Miss Understanding Things

Author oh, rebecca. Category , ,

Today I decided to log onto freecreditreport.com to get my free, annual, well, credit report*. In choosing my title, I vacillated between "Miss" and "Ms," eventually settling with Miss, mostly because when my grandma writes me letters, that's how they're addressed, and because my friends' little boy calls me Miss Rebecca.

But what am I? I'm 27, unmarried/never married, without so much as a serious love interest** on the horizon. I'm feminist to the point that I read BUST, but not bitch or Ms. I'm unfeminist to the point that I admittedly don't really know much about feminism but am unreasonably annoyed by militant feminism/feminists. I like to consider myself a humanist, or if we really have to break it down, a Rebeccaist (fair and equal rights for Rebeccas among all people; extra ponies and puppies and caramel corn for Rebeccas; undisclosed amounts of money for Rebeccas for being preternaturally adorable: the usual.)

Google was consulted, and the first resource that popped up was a mishmash selection of this and that and the other thing; you may know it as Yahoo! Answers: Where Anyone With a Keyboard Can Answer.


Then I found pages insisting that the fundamental difference between Miss and Ms. was whether or not they are dating someone or available. Buh? How is anyone to know that? As much as I'd like there to be some visual indicator of whether or not someone is available for dating/flirting***, there isn't. Then came the pages denoting age as the discriminating factor in the great Miss v Ms debate. I'm no spring chicken, but I'm no aging spinster (yet, though the descent into spinsterhood has begun, I'm sure). Even then, the ranges varied widely - the Miss cutoff varied from anywhere to 12 years old**** to 30 years old. That's a whole Miss - or Ms.!

I only bothered to wade through a few of them, but there were lots of pages detailing lots of ways to determine Missitude or Ms.itude. And I'm still confused.

Then I started thinking about the Miss/ma'am. Ms. is generally not used in everyday or colloquial conversation, it's got more of a formal or business tone, if you ask me, which you didn't, but it's my blog, so hush up. But Ma'am isn't really the colloquial form of Ms. - to me, they're not quite interchangeable. Their applications are even different - generally someone applies the Ms. title to herself, whereas ma'am is bestowed by someone else. Ms. seems to carry a point of self-pride/self-righteousness within itself; ma'am has a tone of veneration and respect given to a matronly woman by a cashier or stranger. Miss is not UN-respectable, it's just... you know. Not matronly. Young, fresh, hip. Means mistress. You know. Not a crone, not a beldam. But also not a matriarch, not a doyenne.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've been called ma'am - Miss seems to be prevalent, and I hope that can be attributed to my youthful *cough* good looks. I figure if I can't fully buy into the whole Ms. thing for myself, and other people aren't buying into the whole ma'am thing for
Am I denying my womanliness and desperately grasping my vanishing girlhood by using "Miss" for just a little longer? Am I deluding myself into thinking that I'm delaying the inevitable (me turning into a lonely biddy with sixteen cats or sixteen dogs, which I'm sure will happen if this love interest situation doesn't right itself and soon)?

I was really hoping to just use my existing title of "The Revered" or "The Unquestionably Cute" or "The Best in All the Land." Those weren't in the choices, though? Color me baffled*****. They really should have been.

*abysmal. I don't want to talk about it. But I should, to get a clear grasp of how screwy-uppy I am. Maybe some other day.
**Okay, well, there is one guy in specific. I don't want to talk about it. But I should, to get a clear grasp of how screwy-uppy I am. Maybe some other day. ;)
***Mostly for guys, because lord knows most of the time they won't be forthcoming with that information.
****I'm pretty sure girls 12 and under should be referred to as "hey, you" or "hey, kid." Nothing fancy; they don't need it.
*****In my estimation it's sort of teal.


mylittlebecky said...

i'm a rebeccaist as well! we should start a lobbying group. get our views on "the dockets." or something.

i guess i always thought ms=divorced and miss=unmarried. i dunno, i'm obvy no expert.

Stephanie said...

slighty o/t: watch your bank account - freecreditreport is scammy. they sign you up for a "subscription."

your credit report should come from annualcreditreport.com!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Theme by New wp themes | Bloggerized by Dhampire