I wish I could remember the first time it happened. I'm sure that time was the most scarring. Maybe it's the increase in crow's feet around my eyes, or the engagement ring on my finger, or the frumpy sweaters I've been wearing this winter, but I seem to be getting called "ma'am" more and more often.
And I don't like it one bit.
Sure, I'm turning 35 in a couple months. But HUMOR ME people! "Ma'am" makes me feel like I'm 67. Grocery checkers and restaurant hosts and theater ushers would put smiles on so many more middle-aged women's faces if they would just refer to us all as "miss." Not so hard. But oh so very effective and endearing.
Mr. Wonderful knows how much I hate the word, so every now and then even he will give me a "no ma'am" answer when asked a question. I yell at him every time and he just smiles wickedly.
I'm sure there are people out there who appreciate being called ma'am. When Mr. W and I were in Arezzo, Italy, we listened to a British woman correct a sweet teenage Italian server because he called her "misses" instead of "ma'am." She was 108 years old, I think. You know who else probably appreciates being called ma'am? Trannies.
Speaking of which, I had my bachelorette party last weekend and about 20 of my friends headed to a transvestite bar in West Hollywood with me for dinner and drinks. The girls dressed me up as a disco bride—with "something blue" platform shoes, fake eyelashes, silver glitter eyeshadow, and of course a sparkly veil. As the night wore on and the drinks kept landing in my mouth and the trannies kept coercing brides-to-be onto the stage (there were 4 of us, apparently Hamburger Mary's is a popular spot for bachelorette parties) I added a pair of candy underwear to my getup. And yes, I let a gay man eat off the butt crack portion of them. Because I'll never have an opportunity like that again after I'm married.
There were some outrageous Ma'am Mans at the bar, singing for us.
One of my girlfriends was going to the bathroom and the lovely lady above was standing nearby. When my friend passed, she slipped on the bottom of the lady's satiny gown and took a digger that left her with a bruised knee. Maybe if she has said, "Excuse me, ma'am" beforehand, it wouldn't have happened.
I might need to do some research and head back to Hamburger Mary's to find out whether the "girls" there would rather be called "miss" or "ma'am." Miss is just so much more benign. I would use it all the time if I were working out in the public. It's irritating that men don't have a young man's versus old man's word for mister. I'm sure a bunch of men got together back in the days of developing Latin and decided to punish women by inventing a word to make them feel like aging hags...
But seriously, would you ever see the innocent, young girl below and call her "ma'am"?
I didn't think so.