Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Father, Mother, Sweetie, Honey, Kiddo, and Dear One: a post-resurrection rant

All of the above are how I've been addressed at church while in a collar (though, granted, not on the same day).

An Iowa City professor introduced me as "Father Raisin" last week at a downtown bookstore. I could deal with that, but it's not suitable. I don't care for "Mother," though it's still pretty popular around here. But one day, when I'm addressed as "Mother" I may begin singing "Climb Every Mountain."

As for "Sweetie" and "Honey," it's all I can do not to slap the person. Slapping is not in my nature and I'm generally too horrified to reply. Another female priest who serves this parish gets called "Kiddo," which provokes her no end. As for "Dear One," only one retired priest gets away with it; he's been part of the parish from the age of 10, and I receive his greeting as a sign of affection.

I'm fine with being addressed without a title, but when parishioners refer to the rector and me in the same sentence, as in, "Let's ask Father M___ and Raisin," I don't appreciate that, either. Call us M and R, or give us both titles. The next person who calls me "Honey" may be in for a good swift kick. Ouch.


Blogger Heidi said...

Right there with you, Raisin.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Susie/Nueva Cantora said...

No frigging kidding. Ian is one of my heroes for going as "Pastor Ian"... until men stop using "father" this will remain a "women's problem."

In my first parish, an awful lot of people preferred titles, even though the rector & I didn't really care. So, I wrote a newsletter article explaining why calling me Susie was fine with me, why I really didn't like "mother" and why "pastor susie" was a good alternative.

Also... I got the office manager on my side: she proofread the newsletter and did the bulletin, so if anyone put things in writing about "Father G and Susie" she'd change it to say "Father G and Pastor Susie" :) She rocked. I miss her.

6:59 AM  

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