[LMB] forms of address, was Ivan's Aunties

Meg Justus mmegaera at nwlink.com
Thu May 17 16:10:57 BST 2012


Pete:
> I never once used "Mom" for anyone but my own mother; my own mother-in-law 
> was "Mrs. Wade" (she hated me, and the feeling was reciprocated).

I don't know if the usage in my family is typical of Southerners (we were 
expatriate Southerners living in California when I was growing up <g>), but 
all of my brothers-in-law (and both my husbands) call(ed) my parents Mr. and 
Mrs.  Not because they didn't get along, but just because that's what was 
considered respectful.  I don't remember any discussion about it, or any 
resentment on either side.  I grew up calling anyone more than half a 
generation older than I am Mr. or Mrs.  That's the way I was taught.  It 
ended up causing problems for me as a young adult, first when I married at 
age 21 and my in-laws were very insulted that I did not feel comfortable 
calling them by their first names (like Pete, I absolutely did not get along 
with my first mother-in-law, which made it even harder for me to use their 
first names, and I know she knew that and, I think, reveled in it), and 
second, when I got my first permanent job, also at age 21, and had to call 
my supervisor by his first name.  I managed it eventually, but it took a 
couple of years before it felt normal.

Megaera
who called the second set of in-laws Mr. H and Mrs. H, which satisfied 
everyone -- but they were *much* nicer than the first set 



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