People call me “ma’am.” This is complicated by the fact that I moved to the South, where people routinely say “ma’am” and “sir.” (I’ve even heard people use the terms on their dogs. “No, ma’am, you will not jump on me.”) But where I come from, the Northeast, you do not call a woman “ma’am” unless you are trying to insult her by pointing out that she’s a lot older than you.
I do not shop at the same shops as my daughter. Sweet girl will be in a store meant for her age (17) – everything sparkly and tightly fitted and low-slung – and will ask, “Mama, don’t you want to buy yourself something?” Ha. I would look like a clown … a sad, sad clown.
I’ve begun doing that long-arm thing, trying to read fine print. And when that doesn’t work, I hand it to my kids to read. I feel like it’s not that my eyes have changed but that there’s some sort of conspiracy afoot to use smaller font sizes just to be difficult.
Luckily, whatever age I look doesn’t change what age I feel. Inside my head, I am still about 11 years old.