Friday, June 8, 2012

Just wondering ...

So, I'd recently concluded a visit with my Nurse Practitioner, when I summoned the nerve to ask,  "Ummm.  I know it's been a few years, but, er ....what am I supposed to call you?"
Then, there was a sweet smile and a reassurance, "Just call me Ermese."
Just like that?   OK, that wasn't so hard.

Am I the only one who struggles from time-to-time ... trying to toe that fine line between over-familiarity and "Miss Manners"?     

There's a given:
Thou Shalt Not greet one's cardiologist, "Hey, Mitch."    
Others are obviously, well.... less obvious.   

For instance?   Part of my job duties includes responding to guests' comment cards.  As some of you know, one of my BIGgest pet-peeves are form letters beginning, "Dear valued blah-blah-blah."    
So, I attempt to personalize each note -- given what information's available and, of course, their observations.   

My go-to instinct is, "Dear Mr.(Mrs.)(Ms.)."    
But, that's toooo easy!   
Off the top of your head, how many unisex names can you recall?   ...Not to mention those which beg for a vowel! .....   Have you ever heard of a man named "Erin"?   (Yes, really.)

I may never forget the Nasty gram I received a few months back, in response to my "Dear Mr. and Mrs.".    As it turned out, "Pat" and "Chris" were not he/she -- but two wedded "shes" -- who, as my mom used to say, "let me have it."

Ya, I should have bigger things to worry about.:(   
But it's not without a little misgiving, I'll address a stranger by their first name, without first being invited to do so. 

Let's play, "YOU be the judge."
How you feel about being called by your first name by a stranger?   Would you be offended? .... or am I busy collecting mole-hills?

Have a great weekend ... stay COOL and stay SAFE, please?      




  1. This IS a real social question, that's for sure.
    Some folks like the familiarity, while others I know you??? Sheesh, it's hard to be nice, warm, and personable in today's world sometimes, isn't it??

  2. You know it is a good question - I would go with the names they put on it - it is so different these days. sandie

  3. BON JOUR!!!
    I am sad that I'll have another will not be racing.....I was sure hoping tomorrow's big race would indeed produce a triple crown winner......Animal abuse for the sake of Abuse drives me any abuse really...older people, young people....bullies at school....husbands who treat their wives with disrespect...all forms of abuse...DRIVE me Nuts.....But animals doing what I thin they LOVE to do....does not bother me...I know Horses LOVE to run...and faster the better.....should they be hit...NO.....they will run fast if what they want is ahead of them!!!
    I liked your e-mail...made me SAD.......I never knew that about the Queen....I knew she could imitate people.....but her own family???In a Bad way?????NOT nice.....again somewhat abusive......
    We must meet up one day...face to I can have a real live conversation with as if we are sitting across from each other for real!!I call this box my face to face!!!
    I do not mind being called by my first name....I have one of those Unisex I have gotten the Mr. Jamie notes....

  4. The world has become to informal. I sometimes have a hard time with that.
    It upsets me to see shorts and jeans at a wake for example. But, it happens more and more often and not just by young people.

    So, I can relate to your hesitation with names. I dislike being called Mrs. Frank Lastname as if I was his property with no name of my own. Fact is that my nieces and nephews do not call me Aunt Rita. I'm just Rita. I tell small children to call me Ms. Rita if there parents object to the informality of their using just my given name.

    So, to answer your question. I do not have a problem with being called simply Rita.

  5. First, this is a great conversation starter!

    Let me preface this by saying that I live in the south, but I wasn't born here. Where I grew up and first learned manners, it was considered extremely impolite to refer to an adult by the first name. We used to say, "Mr. or Mrs. Last Name" or even "Miss Last Name" for one not married. The only exception was with families where Aunt or Uncle First Name was used. I'm 50 years old, and I still call my uncle Uncle Bill. I don't say Bill.

    The only exception would be a close family friend who was an unmarried female. In those cases, we usually dubbed them "Aunt First Name".

    However, here in Dixie, it is customary to call all adults by "Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms First Name." (Of course "Mrs. Miss Ms" all sounds exactly the same with a southern accent so you can't tell what it is.

    I said all that to say this: I do NOT like to be called Mrs. Debbie, but I can't do a thing about it because that's what everyone teaches their children to do. When in Rome... I prefer "Mrs. Last Name" from people who only know me in a formal or business sense.

    Beyond that, please dear world, call me Debbie.
    If you want to, call me Deb. Don't call me Deborah unless you are my mother or my husband.

  6. Good grief. I'm talking and I can't shut up!!

  7. I don't mind being called by my first name, but generally when I don't know people I use Ms. or Mr. and last name. There are people at work who call me Ms. Carol and it seems a little weird, but it's totally out of respect.

    I wish you could be here, too, but rest easy Lonni will be here this weekend coming up, so I will be in good hands.

  8. After all the pitfalls and traps you have encountered, "Dear Valued Guest" is starting to look pretty good. If you are able to include something in the note that shows you know which valued guest you are writing to, that should make it clear your response is not a form letter. That is all that matters.

  9. I had to laugh because my son's name is Erin & so are a lot of other boys we know.

    When writing an unknown person I always use the proper salutations ... Mr/Mrs/Miss.

    In person I address men as Mr. & women as Miss when introducing them to children.

    Well, now we are slowing down a bit so I'll get to write more often ... it has been a 2-month whirlwind, lmty.

    Hope all is well with you, Myra.
    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~

  10. I like being called by my first name (not Saleslady) LOL! I like to address envelopes formally and always use "pastor" or "dr." even if personal friends when I speak to them. I'm so old fashioned.


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