In my day, I had it. I was able to grab the attention of a room, manipulate men to my whims, and basically use my womanly means to my full advantage. Does this sound shallow, borderline derogatory, and against everything women are fighting for currently? Yep. Is it still true? Yep.
I’ve never really accepted that my time in the sun had entered the shadows. Yes I’m super married, 11-years. I have 3 very young children. I have to act like a professional on a regular basis. But when it’s time to let loose, I’m your lady.
Recently I encountered a situation that blew a huge hole in my theory of eternal relevance to the opposite sex. Here’s how the whole deal went down.
I needed some freaking caffeine.
I had two sick kids and I was in desperate need of various medications. This meant venturing out into public with said children in tow. We made it through the drugstore by the skin of our teeth and were headed home. Then suddenly I heard a hoarse request from the backseat. My little girl was asking for a smoothie to soothe her throat. I had a flash to the opportunity to get myself a much needed grande mocha with a double shot. I took advantage and drove to a local coffee shop. No woman is going to turn down hot, fresh caffeine after a sleepless night caused by gross kids.
He was flirty on the mic.
He started it. Very sweet and very flirtatious over the drive-thru mic. Honestly, the boy made me blush. Yes I’m married and hopelessly devoted to my husband, he’s my favorite. But, admittedly, I still enjoy garnering the attention of the opposite sex.
After I ordered the drive-thru line was stalled and he continued to chat with me over the mic. It was a nice break in a day dominated by boogers and vapor rub.
The game changed quickly.
Ever so slowly I inched my minivan towards the pickup window. I was singing and laughing with my boogery kiddos and getting really excited for my coffee.
Once I pulled up to the window I was greeted by the flirty barista. He looked like a more muscular version of Adam Lavigne, I was not disappointed. Then it happened. He had a general look of indifference on his face and said, “That will be $6.84, ma’am.”
The ma’am card caught me off guard. I fumbled with my wallet while making inappropriately intense eye contact with Beefy Adam. I was telepathically attempting to tell him I am still a vibrant, funny, young woman and that the “ma’am” was premature. I handed him my card and that beefcake did it again, “Thank you ma’am.”
Just then I heard my daughter interject. She loudly yelled out, “Her name is Mommy!” She was correcting the ma’aming beefcake with an intensity only found in outgoing 4-year olds. He smiled, handed me our drinks and ma’amed me one more time. I thanked him in my most awkward stumbling attempt at speech ever and we left.
I was confused… but only temporarily.
In the moment I had no idea how a 30-something year old wearing sweats, no makeup, messy bun, driving a minivan with two sick kids, rocking out to kids pop music could possibly be considered a “ma’am”. Yea, I get it now but at the time I was flabbergasted.
The drive home consisted of more jamming out with my girls and answering the various questions of the universe. I had no time to reflect on my surprise or general social awkwardness.
Once home I took a few moments to vent to a friend who assured me I am still one hell of a desirable woman while I folded laundry in my pajamas. Finally my husband was home and I soaked up his love and baited him for a few much needed compliments.
I have come to accept that being ma’amed is just something I need to get used to. It’s going to keep happening for the rest of my life. The first one had a definite sting but I’m sure that will fade. For now I’m simply going to keep on living in my delusion of eternal youth and see how long I can keep that up.