I don’t find myself in many situations where there is an opportunity for me to be addressed formerly. 99.9% of the time I answer to Emily and Mom. Thankfully, my boys haven’t started calling me Bruh…yet.
Last week I was volunteering at the elementary school for the bookfair. The kids get to shop or browse the fair during their scheduled library time. As a volunteer, I’m there to help the kids make selections that fit within their budgets and work the register. Before the kids are let loose to peruse the goods, the Librarian introduces the volunteers to the class.
“And with us today is Macklin’s mom, Mrs. Vielhauer.”
Those 2 words, ‘Mrs. Vielhauer’, stop my heart for a blip.
What I wouldn’t give to really be Mrs. Tony Vielhauer now. However, the Mrs. in present tense feels like a lie to me. I know that many widowed people still consider themselves as married, but I am not among those ranks. For me, the dissolution of my marriage occurred the day he died. I woke up married, but I went to bed a widow. Whether I think of myself as married or not, doesn’t diminish the love we had or the love I still carry.
Each time someone addresses me as Mrs. Vielhauer, I feel my body tense and my mind fill with hundreds of tiny what ifs and I wishes. I am almost certain this is all imperceptible to the naked eye. A long blink and it’s over before anyone catches on to my discomfort.
I know that I could ask her to call me Ms. but I’m not sure that would make me feel better. What if she stops and I miss it? What if addressing me as Ms. Vielhauer is equally as heart stopping because I used to be Mrs. Not to mention this Librarian is one of the sweetest humans on earth. I would rather feel uncomfortable a few times a year for a blip in time than have that conversation.
So, in the elementary school library I will answer to Mrs. Vielhauer for another year and half.