Is it just me? Or does it just warm your heart, too, when someone younger than 18 calls you by the proper title? Some people might call me old fashioned, but I just love that kind of parental training that teaches kids to show respect... for anything! I'm not sure it's a big deal to anyone else, but I take an instant liking to any of my children's friends who will look me in the eye and call me Mrs. JustMe. It conveys someone who has manners and respect both for themselves and for me.
I think there are 2 reasons for this to have become unusual:
First- our society has gotten so casual that we don't show respect for much of anything anymore. I watch how people are dressed as they come out of the Unitarian church across the street from our LDS church, (including several members I know and like over there) and I just wonder what it is they are thinking that makes it OK to wear dirty jeans to commune with the Supreme Being. I'm sure there's a rationale for it. Maybe they think that you shouldn't have to dress up in order for God to hear you pray. I can see it, but on the other hand, if you are going to meet anyone that you want to show respect for - say the president of the United States, a potential employeer, your school principal - - don't you take some care in how you are dressed? I guess if we don't even respect God, it's hard to show respect for others. If you watch the news at all, you see many who don't respect our government, and the elected offices. (Hey, I have certainly had disrespect for elected officials, but I DO try to respect the office.) Listening to my favorite radio station today I heard Carrie Underwood singing about disrespecting property. I think we have entered a cultural delimma, where nothing is impressive unless it's extreme. (See yesterday's post!)
Second- I think that through the past 2 decades as divorce has become so prevalent, more and more kids are have a step-parent to call by their first name. Thus, their friends will call that same adult by his or her first name. Thus, it becomes OK to call all adults you meet by their first names.
It makes my role as a mom seem that much more important. This calling I have been given, where I am in charge of teaching values and guiding attitudes, really is shaping the future. I guess someday I will have to accept this as part of our evolving culture, but for now, I will continue to FULLY appreciate the kids who call me by what I consider an acceptable title: Mrs. JustMe, Sister JustMe, Aunt JustRandi, and my favorite...Mom.