A Word from Mr. Kristen McClusky’s Wife

Posted: November 15th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Got my knickers in a twist and sent this letter to the head of my former prep school today.

A justifiable rant, or am I off my rocker?

Dear Dan:

As an alumna and lifelong fan of Wheeler, I want to thank you for the great job you’ve done helping me feel connected to all that’s happening at the school. I appreciate hearing about everything from curricular enrichment to campus development, how my donation dollars are being spent, and even being kept in the loop in times of tragedy. All these things have made me feel closer to the Wheeler community than I have in years. If I didn’t live 3,000 miles away, I’d send my daughters to Wheeler in a heartbeat.

I’m sure it’s in that same spirit of inclusion that somewhere along the line correspondence to me from the school started to be addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Mark McClusky.” My husband has attended some Wheeler events with me, and even he commented on how odd it is that as a result my own name has dropped off all mail from the school.  

I know this is likely is a matter of old-world etiquette. And in that vein, it makes me ponder whether Mary C. Wheeler herself was ever married. I don’t believe she was, but I can’t help but wonder if she had been–even back in 1889–whether she’d have named her progressive all-girls school something akin to The Mrs. John C. Smith School.

It appears that you are mindful about how you present your own name in school correspondence–sometimes signing with the familiar “Dan” rather than using your full name and title. I’ll continue to look forward to receiving news from Wheeler. I just hope that going forward you’ll be as thoughtful about how you address the envelopes as you are about their contents.

Kristen Bruno McClusky, ’85


9 Comments on “A Word from Mr. Kristen McClusky’s Wife”

  1. 1 Andrea Reiser said at 7:42 am on November 16th, 2008:

    You go, Mrs. Mark McClusky ’85!

  2. 2 Becca said at 12:23 pm on November 16th, 2008:

    Oh, my knickers are in a similar twist after we got a letter addressed to Dr. and Mrs. Ansari from a place that previously had our information correctly listed as Dr. and Mr. Apparently, someone thought the first version just COULDN’T be right and added the phantom ‘s’…. assholes

  3. 3 Megan said at 10:10 am on November 17th, 2008:

    Most definitely justifiable. And, if I may say, a most eloquent rant.

  4. 4 Mimi Towle said at 3:26 pm on November 19th, 2008:

    well – not off your rocker, but.. you coulda just written him a simple request.

    then again – it was a lovely rant. ;)

  5. 5 melanie perlman baron said at 6:37 pm on December 28th, 2009:

    ok, PLEASE tell me how this ended – did he reply? Did you get new address labels made in the alumni office?

  6. 6 kristen said at 9:53 am on March 24th, 2010:

    hey melanie!

    i recently unearthed the letter that i got back from the head of school. (thank god i’m a pack rat.) so very sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. i’d been meaning to post a follow-up to my initial rant anyway, so thank you thank you for prompting me.

    here’s what i got, dated nov. 21, 2008:

    Dear Kristen:

    Thanks for your letter of November 16th. I am gratified that you find the school communications interesting and useful. We’re always tinkering with the best ways to keep our alumnae connected.

    Your question of “old-world etiquette” is certainly a good one, and not picayune at all. You have probably already heard from Tina Gorski-Strong [I had], but I will make sure we use the proper for [sic] of address in future communications.

    I look forward to seeing you before too long.

    Best wishes,


    okay, so here’s the thing. i liked this letter, and really appreciated getting it. i’d had a hunch that dan was a good egg, and hearing back from him so promptly, and with such a nice note, reinforced that.

    but then last month i was home in RI and went by wheeler to show my girls the school. in our meanderings i stopped by dan’s office to introduce myself and to say a quick hello. after shaking his hand i mentioned something like “i was the snarky one who wrote the letter about how mail is addressed to me.” and here’s the thing. he looked at me and said, “oh yeah? i didn’t see that. someone else must have read that for me.”

    so, was he kidding? of course, i was looking forward to an old-fashioned hatchet burial—or just a nice brief chat with him—but when he made that comment and then had to run off to a meeting i was left devoid of the warm fuzzies. should i assume he was dead-panning? giving me a taste of my own snarky medicine?

    interpretations welcomed.

  7. 7 Katrina said at 8:28 pm on February 21st, 2012:

    Justifiable rant, most def’.

  8. 8 kasey said at 6:34 am on May 22nd, 2012:

    That is fabulous!! I detest getting mail addressed to Mr. and Mrs. forget that I exist b/c I’m only less than half of my husband! Always makes me miss my grandmother and her lovable, but formal ways, but come on!!

  9. 9 kristen from motherload said at 3:39 pm on May 22nd, 2012:

    Ha! Happy you can relate, Kasey. Well, not happy that it happens to you too and bugs you. :)

    You are really going into the archive and reading some old posts. Love that!

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