Ma’am. A Southern Form of Polite Address

Some days you’re just out of sorts. Ya know? Have you ever been there? I’m willing to bet you have.

Yesterday was one of those days…and today hasn’t proven to be much better.

With a lot going on today and even more tomorrow, I showered and dressed in old shorts and top this morning, then shoved my feet into a pair of old sandals. No one would see me right?

Well, worse my freshly washed hair, had already air dried after the shower. I gave no thought of how it would look to anyone else, and simply ran a brush through it with a promise to do something with it later. I’m the only one in the house, right? Now I have fine, thin hair these days…but clean it looks thicker and easier to manage. It does help when I at least take the time to blow dry and give it a light spray.

I’d prepared enough dinner last night so hubby wouldn’t starve tonight, since he hadn’t agreed to go on a liquid diet with me. Whatever made me think he would? Since I’m on a liquid diet all day and until around four tomorrow afternoon, all I could think of was a bag of popcorn to munch on while I worked at the computer. Oops! Not one bite of food could I consume. Not a happy camper here.

There isn’t much to munch on when it’s liquid, Bouillon gives me protein and there is a bit of flavor. Chicken Bouillon, Beef Bouillon, I’d had enough. I gaze into the lime Jello I’d made, but it is too soft to fulfill the need to crunch down on something. I love eating ice, but then I remembered I’d purchased Italian Ice, which satisfied me for the moment, but decided to make a quick run to the grocery store to see what else I could find.

The need was so great that I forgot how I was dressed, not to mention the state my hair was in. I grabbed my wallet and keys, then jumped into the car.

I pulled in next to a handicap parking space. Great, I won’t have to walk too far. I was about to pass the empty handicap space when a little lady pulling into the space caused me to stop and wait for her to park before I tried to go around. (Actually I was afraid she might run over me the way she kept pulling back and forth.) Poor thing. But then I don’t really think she should have been driving in the first place. To make things worse, she sat so far down in the seat, she could barely look over the steering wheel. Dangerous, I thought. I wanted to ask if I could help, but didn’t want to insult her. So I didn’t.

As I’m about to enter the store, a young man asks me if I need any help. What? Did I really look as though I needed help? “No, but thank you,” I say.

I go to get a buggy and it was stuck. So I go to another, which was also stuck. A nice middle aged lady says, “Here, let me help you.” By now…being helped…played heavy on my mind. She jerked the buggy and out it came as easily as though it had been sprayed with WD-40.

I headed for the vegetable section to grab a head of lettuce for salad tomorrow night. I pulled off a plastic bag and dropped it. Yes, I dropped it. I bend down to pick it up to throw in the trash. An elderly man all but butts me in the head. “I’ll get that,” he says. I thank him, and instead of Iceberg lettuce, I grab a bag of Romaine lettuce and go forward in my search for anything that’s crunchable and liquid.

As fate would have it, wouldn’t you know, I run into a lady from our neighborhood. We chat for a few minutes and I excuse myself.

“Are you feeling okay?” she asks as I turn to walk away.

By now I’m beginning to get the picture.

I grab more Jello and another box of sugar-free Popsicles, then head to the check-out. I wanted out of the store, quick.

While I’m checking out, a little boy behind me, maybe nine or ten, says, “I’ll unload your buggy, Ma’am.” He was such a sweetie, all I could do was thank him. He was so proud of himself, as was his mother.

I wanted to cry. Ma’am. I’ve noticed I get this a lot lately. Do you think it has anything to do with the natural gray streak that’s extremely noticeable when I style the left side of my hair?

Okay. I promise myself not to go anywhere ever again without first making myself presentable. Ha. This is from the person who, when younger, wouldn’t even go to the mailbox without make-up!

I gotta run. There’s a Pineapple Popsicle in my future.

I wish you love, butterflies and music.

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14 thoughts on “Ma’am. A Southern Form of Polite Address

  1. I had to laugh when you said the buggy was stuck. Those things are always stuck! And I always seem to get the one that squeaks or steers sideways.
    I know what you mean – I get called “ma’am” by the young check-out clerks all the time. But it’s worse when the guy calls all the old ladies “miss” thinking it will flatter them.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. There’s a small store around here that I occasionally visit. The owner is originally from another country and I have a feeling English is about his fourth or fifth language – it’s far from perfect. He calls all the women, babe. I’m old enough to be his mother! I find it hysterically funny. But he always remembers me and knows why I am there, which is amazing because I’m probably only there a few times a year. But if I go in there and he’s not busy, he will talk my ears off. And who wants to correct a handsome younger man who calls you babe? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I see the scenario now, E! Probably someone told him American women liked to be called, “babe.” Reminds me of last night when hubby and I stopped by Lowe’s for two new water hoses and nozzles. Hubby asked a worker one short question that required a one word answer. We found out why he had scrapes on his arms and what hoses three different people in his neighborhood uses. Oh, and the small house he was waiting to move to when he retired shortly. He was married, but now a widower. The poor man needs someone to talk to, I think. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You had me laughing so hard I’m still wiping away the tears. “Ma’am”…I get that a lot now too. Man I hate that. Every time I stop and wonder, “how old am I”. What a day you’ve had. If I were on a liquid diet I’d be punching things by now. Kudos to you. What a wonderful spirit you have! Now I’m going back to re-read your post…too flipping funny! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • So glad you enjoyed the post, Leigh! And…then there’s when you go through the drive through for coffee and they give you a senior discount without asking your age. :O My savings are adding up! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, ma’am, (sorry, I couldn’t resist) my southern upbringing required one to call women ma’am even if they were younger than you if you didn’t know them and definitely say ma’am to anyone older than you. I smile when I remember my elderly father saying, “Yes, ma’am” to the twenty-something nurses tending him. It’s just a southern thing I guess. I still see it in small towns but not so much in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, Joan. Here in the South, we still call women, of any age, “Ma’am.” I guess it’s that when we reach a certain age, “Ma’am” kind of hits us in the birth age. I know my age, but most times don’t really feel it. So…Thank You, Ma’am. 🙂


  5. I have to laugh because my husband just got “sir”red for the first time, and he’s devastated. He’s so used to “dude.”
    Like you, I was always the girl who didn’t get the mail without my hair and makeup done. Nowadays, it never fails: I don’t bother, I’ll run into someone I don’t want to see me that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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