This prim note of reprimand comes to you from The Reverend Doctor MISS PeaceBang to you.
It was prompted by the video that is going around of a 110 year old woman named Ms. Flossie Dickey being interviewed by a perky newswoman.
Awesomely Luvvie wrote up one of her typically hilarious take-downs on the situation , and you should read it. You should read everything Luvvie writes, because she is hilarious and brilliant and sharp as it gets — but wear Depends.
My point, in an amen to Luvvie’s observations about the disrespect being shown the elder here, is that I too am tired of the presumed familiarity of the young.
I am in full pursed-lip New England spinster mode, here. Don’t roll your eyes at me.
Just because we are ministerial colleagues doesn’t mean we’re friends.
Just because you have read my writings or seen me preach or had a brief conversation with me at an event does not mean that I know who the heck you are. Please introduce yourself.
Just because you’re the hottest stuff at your seminary and feel that you would be an amazing intern or summer minister doesn’t mean you should dispense with appropriate salutations in your introductory e-mail — or subsequent follow-ups.
I will set the tone. I am the senior colleague and you should follow my lead. If, after several exchanges, I take on a more casual tone, feel free to drop the “Sincerely yours” at the end of our correspondences. But don’t start there.
I am Miss Weinstein, or (grammatically inappropriately but socially acceptably) “Rev. Weinstein” or even, in ministry settings, “Dr. Weinstein.” (Within my congregational setting I’m Vicki or Rev. Vicki, but you’re not part of that setting).
Introduce me by my full name and title if you’re introducing me in a professional context. Get my permission to refer to me as “Vicki” rather than “Victoria” in a professional setting. When attributing me in print, please use my full title and name.
This goes for everyone, of course.
I am not one of those democratizing feminists who feels that titles are elitist and that they separate people. I happen to think that women should use all our titles — and insist on their use — to claim our authority in professional spaces. Academic achievement is not something to be erased or ignored in the effort to make everyone feel comfortable or equal.
Don’t call me “hon” or “dear” if you’re younger than 80 years old unless you want to get dropped off at the corner of “Bye” and “I-Don’t Think-So.”
And while we’re on the subject, the new “Dear ones” salutation favored by clergy gives me instant cavities. Pass the stevia! Saccharine is toxic!
I, of course, will carry on calling my readers Darlings and Pigeons and cupcakes and dear ones. You know why? Because you ARE darling dear cupcake pigeons and also, I’m not addressing you personally within your context of professional authority.
Happy Birthday to Miss Flossie Dickey.