There is one thing I can never get used to, and that is to be called Mrs. P. B.
Hello!!??? Am I not my own person??? Don’t I have my own first name? Yes, I thought so. THANK YOU!!!
I am not Mrs. Peter. B.
I am Annika B. If you want to put Mrs. in front of it it is optional. But. Mrs. Peter I am NOT!! Mrs. Annika B? Sure, go for it.
I used to say, to Peter, that “I will NOT open an envelope that is addressed to Mrs. Peter B, if the person cannot write Annika, well, then forget about it. I will not OPEN that envelope”.
Well, maybe that was a pretty infantile statement of me, but I still sort of feel that way.
When I look at wedding announcements in the paper I am always so surprised to see how they are written. Underneath the picture it ALWAYS says, for example: “Mr. and Mrs. Paul Smith”. Never Paul and Mary Smith. I don’t know, but I find it strange.
Another thing I have a hard time dealing with is when kids call me “Mrs. B”.
-All right, kiddo, it is perfectly FINE to call me Annika. You do not have to call me Mrs. B.
That pretty much always settles it, after that most kids call me by my first name.
When Peter, Karolina and I moved to this neighborhood in Reston we met the World’s BEST Neighbors, and the World’s Best Neighbors all have kids. The parents, our new neighbors, asked us right away if it was OK for their kids to call us by first name. Nice going!!! That totally set the tone for me! I really appreciated it! So now every kid in the neighborhood calls me Annika, and calls Peter by his first name as well. It is the same thing with Karolina and the other adult neighbors; first name basis.
The only time I can accept to be called Mrs. B is when I volunteer in the school. Since all the parents go by Mr. and Mrs. there. Then I’ll just have to accept it as well :-)
All right, so Sweden is an informal country. We even call our prime minister by his first name, and not a single person thinks it is weird.
The only family that is somewhat formal is the Royal Family, but there have been reporters that have been calling the Crown Princess just Victoria. Hey, I am all for that!!!
When I went to school back in Sweden we called ALL our teachers by first name, or we simply called them “Fröken” or “Magistern”. Fröken is the name for a female teacher, and Magistern is a male teacher.
And, needless to say I have always called all my friends parents by first name. Always!
When I came to the States I was a bit worried of the formality. I was nervous to slip, nervous to accidentally call someone by first name. I am not, anymore, since I don’t call anybody Mr. or Mrs.
Well, only the teachers then, yes I am formal when addressing them.
When I am at the doctor or dentist I always ask them to call me Annika, and nothing else. It works! And I am happy!