A Starbucks barista handed me my change yesterday and said, "Thank you, miss."
I nearly kissed her on the mouth.
"Miss." What a lovely term to hear when you are on the other side of the IHOP senior menu.
Because what I hate with a passion? Is being called "ma'am."
Ugh. Ick. Feh. Gag. Barf.
DON'T call me that. My 78-year-old pole-dancing MOTHER doesn't even want to be called that.
But that does beg the question: What should we women of a certain age (or respectability) be called?
Because honestly? "Miss," though kind and gentle on the aging ears, is probably not appropriate for a married mother of five -- all but one of whom is over 18!
Now guys have it a little easier: "Sir."
You may think that "sir" is your father. But think about it. It's also a title for a person who has been recognized by the British monarchy. Pretty special, huh? A picture of distinguishment and virtue.
But "ma'am"? Someone's aged grandma, right?
So I was thinking about the alternatives, cuz, really? There aren't a lot of choices.
The feminine equivalent of "sir" (anglophilically speaking) would be "dame."
"Thank you, dame" just seems a little creepy and brings to mind some ship-bound sailors who are starved for some feminine attention after being shipwrecked in an aging Rodgers and Hammerstein production.
Of course there is always the Jerry Lewis way: Hey, LAY-DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! (With apologies, of course, to Mr Lady, who IN NO WAY sounds like Jerry Lewis -- I don't think.)
Poo. There is just no good answer to this one, except to continue to get the ickies when some pimply-faced teenage grocery store bagger asks me if I need any help out, MA'AM!!!!
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On another completely unrelated topic, linked only by the obtuse coffee reference in the first line of this post:
The coffee from the lunchroom machines at my office has a reputation for being N.A.S.T.Y.
It is not undeserved.
Imagine my surprise and delight when, after sliding my dollar into the magic slot, lights blinked and beepers beeped and my portrait of George Washington slid back out at me.
"Winner! Winner! Winner!" the machine burbled with delight.
"Whoohoo," exclaimed an excited Janet, always loving a free cup of coffee (or whatever that crap is really).
So I watched the cup fill ... and then stop.
At about the two-thirds mark.
Yes, I got a free cup of coffee from The Man this morning.
But he cheated me out of my just desserts.
Wait. Did someone just say desserts?
Anyone for pie?