santa cruz wharf

30 July 2007

Manic Monday with Mo ~ Miss

When did I stop being “Miss” ?

Up until a very short time ago…I took for granted the common, everyday, ”may I help you Miss?” “you’re next Miss” “do you want fries with that Miss?”

Certainly when visiting in the south, or with people who have a military background (or from an incredibly smart ass child) I would hear the occasional “Yes, Ma’am”. Said with a sweet magnolia accent, or while standing at attention, or dripping with distain to an insistent Mommy the whole “Ma’am” thing was perfectly acceptable.

Store workers, food servers, airline attendants each treated me with some sense of solidarity. I seemed to be of the same era as most of the people I came in contact with.

No More.

These days all I get is “Ma’am” with that annoying differential tilt of the head as they take my money, my order, and provide assistance. Everyone is starting to look like they are twelve. No one cards me anymore…even when there are 6foot signs saying everyone has to show a valid ID. They are just waving me through…not even a courtesy glance at my driver’s license. Sheesh.

Yesterday a very attractive young men jostled me in the crowded aisle of an antique store, knocking a bag out of my hand. Taking my elbow and looking all concerned he apologized profusely. “Oh Ma’am…I am so sorry Ma’am… are you alright? Can I help you Ma’am?” What the hell happened to being laughingly flirtatious with a gentle hand on my back. Oh no…he is all respectful and courteous and acting like I am his e-phn’ grandmother.

C’MON…its not like he was twelve and I am eighty!!! There was MAYBE fifteen years difference between the two of us. I mean geez…I know I am no Demi Moore…but he certainly wasn’t boy Kutcher…and really… I don’t look like Methuselah YET. (by the way…who in her right mind gives up Bruce Willis for him ???)

I jerked my elbow from his limpy little hand, picked my own purchase up from the floor, smiled sweetly, and said, “ Ma’am?…are you joking?…are you twelve?” And gracefully strolled out the door.

For Mo over here.


Morgen said...

I know what you mean about them all looking twelve.
The last time I bought alcohol (maybe this is why I no longer drink...) the checkout girl just laughed and waved her hand dis-missively at my driver's license, in that clearly you're too old to be carded way... D'oh.

Morgen said...

I've often wondered the same thing in regards to Bruce Willis... she gave up him for that little scrawny punk?

Jamie said...

Arghhhhhhhhh! Shared pain. It's not just maam, but when giving my birthdate people used to look surprised ... they don't look surprised any more... waaaaaaaaaaaa

Mags said...

Ugh. I'm 31 and I am starting to loose the Miss too-how crazy.

And that is AWESOME that you jerked away and said that! You rock!!!!

Linda said...

I miss the miss and have been ma'm'd for way too long now! Oh well, at least they're showing some manners and not just calling me an "old bat"!

As for Bruce Willis - you got that right, I think Demi punk'd herself!

Sanni said...

I agree to mags: Well done, you so ROCK!

Hope you don´t mind I´ll try to be as quick-witted when I´m going to have my next "Ma´am" moment. We adress the elder people formally in Germany... and yes... seems to be I´m one of the "elder people" already. I can´t remember when the mess began - far too long ago, that´s for sure.

Anonymous said...

Not too long ago, I was walking down the street in Corvalis, Oregon when I happened by a college party going on. There were students drinking beer in the front yard and as I passed this one guy sees me and says loudly, "Afternoon, sir." like he was my friend or something. Out of reflex, I just replied "hello" and didn't realize it until much later when I could only complain to a friend in a bar; "Sir!?! What happened to 's'up dude, how about a beer'?

It was at that moment when I started calling people under thirty, 'little punks'.


Hammer said...

My uncle taught me to say miss, later on my dad corrected it to ma'am. I'm sure it gets on some people's nerves especially when I say it to women younger than me ;)

katherine. said...

Mo: damn...did you smack her? Bruce always piques my interest...sigh

jamie: they should preTEND to be surprised!

mags: I remember 31...sorta. Thanks. I probably shocked the guy!

Linda: ha! Demi did punk herself!

katherine. said...

Sanni: maybe we need to join ranks and object to the Ma'am tag!

Craig: not even "Sir, can we offer you a beer"? damn.

hammer: you say "Ma'am" to YOUNGER women? oh geeeezzzz

Mert said...

I'm so with you about Bruce Willis, he is so manly and yummy... Ashton is a skinny dork. Cute, but not quite man material. ;)

Great post, i am feeling the same way as you, as in- "Who you callin' ma'am?"

Travis said...

Excuse me Miss, is it ok if I call you Ma'am once in awhile? Or do you prefer darlin? Or perhaps sweetie? My dear? Baby cakes?

I'm thinking one or two of those might get me slapped.


Happy MM Ms K!

I Was Born2Cree8 said...

Oh that is priceless. I can sooo relate to this. In fact, you "must" see the short poem I wrote for my MM post. It ties in very well with this. Store clerks (where I use a credit card or member card with my name on it), Drs. receptionists, and other people like that tend to want to MRS before my last name... GRRRR... we're talking a pet peeve here. Anyway, I think you'll enjoy my poem, lol.

I have a project that I am asking everyones help with. On my blog you will find a Post It note at the top that will explain everything. Thanks for checking it out.

Mel said...

I'm surprised the little fella lived.

You were quite gracious. LOL

Matt-Man said...

They look younger and younger every day. On the upside,...well, I'll get back with you on that.