Just Call Me Ellen: Battle Of The Title0
My mum is not an aunt and my dad is not an uncle, they are both only children and so I have no true aunts or uncles. Growing up we had lots of ‘aunties’ and and ‘uncles’ in our lives, but they weren’t necessarily blood relatives. They ranged from friends from church to people met through my parents work, and to next door neighbours. Some of my parents friends we called Mr. and Mrs, but others were endeared with the moniker of auntie and uncle.
The people graced with the title of auntie and uncle were usually active in our lives and involved in special occasions through out the years. There were the gifts on holidays and birthdays, attending get togethers as a group, and remembering special occasions and events over the years.
Once I had Ben, I started to think more about the division of names among our friends. With a few people it felt normal to address them by their first names, others were coined as auntie, and some are truly Ben’s related aunties. I don’t have a hard and fast rule around what children should call adults. I know I do have some friends that believe that their child should call me Miss. Andrea. I just roll with the name game and tend to take each situation as it comes, making the rules as I go along. Ben has some many ‘true’ aunties along with a couple of family friends that we refer to as ‘auntie’. Other friends naturally slipped into the category of just using first names. There was no discussion, it just sort of unfolded this way. A natural progression of sorts.
Are you a Mrs. or an auntie or a, ‘just call me Jill’ type of person? Do you think that children should address all adults a certain way? Does the title really make a difference in the relationship? I remember being around 10 years old and calling my friends parents ‘Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so’. I was totally taken aback when a friends mum told me to call her ‘Ellen’. At the time I hadn’t really thought about parents having real names and it felt a little funny calling her by her first name. I felt elevated to a level of cool and acceptance, but also avoided having to directly call her Ellen. If I did have to say it, it always would come out as either a soft whisper or a rapid, ‘EllencanIhaveaglassofmilk’.