“Can I complain for a minute?” she asked.
“Sure,” I answered. And I meant it.
One of the reasons I love my job is that I work in an environment of open doors and open ears. Most of us have ever-growing “to do” lists, are trying to meet multiple demands from multiple people and are always aware that we may have to drop everything in order to meet the needs of the people we serve. Despite that, or maybe because of it, we always make time for each other.
And so it was when the immigration attorney in the office next to mine needed to air her grievances.
And when she did, I understood.
She was recently listed in a professional directory with a Miss in front of her name. “There’s nothing to indicate that I have a law degree or that I passed the bar exam,” she sighed. “Basically, the only thing people know from this publication is what my job title is and that I’m single.”
I glanced through the directory noting that all of the women were listed as either Miss or Mrs. Since I’m neither (I’m married but didn’t take my husband’s last name), I had to question why, in this day and age, the terms are even needed. I’ve been married 21 years, have two children and have never once felt that my life would be better if people called me Mrs.
As we discussed the issue, a male colleague chimed in.
“I understand the need to differentiate between male and female,” he said. “There are women that have my first name, and I want people to know I’m a guy. But my wife and I have had this conversation on numerous occasions, and she thinks Ms. and Mr. are is all we need”
I’m with him (and his wife).
With all the advances women have made, I don’t understand why we often still address them based on marital status (or questionable marital status) while we address all men the same, regardless of marital status.
I know the distinction is probably a result of days when men were in charge and women (supposedly) embraced marriage as the ultimate achievement. But those days are over (except for extremists like the Duggar clan.) Women who want to take the traditional path of changing their last name when they marry can and should.
But women who are listed in a professional directory should have the assurance that people are much more interested in their qualifications than with their marital status.
Besides, I doubt anyone under the age of 50 (other than the Duggars) would even notice if the term Mrs. goes missing.
I’m not a fatalist. I don’t believe that whatever will be will be and that I have absolutely no control over my life.
At the same time, I certainly don’t believe I’m completely in control.
Take, for example, my first job out of college.
I’d spent all of my life saying that I liked almost any type of music but country. Then, the day after I graduated, I received a phone call from the news director at, you guessed it, a country music station. I hadn’t submitted my resume or applied for a job. An acquaintance had mentioned I was graduating and might be interested.The job wasn’t at all what I had planned for myself, but I took it.
That was at the same time Garth Brooks was storming onto the music scene. And yes, I admit, I become a closet country music fan.
I never would have asked that my career began in country music, but I can’t complain about where that job led. Or where it is still taking me. Nor can I say that I listen to much country music these days, but I definitely don’t turn it off when my daughter is listening. And I still love Garth Brooks.
His song Unanswered Prayers says it all: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xohixl_garth-brooks-unanswered-prayers_music
It always makes me smile.
Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day 77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green Lights Day 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of Hay Day 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street