Thursday, April 3, 2008

How to Know For Sure You're Middle Aged

I have no illusions that I am a spring chicken.

My birth certificate and driver's license say I'm 48, and I'm not about to try to hide it. I've got lines, saggy upper arms, some gray hairs, blah, blah, blah -- in other words, I am More magazine's target audience.

But that's just what people see on the outside. Inside (except for the times I see teenagers speeding in my neighborhood or young women with their thongs riding above their low-rise jeans or kids skateboarding without helmets and pads) I'm about 25.

Except for the days I'm 15.

And the occasional afternoons when I'm 9.

Which is why what happened yesterday stung a bit.

I'm about to go back to work. Like, in an office. I've been a freelance writer and editor for awhile now, but as of April 14, I will be a real live part-time employee, with a parking decal, a W-4, and my very own taupe cube I can decorate according to my personal style. (Clutter is my signature look.)

Rest assured you will hear a lot more about that in coming posts, as I already run short of hours every single day even without spending half my week away from home. But what I want to tell you is this:

Yesterday, as my new boss was walking me out of the building, I asked her a question. And she answered me, "Yes, ma'am."

Oh. my. Gawd.

We are going to have to nip this in the bud.


Mr Lady said...

Giggle giggle.

MommyTime said...

I sympathize. I really do. I got "ma'amed" by my sister's boyfriend when she was in high school (I was 19)!! I was horrified. It took me days to recover. Now, I think it's kind of a nice change from "you don't look old enough to be a professor" (since, obviously, the PRIMARY requirement for being a professor is AGE rather than education). Why don't you just pretend your boss is so southern that she still calls her father "Daddy," and then the ma'am will be just fine.

Ya'll have a nice day now, y'hear.

Katherine said...

I remember my first "ma'am" too - I was about 16, at a McD's. I was shocked!

When I started work after college, I wasn't called ma'am, but rather honey, sugah, doll, etc. I'm not sure which is worse.