I have become a "Miss" again since moving into the deep South. "Miss" is a term given to elderly women as a sign of respect. A young person would NEVER call an older woman by her first name alone. Hence, I have become Miss Peggy for real.
I remember long ago, when I had first started teaching, being called "Miss" for the first time. I felt so old. This "Miss" was coupled with my last name and it was the first time I had been called that name. I had been a student, a young woman dating, a child of my parents, etc. I was Peggy to everyone. That "Miss" floored me.
Now I am "Miss" again, only this time I am Miss Peggy. My response to hearing myself referred this way was similar to when I first heard "Miss" attached to my last name. I immediately felt so OLD. In fact, every time I hear a younger person (maybe someone I feel is an adult contemporary) call me Miss Peggy, I give a start! I do not feel that OLD. Call me by my last name with a prefix of Miss and I will be OK. But by calling me Miss Peggy in public away from this blog, I feel insulted, especially if the person calling me that is not that much younger than I. I do not feel respected - just OLD.