When I first moved in to the house in South Ogden, next door to skip and his family, I had no need to really address him. he was just the dad of my friends. I was even a little frightened by him and mostly just stayed out of his way. As I have said before, before the abuse came the "courting" of both my family and me. he started talking to me and actually being nice to me. Very nice. I needed to call him something besides D or T's dad. he was an adult so calling him by his first name seemed odd. Because he was a grown up, very intimidating, and I felt very inferior, I started calling him sir. he seemed to like it so I figured it was acceptable.
I called him sir for the whole time he courted and abused me. I realize now how much he must have relished the term and how very much it tells about my feelings of the trust and influence he had over me.
When I began working at his dental office, I was told by his daughter, T, that we were to call him dr. nielsen. It was not a suggestion or a request. It was a demand.
When I would see him at church, most often on the stand with the Bishop, I was to call him brother nielsen. Strange that he would do whatever he wanted to me the day before but act righteous at church and feign deserving of the title, brother.
It was not that he ever earned my actual respect, he just liked to hear himself referred to in those terms.
Also, he absolutely despised being called mister nielsen. I guess Mr. was too generic?
On a side note, I once referred to him as skip in front of others. he said that my saying that had really turned him on and he liked it. I never said it again.
From that time on, I have had a very difficult time with terms of respect. First, my respect is not given just because of a position or calling. One has to show through both word and action that they should receive it. Second, just saying the words sir, doctor, or brother, gives me to chills. I hate them.
But I know that these terms can and should be used.
My brother is a Lt. Col. in the USAF and he has gone to school and worked very hard for many, many years at prosecuting criminals. He deserves respect. He deserves to be called sir.
The many doctors with whom I work have become experts in what they do and on numerous occasions have used their position and knowledge to better or even save my life. You bet I respect them and calling them Dr. is something they have earned.
A few months ago I took my daughter with me to one of my numerous appointments. This one happened to be with our very good friend, Dr. Scott Stallings. When we walked into the office, busy with patients and medical personnel, my daughter spotted Scott and yelled, "Scotty!" across the whole room. Everyone started to laugh and his face went bright red as he laughed and yelled "Jain!" right back to her.
Although it was a comical moment, I realized that I was passing down my "lack of respect" to my children. They should understand that at times it may be appropriate to show a little respect, at least verbally. I will try to work on that with them.
But as for "Scotty" honestly, can they be expected to respect a person who owns a blue wig and may or may not wear it to BYU games?