Am I justified at being irked by my cousins calling my father "Daddy"?

My father quit the scene when I was 6. My mom’s brother did a lot of Dad type stuff for us and is one of the most influential people in my life.

I send my uncle a fathers’ day card every year. I have never called him Dad, My dad, daddy and certainly not “my daddy”. In fact, over 20 years ago I stopped calling him “Uncle Ted” and just call him “Ted” (unless I’m talking to my son, who calls him “Uncle Ted”).

If I were at a family event and was (let’s just say) slicing up a pie and my cousin was standing near me I might pass a piece and say “Would you take this to Ted?” or possibly “Hand this to your dad, please”. I don’t see how for me to say to them “get my daddy some coffee” (and mean their dad) could come across as anything to them but me trying to assert my place as a member of their family, which I am but also am not.

To the question in your OP my answer is yes, you are justified. It’s irksome, and also creepy and weird. I also think it isn’t worth raising a flapdoodle over, but I think hardly anything’s worth that. Besides, you didn’t ask what you should do, only if being bugged by it is reasonable. I say it most certainly is.

Yes - you are justified but be prepared for people to feel otherwise. Families and relationships and words get strange sometimes. In my family, most of us first cousins are pretty tight; more like one huge family or household. This caused some confusion when they started having kids. Here I am, the same age as their uncles or aunts but not an uncle and with my wife not being an aunt.

One of the girls, when she was about 4, kept going back and forth between calling me Uncle and Cousin until one day when she came up to me looking all confused and said “Uncle Kopek? Are you Uncle Kopek or Cousin Kopek?” Without thinking at all I said “Since I live closer to West Virginia than any of the rest of the clan, maybe I’m Uncle Cousin Kopek?”. Well, it stuck -------- and now I am forever Uncle Cousin to about 18 people now ranging from say 16-25.

Most everyone enjoys it and understands it, that its partly a joke and partly admitting we’re an abnormally (by US standards) tight-knit family. One cousin though turns red any time its said around him because he thinks “it makes us sound like a bunch of hicks”. So around him we just avoid it.

The long and short is, talk to them about how you feel. It may not change the world but it may make them aware that you have comfort levels that need respected as well.

How does your father feel about it?

Can the people who are bothered explain why? I’m not getting it. I have three teenagers so at present there are some dozen or so kids who call me dad on a regular basis. I just can’t imagine one of my kids being upset about it.

My entire relationship with my father is based on not talking about stuff. On balance that’s probably a bad idea, but it’s not about to change.

Oh, I don’t see any need to talk to her about it. She lives hundreds of miles away. I see her only on holidays, and she’s overly dramatic anyway. Why borrow trouble?

Apropos of nothing, this cousin is in a bitter dispute with her brother for reasons I will not discuss here. The other day she was complaining about him and decided to accuse him of being homosexual (a big deal among the Rhymers, as most of us are fundies). The precise term she used was pussy-sucker. I thought that…odd…to say the least. My experience has always been that homosexual mean, by definition, avoid the practice labeled by that term, and that women, almost unanimously, approve of having it done.

But Rhymers are crazy.

Oh, that was pretty much my plan anyway. I was just wondering if my mute irritation was justified.

Part of the reason I thought I might be being unreasonable is that my son’s sister, no genetic relationship to anyone in the family and not really my stepdaughgter (though I often refer to her as such), calls me “Poppy,” and my father “Granddaddy.” It’s a somewhat different situation, though, since my parents did take her, my son, and their mother in when she was young and always treated her as no less a grandchild than my sisters’ kids. It doesn’t bother me when she does that; nor does it seem to bother my sisters’ kids, who blithely call her Cousin. Thus I wondered if I were being hypocritical, as I so often am.

“I knew your daddy. He was a fine man. Now, I’ll be happy to take some coffee over to your Uncle Gary for you.”

I’m surprised to be in the minority, but this wouldn’t bother me at all.

Are you surprised because you thought most others would feel as you do, or are yousurprised because you are usually in the majority in such matters?

It would irritate me. Both the “daddy” and the “my”. One can have a father figure in one’s life w/o having to call that person “daddy”, “dad” or “father”. They sound immature and rather annoying (and IMO they know it’s bothering you, but that’s just MO).
Not much you can do about it except remind them as stated above that you knew their dad etc.

I just thought most others would feel as I do.

This is only tangential to the topic at hand (but when did that every stop me?), but I do recall when I was younger, that if I were introduced to a friend’s grandmother, I would immediately just call her “Grandma”. But never MY grandma. They all seemed to find it funny. But then, there is something universal about Grandmas that (IMO) dads don’t share.
On further reflection, I probably wouldn’t mind the Dad so much, but the MY kills it for me.

I think you should call them on it. Next time one of them does it, shout back at her, “WHO’S YOUR DADDY? WHO’S YOUR DADDY? WHO’S YOUR DADDY?”

If you can set this up to happen while you’re standing in a bedroom, with the rest of the family in earshot, it might break her of the habit.

“Daddy” wouldn’t bother me in and of itself, unless it was actually what she called her own father prior to his death. It’s fairly common around here for people to call close friends’ parents or grandparents by some name that means mother/father/grandparent but isn’t what they actually call their own relatives. It’s a way of acknowledging that someone is like family while still differentiating them from your own actual family.

My daddy,” otoh, would get right up my left nostril. You only use possessive pronouns about relatives when you want to distinguish them from someone else’s relatives–it’s a way of distinguishing my daddy from your daddy from our boss’s daddy. It would annoy me if my brother pulled that “my” stuff when talking to me about our father, because it implies that Dad is his father but not mine. If someone who wasn’t even his child did it…grrr.

There’s already enough drama amongst the Rhymers, thankyouverymuch. Besides, she won’t be coming here for Turkey Day, as her brother is coming, and I plan to spend Xmas alone, wallowing in self-pity and bemoaning my wasted youth. It’s either that or a movie.

I hear the new Sherlock Holmes is opening Christmas day. :smiley: Tony Stark as Sherlock looks uber :wink:

I was thinking. What if next time she says “my daddy” you just look at her quizzically and say “Who?” like you have no idea what she’s talking about.

It might be simple enough to just set her off guard and make her realize what she’s saying and who she’s saying it to.

Nah. I’ll just let my sisters handle it. I think they’ve grown past the need to handle slights with fistifcuffs.

I call my parents “Momma” and “Daddy” although I 36 years old but I am from Louisiana where that is normal. My family is really good at divorce and remarriage (repeat) so we always have family members cycling in and out. This type of thing has come up a number of times and it has always pissed me off to no end. A parent (or grandparent relationship for that matter) is very specific and can only be conferred through birthright or adoption. Anyone else using those terms for your own parents or grandparents is offensive in my view. I have a stepfather who is a much better person than my own father and helped to raise me even more but he isn’t my father and that was made clear from Day 1 on both sides. He has his own sons, my very good stepbrothers, and I don’t want to intrude on their territory either. There is one exception to this. In Southern culture, it is perfectly acceptable to call really close, older family friends “Aunt” or “Uncle” as a form of endearment and that is complimentary rather than offensive.

Yeh, I say fuck them for wanting a little bit of comfort by calling your dad “Daddy”. If I was you I’d make a really big stink about the whole thing so that everyone felt uncomfortable. Maybe you can even start a physical fight. After all some pointless arbitrary decision about who can call who what is the basis of civilized society.

Just let it go, they aren’t doing it to piss you off.

Have you read a single post I’ve written in this thread?

I never once suggested that I was going to give them grief over this. I declined to confront them during the family dinner. I was wondering if I was overreacting to be mildy vexed at hearing someone not my sibling call my father “My daddy.”

I think you are really off base on this. How would you like it if people just started using inappropriate terms for members of your family, your friends, or even your love interests? There are lots of ways to do that. The term “best friend” is flattering but it better only be used by one person sincerely or there are some relationship politics going on. A parent/child relationship is much more defined almost as a matter of fact and other people shouldn’t try to impinge on that yet some people do.