View Full Version : First Time I was called "Ma'am"

April 6th, 2015, 05:09 PM
Do you remember the first time you were called "ma'am"? I remember it very clearly, in the parking lot at the Safeway grocery store in my home town, by a carry-out boy putting my bags in the car. I recalled feeling stunned. lolol Went home and told all my friends that I got called "ma'am". How we laughed! :D

April 6th, 2015, 05:12 PM
I do! I was on an airplane and the flight attendant called me "Ma'am". I thought, "Wow, this is it. I've gone from Miss to Ma'am."

April 6th, 2015, 05:39 PM
I do!!! I was 18 years old and Roger's fellow Marines (who were our age!) called me either Ma'am or Mrs. Metcalf. Never, ever Pat.

April 6th, 2015, 06:04 PM
I don't mind ma'am so much, but it kinda tripped my trigger when the bag boy at Kroger called me 'sir'. I WAS dressed in my winter work gear at the time, but GEEZE!

April 6th, 2015, 06:10 PM
I don't mind ma'am so much, but it kinda tripped my trigger when the bag boy at Kroger called me 'sir'. I WAS dressed in my winter work gear at the time, but GEEZE!

Oh I was called "sir" once! I was in my winter coat too, but still! lolol And that was in the stationery store back home! haha

Granny Fran
April 6th, 2015, 06:12 PM
I guess I remember, but I'd rather be called Ma'am than by my first name by someone who does not know me.

April 6th, 2015, 06:14 PM
Hmm, I call a lot of people ma'am (younger and older than me). Maybe I should stop?

April 6th, 2015, 06:18 PM
I remember it, and I was only 14! I was walking home and came to a very busy crossroad. At the traffic light, a young kid (she must have been 5 or 6) asked me very politely: "Maam, would you please help me cross the street?" She had probably been taught to always ask an adult before she crossed the road, and I was big enough to pass for an adult.

April 6th, 2015, 06:22 PM
I, too, have been called sir! In the offenders defense, it was always someone who did not know me and it was while I was on the phone with them (while I was still working) and I was suffering from a bad cold.

Claire OneStitchAtATime
April 6th, 2015, 08:13 PM
I get "sir" once in a while too. I have no defense! I don't wear makeup much & I have short hair & a relatively low voice. You would think the clothes & body shape (nobody would describe me as flat chested) would give it away, though.

April 7th, 2015, 12:07 AM
It's a very regional thing, and a person's reaction to being called "ma'am" is a dead giveaway to where they came from. This is all JUST MY OPINION, based on my own personal observations, and is not meant to disparage anyone.
Northeasterners and Californians seem to be very offended by it, as they interpret it as the same as being called a little old lady. Northwesterners are about 50/50 whether they tolerate it or are offended by it. No clue about Midwesterners. Only in the South is it seen as a sign of respect, which is the true intent.

I had a friend who relocated to Oregon from Louisiana years ago. Her children were small at the time, and she insisted they call me "Miss Peggi" and say "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am". I protested at first, because I was a typical Northerner and interpreted it as a slap in the face about being old. But she took me aside and explained to me that it was a sign of respect, and asked me to allow her to continue to teach her children manners. They are expected to address people in authoritative positions as Ma'am or Sir, and that includes anyone more than a day older than themselves.

However, if someone says "Well, bless her heart!", that's a different story!! :lol:

What I find interesting is that it's only women who get offended. Men never get offended at being called "Sir".

April 7th, 2015, 01:14 AM
My kids always called our friends Mr./Mrs. (last name) and my friends kids did the same. It's how we were all raised. If I run into one of my friends moms/dads now, I still address them that way.

K. McEuen
April 7th, 2015, 01:27 AM
I wonder if Peggi's regional theory has anything to do with the connotation the word Madam has in the wild west. I think people out this direction have a bit more relaxed attitude toward many things. New Mexico isn't know as the Land of Manana without reason. While the Hispanic and Native American cultures both hold their elders in high regard, the whole Sir and Ma'am titles aren't used that much here.

April 7th, 2015, 01:45 AM
I am not sureif it is midwestern (I was raised in MO), or family, but we were raised to say 'Yes Maam, and Yes Sir' , and addressed elders as Mr. or Mrs. I raised my kids that way as well. When our oldest was in high school several of her friends Mothers told her to call them by their first name - and she didn't feel right doing that. One day a bunch of the girls were at our house and I overheard one of them say to her, 'Ask Tami if we can....', and my daughter said you can ask her, but you better call her by her real name, which is Mrs. Garrett, or you could maybe shorten it to Mrs. G. Made me laugh, but also made me realize all the times I corrected her had sunk in!

Carrie J
April 7th, 2015, 01:53 AM
Though hailing from Upstate NY, the Ma'am, Sir were drilled into us at a young age, and under no circumstances were we ever to address an elder other than Miss, Mrs., or Mr.! Even if the person would insist on using their first name. (Parents would gracefully decline and refer to what they were trying to instill in us) It would mean a tail whoopin' for us if we did! Respect and manners were high on the long list of things we were taught as children. Shoot, that reminds me, I can still make a bed up, then bounce a quarter off it too! LOL!

April 7th, 2015, 02:28 AM
Made me laugh, but also made me realize all the times I corrected her had sunk in!

When Tyler lived with us all those years ago, MM and I used to always tell him, if you can read you can do anything! Well, to play his video games for 30 minutes, he had to read 30 minutes first. When the 30 minutes were up, he had to pause or shut the game off and if he chose to play more, he had to read 30 minutes again to earn 30 more minutes of play time.

He never once argued about this. Often he was reading and studying the game guide, but he was reading! Well, he had a friend who lived across the street that would come to our house often. One day they were playing a game that had writing on it you had to read rather quickly and I hear Michael, the neighbor boy, struggling with his reading. My heart nearly exploded when I heard Tyler, who I think was seven at the time, tell Michael that he should practice his reading more because if you can read, you can learn to be anything! When Tyler started third grade, they tested him in reading. They finally quit when they got to the tenth grade level and were simply amazed to see this. When the teacher asked me at the conference why he was such a good reader, I told her. A letter went home shortly after that to all her students parents suggesting them to follow the same rule!

April 7th, 2015, 11:10 AM
I was born and raised in MO, (KC area) and was taught to say,"Yes Maam, and Yes Sir" when answering questions and addressing Mr & Mrs when asking a question. The military didn't help. But I was told by a banker that I was being sarcastic when answering questions with "Yes Maam".

April 7th, 2015, 11:45 AM
In Louisiana.........saying ma'am and sir are definitely taught and used as a show of respect.......not as an insult or suggesting that you are "old". I am always impressed when I hear kids still saying "yes maam" or "yes sir". It just sounds polite and respectful. However, when you are a young adult and are called ma'am for the first time........it kind of makes you think.......ouch........I'm a full grown adult now! :D It grates on my nerves when I hear young children saying "Yeah" to their parents or other adults..........but I guess it depends on where you were raised as to what is considered appropriate.

Which brings me to a pet peeve that may be a regional thing.....we were always taught if you have to walk across in front of someone or reach across in front of them you say........Excuse me. It drives me crazy when I'm in a store standing 2 feet away from shelf looking at merchandise and someone will walk right in front of you......and not say a word! Makes me want to slap them upside the head..........but I was also taught......that would be rude. :D

Hope all you ma'ams and sirs have a great day!

April 7th, 2015, 12:39 PM
I have been called Ma'am so often that I cherish a Miss once in awhile. I think some of the salespeople realize this and use this tactic. It works! I guess I really do look that old, even if I don't feel it!