Oil of Oy Vey

Holiday text to a Friend: “And – totally off topic – i feel REALLY fucking old lately, and if one more person calls me ma’am i’m liable to shoot them and then myself.
Ho ho ho! Meeeerry Christmas!”

My husband doesn’t think this is funny. When I ask him if he’ll still love me when my turkey wattle of an Oil of Olay neck quivers in the breeze, no laughter. When I examine my eyes and say things like, “What if my upper lids and brow droop like the bangs of a Sheepdog? What if I have English Sheepdog skin flaps that BLIND me…..do you think our health insurance covers that?” To this he just says, “Oh, Jesus Christ.”

But my lady friends, they understand. Especially on the “ma’am” score. Is there a worse word? There are days, most of which premenstrual, where I think I’d far prefer being called “stupid bitch.” “Thank you for shopping at Target today, stupid bitch. Have a nice day.”
Okay, no. But still.

It just mystifies me why every single service industry person (especially those whom rely heavily upon tips) does not call me “miss”. I would tip them a bajillion dollars! Every single time. One bajillion dollars. I know very well I’m being patronized. I know very well my potential liver spots are but a harsh florescent light away from exposure, but – if it’s done sweetly – I will totally bask in the momentary bliss of “miss”, regardless.

But the situation isn’t going to improve, we all know this. So I’ve decided the next time I’m free to enjoy some nightlife I’m going to pass on the nightclubs themselves. Instead I’ll get dolled up and head out to the finest nursing home in town. If there isn’t a “well hello, young lady” waiting for me there……


One thought on “Oil of Oy Vey

  1. Rose

    I don’t know. Remembering my days in the service industry, it was often a can’t-win scenario – unless you were crazy good at reading people, you never knew if a particular title would insult or please them. Maybe it’s just growing up in a third-generation feminist family, but even when I was obviously young, I never much liked “miss” – it felt minimizing, somehow, like I was inconsequential because I happened to be an unmarried woman.

    Frankly, I’d always thought of “ma’am” as the safe choice, as it’s a term of respect that doesn’t imply a particular age, but it seems public opinion’s shifting towards “ma’am” being fuddy-duddy. So why doesn’t “sir” imply “old man”? And what’s the safe choice now?


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