imageI loathe opening my mailbox and noticing that a piece of my mail is addressed “Miss.”

Miss reminds me of two things: a squeaky-clean seventeen year old or (and I hate using this term) “Old Maid.”  I am absolutely not either.  I am a beautifully broken and flawed female adult – with no different value than a inexperienced eighteen year old or woman who never married at sixty.  I have depth and life experiences in ways which transcend the youthful innocence of the term Miss and a vivaciousness that rebuffs the Old Maid stereotype.

No woman’s title should be connected to a marital status while adult men all are addressed as “Mr.”  Miss and Mrs. continues to herd us like cattle into one corral or another, another minor example of “separate but equal.  Miss has the implication of failure to a thirty or forty year old.  Mrs. has the connotation that a woman has “achieved” a certain status.  How many times at a wedding or on Facebook after a wedding does the bride want to be known as Mrs. while her husband has the honor of keeping his Mr. title?

Becoming a wife is not an achievement.  It’s a call by God and a covenant that takes great soul searching and reflection before embracing that responsibility.  Some of us find healthy relationships later in life, and we don’t fit into a Miss/Mrs. dichotomy.  And we don’t want Ms. being it’s own separate title either, because it continues to segregate women into various identity camps.

Men do not have to face the same division.  Before a man gets married, he’s a Mr.  When a man gets married, he’s a Mr.  When a man gets divorced or loses a spouse, he’s a Mr.  We should all embrace that women are like men: all the same no matter our marital status.

So today, let it be known that I am forever Ms. Michelle Torigian.  Or Rev. Michelle Torigian.  I am not Miss.  And when I get married I will not be Mrs.

I am me.