I am going out on a limb here once again and say we, women, remember the very first times of many things. Well, yeah!
Our first kiss, our first formal dance, the first time we had a ‘real’ boyfriend, our first speeding ticket…..and on and on it goes. When we reach ‘our’ age, there are many firsts to remember.
Remember the first time you were called a ‘Ma’am’? Hated it then and I hate it now. I was taken aback and wondered just how old did she think I was?! Yes, it was directed in my direction (!!) from a young woman, who, by the way, is now a ‘ma’am’ herself. Growing older smartened her up I’m sure. Well, maybe not.
It made me feel older than I was and I was ticked off at the stupidity of it all.
Also, I hate, absolutely HATE, young waitresses, young women at the stores and in every other job and in all walks of life, who call me their ‘sweetie’, ‘sweetheart’, ‘honey’, ‘baby’ ‘darling’ and every other term of endearment that is directed to me every day. I am NOT their whatever and I want to say it. Rather, scream it but I never do. My fault. I want to but I don’t. But should I? I certainly don’t want to appear as an ‘old bitch’ or ‘old bitty’!! Do I really care at my age what others think about me? Hate to admit it but there it is.
Now, granted, I live in the deep South. Georgia is the deep South. Was and is. I got my very first speeding ticket in a tiny little town in Georgia before there was a Rte 95. Everyone driving to Florida had to slow down in the middle of all the small towns. I didn’t in one and there he was. Sirens blasting! A big fat ticket of $50 which I could pay him in CASH or wait and go to court on Monday. It was Saturday. Boy, did he see me coming! I was on my way to the University of Miami, Sophomore year, top down in my Mustang. OUCH.
Not smart. In fact, very dumb. Handed him $50 cash and off I went crying (sobbing) my eyes out at my stupidity and the lack of the $50 in my pocket. There is nothing worse then and now than being taken advantage of. Never did like it. The very worse part of this story is that the Officer took my money and then had the audacity of saying, ‘Thank you sweetie’.
My distaste for those terms of endearment probably began that day in that tiny little Georgia town.
I believe it is a lack of respect. I’m not sure if the younger generations think that way but, since I am a girl who has my roots in New Jersey, I believe it is. I would never have thought to say to an older woman ‘thank you sweetie’ or ‘honey’ or ‘baby’!! NEVER. Maybe in Georgia it is merely the way these young women are brought up. Young children are reared to say ‘Yes, Ma’am’ and ‘No, Ma’am’ as a courteous response. Cringe.
Every time I hear it, I think back at the very first time I became that ‘Ma’am’. One of those not-so-nice memories.
Oh well. Whatcha gonna do Sweetie?