Monday, September 13, 2010

No "Ma'am?"

deep.honey is a Southerner who appreciates good manners.

Although a feminist, she still expects men to open doors for her, and frowns upon children addressing her by her first name if she doesn't know their parents.  It's Ms. (first name) to you, sonny!

Although she's still young and fabulous, she's rather old-school about these things.  Her parents raised her right, and she still addresses the senior citizens she meets outside of the office with "ma'am" or "sir," regardless of race, creed or color.

But deep.honey is older than 25, younger than 35, and finds herself being called "ma'am" with greater frequency.  It's freaking her out a little.  Walking into Up Against the Wall twice in the past year and being called ma'am on both occasions is more than a little unsettling.  It causes one to peer into the dressing room mirror and wonder if the neck and eye game are still on point, even though her skin is better now than at any other time in her life (finally found a good Black dermatologist).

When retail employees began to call her ma'am when she was in college, she thought it was funny, and appreciated being addressed with respect.  Re behavior and dress, deep.honey was always a little mature for her age.

Call her sensitive, but she's not finding it cool anymore.

Grown-ups who pay their own bills have to work hard at keeping it trend-conscious and age-appropriate without looking like mindless slaves to Forever 21, Lucky or People StyleWatch dictates.  deep.honey also dresses to make certain she doesn't look like anybody's mom.

*kicks nearest food-stained four-year-old to prove point*    

Yes, she recognizes that her problem with "ma'am" is just another facet of her neuroses, and it all has more to do with her own insecurities about getting older, rather than how she looks to college freshmen making minimum wage.   When she was working at Lerner in college, she probably called everyone "ma'am" too.

As long as she remembers that during the next time she gets a random "ma'am," and lets it blow past without a screwface and an "Exactly how old do you think I am?!!" back, she will be okay.

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