I'm Just Saying…

March 3, 2012

Excuse Me Ma’am…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jillamyrosenblatt @ 10:07 pm
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                I suppose it had to happen eventually. I got Ma’amed. There I was, dutifully working at my day job, taking a meeting with a vendor. The meeting  ends. He stands up. I stand up. He offers his hand and says… “Thank you Ma’am.”

                Ma’am? Ma’am????

                 I have to tell you, at that moment my breasts sagged… at least an inch.  I looked behind me hoping to find a woman in a polyester pants suit desperately needing to wash that gray right out of her hair.

                No such luck.

                What a difference a ma’am makes. One day, you’re strolling in the sunshine, the air sweet, the flowers blooming along with your self confidence .  The next, you’re growing a hump, popping meds for osteoporosis, and shopping for your inaugural pair of compression stockings for varicose veins.

                I have to tell you, it’s a bitch.

A Ma’am By Any Other Name…

                Granted, today’s 40 is not your grandma’s 40. My grandma used to visit us and she had the whole Nana package, down to the print housedress and the stockings rolled down to the knees. .. and she was only 39.

                Okay, that’s not true but you get my point.

                Today’s 40 (or a little older) is almost indistinguishable from our younger, more limber counterparts. Technically, I can do everything a 30 year old can… I just need to stretch a little more before… and after.

                Okay, I need to stretch a lot.

                The point is, is it possible I have lost my youthful aura? Maybe I’m giving off a vibe that says, “To hell with it, give me the Mom jeans. I’m not in the mood to pop the top button so I can eat my dinner in peace.”

                It’s really the implication of the ma’am that I object to. Ma’am implies aging, a slowing down,  moving out of the zone of all things stylish, things trending right now. I think I may be out of the loop so I take an inventory. iPod? Nope. iPad? Nah. Kindle? I’ve seen one, but I’m still lugging books in my carry on luggage that can be used as doorstops.

                Pretty soon I’m motoring down memory lane at top speed. I remember phone booths… vinyl records… I remember when there were twelve channels on television. TWELVE… And remember when MTV actually played music videos… ?

                Right now, there is at least one person shaking their head and saying, “No Ma’am, I surely don’t.”

                No one likes a wiseass. I’m just saying.

Making Ma’am Work for Me

                There could be another explanation. My vendor guy was slinging a bunch of BS in that meeting. He knew it. And so did I. Maybe in my “Miss” years I wouldn’t have known it but as a “Ma’am” I knew. I was polite but firm. We ended the meeting. He wasn’t making the sale. Maybe I shouldn’t take the “Ma’am” as an insult even if he meant it that way. Maybe Ma’am is the sign of a smart, self-assured woman who knows what’s going on and how to handle a situation.

                I should be proud to be a Ma’am…

                Yeah, right.

                My mind is made up. I will not go down without a fight. I am not resigned to a life of staid, stuffy adulthood. I’m too childish for that. No, like Seinfeld’s George Costanza, I will do the opposite. I will get eyebrow threading, purchase a Kindle, and put on some crackle nail polish (the latest trend I might add, and I keep up with trends, oh yes I do). On the cultural highway of life, you will not catch me asleep at the wheel. I’m in the fast lane baby and I’m going to stay there.  A Miss, now and forever.

                And I still have the ass to prove it.

                Sort of.

 

 

 

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2 Comments »

  1. HA! Love this. I’m now firmly on the downslope of my 40’s, and you know what’s worse than being called “Ma’am?” Being called “Miss,” by a younger person who knows I’ll hate “ma’am,” when we both KNOW I ain’t no “miss.” There’s really no good solution, I’m sorry to say!

    Comment by Anne @ The Frump Factor — March 5, 2012 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  2. Funny, ladies. I almost got “mam’ed” to death when I taught at The Citadel (a military college in Charleston, SC). I had t owear an Army lieutenent’s uniform — even though I wasn’t in the service — and my students literally fell over themselves with the “Ma’m, yes Ma’m” or Ma’m, no ma’m” business. They also had to salute me, which was really embarrassing. I guess after that experience, I’ve grown accustomed to it. After all, there are worse things for a woman to be called!

    Comment by Jenny Joczik — March 12, 2012 @ 9:57 pm | Reply


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