So I had an altercation with a traffic cop yesterday that set my whole day off on a bad note. I couldn’t figure out what was bugging me more; his abuse of authority or his tone when he called me ma’am. Both were unwelcomed. Maybe he was having a bad day, although it was 9am and the day was young but directing traffic for hours on end has to get to a person after a while. Then I got to thinking about the ma’am thing. I don’t think any woman any age likes the word ma’am except maybe when you are role playing with your partner and he is the pool boy to your lady of the house. And even then I would prefer goddess divine. I have been ma’amed since my early twenties, a function of being tall. People think tall means old. I didn’t care so much then because I was young and all the ma’amers were wrong. Now, as I am approaching forty, I guess ma’am is appropriate but still unwelcomed. Every time I get it, a reflex pops and I think hey, no, you are incorrect. I am still a sexy hot thing and not a ma’am. What is a better alternative? Miss? I don’t hate Miss. I would prefer Miss, even if it isn’t the appropriate way to address a woman. When it comes to age and feeling old, what’s appropriate can go suck it. Give me an ego stroke of Miss anytime.
The dictionary converts ma’am to madam and states madam is a woman of refinement. Some synonyms listed were just the same word in other languages: frau, senora, madame. The only interesting synonym was madonna. Pop diva aside, the dictionary goes on to define madonna as “my lady”. At first I thought this was ok but recalled a recent dinner experience in Florida where the overzealous server kept referring to me as “ma’ lady”. “Is ma’ lady finished?” “Can I remove the dish for ma’ lady?” Ugghh! I wanted to boot him out onto the sand shortly after the appletizer (how my son says appetizer) was served.
In the scheme of things, this is no big deal and I should be spending my time solving the real problems of the world. If you hadn’t heard the news, I am now qualified to solve world issues, just being named a superhero by my son.
“Mama, you’re superhero name is Pretty Woman because you make everything pretty. And I am beautiful because I love you.”
No truer words were ever spoken. These sweet little words have the power to wash everything else away, the big hurting words and the little annoying ones. So bring on the ma’ams, I will just deflect them with my indestructible gold bracelets.