The name is Bond. Mr. Bond.

I write for a humor blog with two friends, James Malins and Cherie Michiko, called Misusing Big Words. This post was originally published here:
http://misusingbigwords.blogspot.com/2008/02/name-is-bond-mr-bond.html
I'm now 23 years old, and I've just recently joined that magical world where everybody has a first name.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, ask any child his best friend's dad's name. It's not "David," it's "Mr. Hasselhoff." (Yes, that's right, this particular hypothetical child is best friends with David Hasselhoff's son.) But not me. When I call someone on the phone, I boldly ask "May I speak with Steve, please?" And I don't even get a strange reply, just a prompt "Sure, one moment please."

I work with all sorts of people of all ages and backgrounds, and am on a first name basis with all of them. I supervise many people old enough to be my parents, and some even old enough to be my grandparents, but when I walk the halls, I suavely call out "Hey Janie," "How's everything Tim," "Looking good there, Ron." I am the guy that, as a child, I never thought I'd grow up to be.

The funny thing is, there are some exceptions. My third grade teacher is still "Mrs. Wilder;" in fact I don't even know her first name, and I wouldn't dare call her it if I did. My childhood friend's dad is still "Dr. Adamson;" the closest I've come to calling him by his first name is letting "Doc" slip once, and I felt ashamed for three days afterwards. It’s like when a professor tells you to call him “Chuck” after you just finished a semester of calling him “Mr. Norris.” (Yes, this hypothetical professor is none other than Chuck Norris, who, even in my fantasy world, no matter how many times he told me to call him Chuck, I would never drop the "Mr. Norris." Here's some reasons why.)

There’s something inherently difficult about going from one level to the next. It’s a graduation from authority figure to friend status, and it's also a lingering mental block from the days of Lincoln Logs and action figures and Sega Genesis when the Mrs. Jones's and Mr. Smith's were the voices of reason, telling us "No roughhousing" or "Don't throw water balloons in the house."

I'd like to think I'll get past this mental block, but truthfully, I don't think it will happen. Even as the world changes and kids these days get less respectful of their elders, I don't see my language changing. Heck, my parents still call some older people by their proper "Mr. Copper," "Mrs. Zinc" names.

I guess what I'm saying is whether I'm 23 or 53, my world ain't getting any more magical than this.

What sort of name hangups do you have?
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