about my name too.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I hate to be a thread-necromancer, but I recall this story, now...

At an open house, years ago, a parent of one of my classmates wrote on that parent's nametag Dr. LastName...other parents had, I gather, written their -first- names.

Add new comment

Get an exclusive free ebook from the world of the Intimate History! Exclusive content, contests, new releases and more.