Please Call Me Mrs.

While I would never actually TELL SOMEONE to call me Mrs., I absolutely love it when people refer to me by my wife title and husband’s family name. While giving up my maiden last name of Kennedy (which by the way, is probably one of the coolest last names on Earth, if not THE coolest) was hard, I will always have Kennedy in me by blood.

My husband’s family is a family I have no genetic ties to, no blood pulsing through my veins screaming, “You’re an XYZ you’re an XYZ.” Because of that it means so much to me to know that someone, a group of people in fact, have decided I am worthy to share their last name – without their blood.

I am proud to be called Mrs. When I hear his last name there is a reminder of how proud I am of the man who gave it to me, someone who trusted me not to ruin it, not to run it into the ground, or slander it, or disrespect it. It also reminds me of my wedding vows.

Yes, to be honest, each and every time someone uses my Mrs. name I hear a part of me say, “It’s not just a name.” What an indescribable honor for a man to think so highly of me that he trusts me with his name, a representation of him.   I can only be giddy like a girl on her first date when someone uses it in reference to his wife – me.

To each their own, but it makes me sad when women would rather be called by their first names. I’m not a hoity toity kind of person, but I do wish we as a society would go back to the formalities and graces of past generations.  They created not only a sense of respect for those around us that seems to be much less existent today than before, but it also created an air of self respect and responsibility.

Part of me believes we have steered away just because we are lazy, we like instant gratification, and we just plain do not care. What do I think the real reason is? Selfishness. I believe the feminist movement really did social protocol in, put it to bed and said, “Good Night.” It became all about us, how we do not need a man, we are just as strong, just as capable, and I have MY first name not HIS last name.

Now I know some of you are thinking, “Well, it’s just more personable to have people call me by my first name.” I disagree with this argument from beginning to end. I do not feel any closer, less formal, or warm and fuzzy to someone just because I use his or her first name. Nope, sorry, I have tried. I truly believe that using Mr. and Mrs. (or rank for our Military Service Members) is such a simple form of showing respect that it’s baffling to me that people refuse it so often.

The other big argument to this is , “You’re disrespecting me more by using Mr/Mrs/Rank because that is not what I prefer.” This one just gets my bloomers all tied in knots. How on Earth can someone disrespect you by offering the simplest sign of respect, I mean really? I am so sorry I offended you by trying to be respectful.  At this point my head is normally tilted to one side, one eye is normally bigger than the other with a huge expression of confusion on my face.

I just do not understand why people feel the need to be addressed by their first name all the time. I feel less comfortable because I must now break a cardinal social grace of respect because you do not like it. So does that make me a push over to peer pressure…..okay we will save that topic for another day!

Another major argument that I often hear is, “It makes me feel old.”  Let me give you my take on this one, as if you did not already know that it was coming.  I was once told  by an older woman – as in old enough to be at least my grandmother – that age is an attitude not a number.  She also cautioned me not to confuse our age in years with maturity.  She explained to me that she had met quite a few young people who had more wisdom at 20 than some of the 30 somethings she knew.

Then there’s the mother-in-law argument, “It reminds me of my mother-in-law.”  A few things on this one.  First of all, whether or not you have a good relationship with your mother-in-law aside, she is the person who put the man you married on this Earth, and the only reason she is Mrs. So-and-So is because she married the father of your husband.  She gave up her maiden name just like you gave up yours.

With this in mind, by refusing to use Mrs. (insert YOUR husband’s family name here) you are not only expressing that your husband’s family name is not good enough for you to use, but essentially making it known that because his mother uses it you do not want to.  To me that’s the ultimate insult to another woman, especially the one who labored and raised the man you hold so dear.  Besides, you do have the choice to make a new imagine for the Mrs. in the family.

The last argument that comes up is, “I am an independent person, I am not just a wife, therefore I would like to be called by my first name.” And yes, trust me, I have heard this more than once in some form or another.  My simple response is to go back to the Bible, specifically Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

The things my husband does reflect on me, because we are one, and the things I do reflect on my husband for the same reason. We may have given up our family names as wives, but according to the Bible our husbands leave their families to be with us – which is the bigger sacrifice? We should be honored and feel that it is a privilege to be called by our husband’s last name. We represent our husbands, and we should be so infinitely proud of what that name means to us.

By being called a Mrs. it does not take away our own personal achievements,  I feel that because of this “one flesh” business the Bible teaches us, we essentially put our individual achievements in one barrel.  I can be proud of him for his, and he can be proud of me for mine, but the greater achievement is looking at all that we have done, been through, survived, and succeeded at together.

I am beyond amazed at the man I married, I am proud of him and all he does not only for me but for this great Nation. There is no better compliment, and no easier one to give, than to call me Mrs.

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11 Responses to “Please Call Me Mrs.”

  1. Mrs. Kyle says:

    OMGodness, Shauna. This made me cry. I have been an emotional wreak the past couple days and this just made me feel so great to be where I am with who I am. Your such an amazing writer! Ive always loved hearing people say “Hey Mrs. Kyle” or “How are you Mrs. Kyle” It always gives me those “first date” butterflys and puts a huge smile on my face. Thanks for writing this and make sure you post when you add another Post ok. Your amazing Mrs. Robey :D

    Mrs.Kyle

  2. Tanya Thurn says:

    Your blogs are always amazing, but this one spoke to me. And you know why. I am that person that likes my first name to be used, not because i am not proud of my last name or the fact that my amazing husband decided i was worthy of having it, but because the people i ask to use my first name are like family to me. I dont think that because i like to be called by my first name means i am any less proud of the last name i carry. My husband is my best friend and i am proud of what he has done for our family. I am also proud that we have 2 boys that will carry his name on, but please dont take offence if i ask someone to call me Tanya. I dont ask everyone to call me Tanya just the people that are close to me. I love this blog because now i see how maybe i should be addressing other people. You are an amazing blogger(if thats a word) and i am so glad and blessed to know you personaly. I hope this is not upsetting to you, but i just thought that i would give an opnion on the other side of things. Love ya girl

  3. Mrs Prim and Proper says:

    I understand the “family” idea completely. Coming from Hawaii we would use Auntie or Uncle in place of Mrs. or Mr. for people, and it made them like family to us – but it was something we used everyday not just a formality. I think there are many cultures that have a “term of respect” for people, whether it be “Mr & Mrs” or “Aunite and Uncle” ect. I would not think less of a woman for using her first name, if you are a good person you are a good person because of your character not your taking your husband’s name, it is more the principle that formalities and etiquette do serve a valid purpose and we as a society have disregarded them.

    Thank you ladies for reading and posting!!!

  4. The Parental Unit says:

    Aloha,

    As always, your writing is very thought provoking. With that being said, I’d like share my thoughts on “Please Call Me Mrs.”.

    As parents, when raising our children, we do our best to nurture and encourage confidence and independance. After watching all of your accomplishments in kindgarten, elementary school, Jr. High, High School and college, there was another road you chose to follow when you decided to marry. That was a very proud moment (among many) for your dad and me. This for us was another “chapter” in your road of life. Being able to call you “Mrs. R” makes dad and I very proud. We are very proud of our favorite son-in-law. LOL – he’s our ONLY son-in-law.

    As a young bride 32 years ago, I too, enjoyed being called Mrs. Kennedy. The same still holds true today. I guess that is why your Dad and I had “The Wedding Song” by Peter Paul & Mary sung at our wedding. I am a true believer that when you marry the two become one as the below lyrics say.

    Love Mom

    THE WEDDING SONG

    He is now to be among you
    at the calling of your hearts
    Rest assured this troubadour
    is acting on His part.
    The union of your spirits, here,
    has caused Him to remain
    for whenever two or more of you
    are gathered in His name
    there is Love, there is Love.

    Well, a man shall leave his mother
    and a woman leave her home
    and they shall travel on to where
    the two shall be as one.
    As it was in the beginning
    is now and til the end
    Woman draws her life from man
    and gives it back again.
    And there is Love, there is Love.

    Well then what’s to be the reason
    for becoming man and wife?
    Is it love that brings you here
    or love that brings you life?
    And if loving is the answer,
    then who’s the giving for?
    Do you believe in something
    that you’ve never seen before?
    Oh there is Love, there is Love.

    (Short solo)

    Oh the marriage of your spirits here
    has caused Him to remain
    for whenever two or more of you
    are gathered in His name
    there is Love, there is Love.

  5. Ms. Entringer says:

    I started reading this article because the title caught my attention, when I got to the part about Kennedy I looked up and long behold this is a post from Mrs. Prim and Proper and then I figured out it was you! I have always been amazed at your writings and I enjoy reading what you write because I believe you put so much thought behind everything you said and I respect that! I am not married(yet); however, I think it is always difficult giving up the name that ruins through your blood and the name you have grown up with but I also think it is a honor taking the man you marry last name. I look forward to the day where I get to share the same experience with you when they call me Mrs…..

    Keep writing
    Keep sharing

  6. Mrs. F says:

    Mrs. R I love this blog entry & I love you! I have loved being called Mrs. F for 18 years and 2 days now. Hearing it still gives me the butterflies just the same as when I’d “practice” writing my married name after my wonderful husband purposed to me.

    Mrs. Kennedy I love The Wedding Song. We had it sung at our wedding too.

  7. says:

    [...] Please Call Me Mrs. [...]

  8. Emilie says:

    I guess I’m kinda the oddball of the bunch who believes that you really shouldn’t be that upset over someone’s personal preference in how they like to be addressed. I understand and respect the fact that you wish to be called Mrs. So and So but it doesn’t make me wrong to not mind being called by my first name or by my married name. Of course, if I’m being fair, I’ve never had a situation where I had to deal with someone calling me Mrs.McDonald over Emilie, or vice versa, and probably wouldn’t even respond right away if you tried to call me Mrs.McDonald. I’m sure I’ll be referred to as Mrs.McDonald once my daughter starts school but until then it’s not really a big deal to me.

    I know that in the Army and when dealing with other women in the FRG that I prefer to be called by my first name since the FRG isn’t supposed to be this big formal shindig but rather a gathering of spouses that should at least be attempting to be friendly and helpful and that going with a formal Mrs. just doesn’t convey that message to me at all. However, if I had a job (other than being a stay at home mom) where I was in charge of people, then yes being referred to as a Mrs. is much more appropriate and expected. But in the normal everyday life for me it’s just not that big of a deal whether I’m addressed as Emilie or Mrs.McDonald.

    So yeah, just my two cents to help untie your bloomers. Haha

  9. says:

    HI, I’m new here and I just thought that what you wrote was very true, and very touching and I feel the same way.

  10. says:

    Great post! I am also more of the “old fashioned” mindset. I’m not a Mrs. (yet!) but since I was a little girl I looked forward to the day I’d be one. I also do not like the title “Ms.” It goes along with the whole feminist movement, which I despise. For me, my title will be Miss until I’m married, and then after that I’ll be Mrs. I live in Texas, and in the south many people call women “Miss First Name” whether you’re married or not. I don’t mind the kids where I work calling me “Miss Malori” right now but I think it would feel weird after I marry my soldier and I’m a Mrs. I also usually call my elders Mrs. Last Name unless they tell me otherwise. That’s just how I was raised, and I like it! :) I will feel proud to share a last name with my husband! (Plus, I’m in a situation where I always half-jokingly say I can’t wait to change my last name…it’s German and it’s oftentimes spelled and pronounced the wrong way…and when I say wrong, I mean it comes out as a bad word!)

  11. Mrs Prim and Proper says:

    Emilie: thank you for reading my post! It is so awesome that people are coming and reading all of our writings. I would never be upset at an individual, rather upset that the general public lacks respect for customs and traditions of the social matter. to elaborate on my personal opinion, when someone asks me to call them what they want: ie, their first name – I have never been asked in return what I WANT, since I am on a first name basis with them most people feel the right to call the me person by my first name. So my values, my wants as a person are neglected because of another persons wants and values. So my question is, why are my values and wants less important than someone else just because I like to be called Mrs. or vice versa?

    I believe at FRG meetings its business, the formal meeting is when we all come together to get stuff DONE. In business type settings I am a major proponent of Mr/Mrs/Rank as it promotes respect and boundaries. Now, when I have all the ladies over to my house for lunch or dinner & a movie – or social FRG gatherings, it’s not business so more informal talk is encouraged.

    Lastly, I do not view Mr/Mrs/Rank as formal or informal, but just respectful. There are people I have known almost my whole life, who are as close to me as family get, and I still to this day call them Mr. & Mrs. I have become a little more relaxed with it, and with most woman who are utterly against Mrs. can compromise with a “Miss First Name”

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