Seen and Heard
The Name Game
What are you going to call yourself – or let your kid’s friends call you?
-Mary Beth Sammons
There are moments when it would be perfect to have Miss Manners (or Betty’s Own “Ask Debbie” or “Manic Mommy”) on the invite list for your kid’s playgroup, or at least on call or text for a quick check-in. One of those moments is when your child has invited a new friend over – with his mom – and the big moment happens: What is this darling kid supposed to call you?
There are parents that argue that social protocol requires all children to address adults by last name and a courtesy title (Mrs. Somebody, Mr. Somebody). But what if you are like a number of my friends who didn’t change their names when they got married, or changed it back to their maiden names when they got divorced? Are your children’s friends supposed to call you by your kid’s surname? Your ex-husband’s name, making you still Mrs. Somebody? And what about Ms. Master, Ma’am, Yo or Hey? Are they rude?
Or what about a title with a first name? Julie, BettyConfidential.com’s editor-at-large, likes being called “Miss Julie,” because she says it makes her feel young.
Most of my children’s friends still call me “Mrs. Sammons,” even though now there is a new Mrs. Sammons, not to mention the ex-mother-in-law.
Then there are my oldest daughter’s friends who have taken to simply “Mary Beth,” which I actually prefer for their late-teen and post-teen crowd … but for my high school daughter’s gang, it would make me feel like I’m posing for that scene in Mean Girls, in which the mom bops out with a tray of martinis for the girls, trying to be their best friend. And, I’m still calling my 80-something-parents’ friends “Mrs. and Mr.”
So what’s a mom to do? Check out this quick advice in the New York Times.