I’m Not 35

April 17, 2008 at 10:00 pm 5 comments

How old do you have to be before someone calls you ma’am?

I’m thinking mid 30s, since this is around the time when most people have kids (which is the right age to be called ma’am and sir).  But there I was walking out of the grocery store, after I thanked the worker for bagging my groceries, when he said “your welcome ma’am.”  Are you kidding me?  I’m 21!  Lots of times people think I’m still in high school and ask what grade I’m in, but today I’m 35?  This age gap is way too big; clearly, something needs to be done.

Maybe the only way to fight back is to call 20 somethings “kids” and anyone above “pops.”  That’ll teach em.


Entry filed under: Random Mumblings. Tags: , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. glamour girl fan  |  April 17, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I don’t know which is worse, being called ‘ma’am’ or being called ‘hun’. I was out to lunch with my boss a couple months ago and the waitress said to me, “and what would you like ‘hun”. It made me feel so unprofessional! I think “miss” should be the universal greeting.

  • 2. Zosimus the Heathen  |  April 18, 2008 at 8:27 am

    This reminds me of a time I came to your part of the world for a vacation (I’m Australian), and was catching a bus in Austin, Texas. A female passenger who got on after me asked the driver a question, ending it with “sir”, and got a rather snarkish-sounding response that ended with “sir” (a very deliberate one in that case) too. This prompted me to take another look at the driver (who I thought was a man myself), and “Holy shit! That’s a woman!” So the moral of this little anecdote? Um, there’s worse things than being called “ma’am”, I suppose!

  • 3. johnny five  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    while a certain amount of advanced age is ‘distinguishing’ for men, it doesn’t carry such positive connotations for women. result: a 21-year-old man would be honored, even flattered, to be called ‘sir’, but, as in your case, a 21-year-old woman wolud feel slighted at being called ‘ma’am’.

    here’s the problem, though: there isn’t really a better alternative. you could try ‘miss’, but that will make women who’ve caught the feminist p.c. virus jump down your throat. if you’re Southern like me, you can get away with ‘sweetheart’ with the right crowd. but there’s no equivalent.

  • 4. Ida  |  April 20, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    i think it was a kind of mechanical response, you know, without any pre-thinking&he didn’t mean it personally. i am pretty sure he calls all ladies “ma’am” regardless of their age. i do hope he can tell a child from an adult, though ;)))

  • 5. Ava V  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    johnny five,
    your right in that there is not alternative, but a simple “your welcome” would have sufficed.

    let’s hope he has someway to distinguish a 10 year old from a 30 year old.


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