Friday, 4 November 2011

Where’s the missing R?

I have had a couple of letters recently addressed to Ms and not the usual Mrs and it got me thinking about my identity and what title I should be using now.

When I opened my new solo bank account at the beginning of the year I decided I wanted Mrs on the cheque book and bank card.  Now I am wondering if I should just have had my full name with middle initial.  Sometimes Mrs doesn’t look quite right.

It’s so much more straightforward for men.  Once they reach the age of majority and probably in reality a lot earlier they become Mr and so it remains for the rest of their days.  I remember writing Master on the boy’s passport forms but there wasn’t a specific box for that status.  It seems the term Master is outdated and only found these days in games of Happy Families, or Happy Parents as my youngest used to call it!

Mr Chop the Butcher, Mrs Chop the butcher’s wife, Master Chop the butcher’s son and Miss Chop the butcher’s daughter.

Everyone’s status neatly determined by the head of the household.  Although in these enlightened times in the more modern packs of cards Mrs Chop is a butcher too.

Our nuclear families are eroding with an ever increasing divorce rate, step families, half siblings and some people preferring not to marry at all.  There are women who keep their own surnames for a variety of reasons; it is not a legal requirement to adopt your husband’s family name.  

I appreciate it must be simpler for organisations to have a general policy of addressing all women as Ms to cause the least offence, presumably.

I loved the day I got married and happily swapped Miss for Mrs.   It’s a rite of passage, a stepping stone to a grown up world of new responsibilities.   In a lot of ways I am just an old fashioned girl with very conventional views.

The moniker of Ms with its buzzy bee ending always evokes in me an image of a strident feminist asserting the fact that she is quite self-sufficient, thank you very much, and not prepared to fit into the norms of married life.

Where did such a negative idea come from?  There must have been something I saw on TV in my formative years that has somehow stuck.

Women can be so cruel and judgemental of other women who have made different life choices.  I hold my hands up to being guilty of making snide and cutting comments which I’m not proud of.  

The media doesn’t help.  Stereotypical housewives are presented as dowdy, subservient and downtrodden usually being titled Mrs and career women who go by the title of Ms are hard hearted in high heels and lip gloss.  Then there are the oh so glamorous superwomen who manage to juggle it all.  Thankfully we are no longer as fooled by her and all suspect she has an army of helpers behind the scenes.  TV presenters who disappear from our screens to have a baby and are back glowing within months under very public scrutiny can’t possibly be doing the midnight feeds and still look so fresh faced.

Somewhere in the middle we can all get to feel undervalued by society, undermined by our peers and wondering if the grass is greener on the other side but staunchly defending our own ground.

My years of being a Miss are long gone.  I don’t like being called Ms.  I do like being Mrs and I still wear my wedding ring but technically I’m no longer married – ‘til death do us part.

Suddenly I don’t fit into any of the conventional boxes but we were never designed to.  My identity is not defined by the title I am given or even the one I choose to take.  Even by taking the title of Mrs when I married it didn’t mean my identity was only valid in relation to Andrew.  Therefore neither does it mean that now he is no longer here I am a non-entity.

God was kind and decided that Christ would choose us to be God’s own adopted children.
Ephesians 1 verse 5

In the end that is the relationship that matters most.

Maybe my title should be neither Mrs of Ms after all but Princess because I am the daughter of the King!

Meanwhile in the "real world" I had a good day yesterday.  The sun shone, I took time to add a flick of mascara and I had a sparkle about me.  Today’s been wet and miserable; I’ve felt blue and taken comfort from wearing Andrew’s old jumper to keep warm and having a whinge on my blog.  Not sure if it all makes sense now I’ve re read it but I had fun on my soapbox.

The sun is shining again now and the leaves have a sprinkling of glittery raindrops like the diamonds in my eternity ring.  I am transfixed by their beauty and thankful God has chosen me to be his child just as Andrew chose me to be his Mrs.

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