During my 30’s until my mid 40’s I worked for a conservative company based in the South. I was a field sales person on the West Coast and had an in house assistant. We were about the same age but a different status with-in the company. I asked her to call me by my first name but she told me she could not. To her I was Miss Haralee. When I asked her a question, she replied yes Ma’am or no Ma’am. Being from the East Coast and the West Coast, I first thought she was sassing me, and it took me a while to understand she was showing me respect.
Away from the South, we all have that moment when you are first called Ma’am and look around or do not respond until you realize it is you. You have grown up and you are now the Ma’am. That is not to say that you are now old, but let’s face it, no hot babe is being Ma’amed! To be honest when was the last time you were called Miss? Has there been a time when you were called Miss with a patronizing tone?
Do waiters and waitresses refer to you and another woman friend as ladies, or is it girls, or gals? When the staff brings your beverage do they say Miss, or Ma’am, or ask which one of you ‘guys’ gets the house red? Let’s be real; if you are menopausal, you are a Ma’am. Embrace it! I think the South has it right. Ma’am is a form of respect and civility that I have grown into and enjoy, Yes Ma’am.
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