Becky Says...

May 2008

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Of Ma'am and Shopping - May 10

I wind up a mixture of appalled and amused when women object to being called, "Ma'am," saying that it makes them feel old. I'm a Southerner. We use Ma'am and Sir a whole lot, regardless of the ages of the speaker or the listener. It's a term of respect, period.

For the record, I don't recall any males complaining about being addressed as, "Sir."

On a related topic, I go to a store fairly frequently where a clerk I've gotten to know always calls me Ms. Lastname. I mentioned one day that she was certainly welcome to call me Becky, but she told me she was required to call customers by their last names while she was in the store. Since 99.95 per cent of our encounters happen in the store, I definitely understand why she often stays with the formal if we see each other elsewhere.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I went shopping today and noted the number of fathers and children out shopping for Mother's Day food. Apparently a lot of these people had never before been in a grocery store, at least not in the parts where things more complicated to fix than microwave popcorn were kept. I heard any number of conversations that had to do with whether or not this was the right flavor or the right size.

And judging from the empty places on the shelves, I'm guessing there is something going on that will require massive amounts of peanut butter and bread. Perhaps that's Plan B?

Text copyright 2000-2008 Becky