Please don’t call me ma’am.
I know it’s polite. I know it’s Southern. I’m Southern, and I’m usually polite. I even use the word “ma’am” often on others (so sorry if I ever offended you). I want my kids to use the word out of respect for their elders, and I beat it into them everyday. But that’s exactly why I don’t want you using it with me.
It’s a term you use with elders.
So please, if you’re older than 12, don’t call me ma’am (I’m totally OK with my kids’ friends using it on me – we’re all in this manners-making gig together!).
That includes (especially includes!) my babysitters. You’re all over 12. You’re more like 16 or 18. Some are even 22 or 24. I swear I was JUST 24. Literally. Just 24. I was you 5 minutes ago. I took care of children JUST LIKE MINE but was paid for it.
There’s no way a 24-year-old should me calling me ma’am.
You see, I still feel 24. I feel it (almost) everyday. I feel like college was yesterday – eh, maybe last month. Then I look in the mirror, I see my gaggle of children, I cut a preschool tuition check, or I get confused with some new technology, and I realize:
I’m so not 24.
But I am most certainly NOT a ma’am. So just STOP calling me ma’am.
And while we’re on the subject of making me feel older than I am, one more thing: When you’re scanning my groceries, and my Chardonnay passes that little beeping thing, please don’t pause, look at me, and consciously decide you don’t need to check my ID. What makes you pause and not ask for it? Is it the four children who are closer in age to you than you are to me? Is it the desperate look on my face as I will you to hurry up because I am supposed to be somewhere 5 minutes ago? Do I need more eye cream and less mini-van?
Just humor me and ask for my ID. I really don’t mind getting my license out of my purse (unless, of course, my 3-year-old is melting down, then I truly do feel my age and no amount of schmoozing is gonna take 10 years off).
So call me “Hey, Girl!”
Call me “Mrs. Perry.”
Call me “Cherie Perry.”
I really will answer to anything.
Just please don’t call me ma’am. I just need like 10 more years to settle into this “getting old” thing, then I’ll be totally cool with ma’am (yes, I realize that using the word “cool” warrants you using “ma’am” with me. Vicious cycle.)