Rude or Respect Stumble Upon Digg It! Add to Delicious Add to Technorati


My idea this week was to post our many adventures from working on the house, however, while dropping the kid off at school today, I caught an interesting conversation on the radio that I wanted y'alls take on.

Before I get into it, I need to start off by saying, I was born in Texas. Regardless of how long I've lived in another state, I will always consider myself a Texan - as is the majority of my family. So, I suppose by most standards you would consider us southern. That might be important later.

Apparently at some point in time over the weekend, this woman on the radio, required help of some kind at some store, and at some point someone had the audacity to call her ma'am...or maybe it was madam...I'm not entirely sure. And while I will admit there is a difference between the words ma'am and madam (I'm thinking brothel), this woman was BESIDE herself. She apparently even had a problem when considered a Miss, or a Mrs.

To her, the phrase or word, Ma'am, represents AGE. So, therefore if I was to call someone Ma'am, I am clearly saying that they are OLD.

I STRONGLY disagree with this. I was raised to understand that Ma'am and Sir represent respect. To this day, my parents are STILL Ma'am and Sir. And while that may give off the impression that my family is cold and uptight, let me assure you, that if my Mama calls for me down the hallway and I answer "Yes Ma'am", that's not say my follow up response isn't "Kiss My Ass".

If a woman drops her wallet outside the grocery store, and I see it happen....chances are I'll chase her down in the parking lot and say "Excuse me Ma'am, I think you dropped this."

Not "Yo Lady, This yours?"

This has been something that my sister and I have talked about many times. The countless times we've been asked to NOT call someone by their proper name...(Don't call me Mr. Smith, that's my father's name), only to get our butts kick later by our folks for being so informal with adults.

Obviously I don't know what the divide is. I know back home, it's a non-issue.

What I DO know is that when I holler up the stairs to my daughter and get a "WHAT?" instead of a "Yes Ma'am?".....I silently wish I had cattle in my back yard.


Dana's Brain said...

I can understand that the Ma'am thing can mean "old" to some people. I think I cringed a bit the first time someone called me that. However! I also don't think it's worthy of a freak out. Clearly, someone is trying to be respectful when using the term.

The Ma'am and Sir thing that is such a Southern custom is one I actually admire.

I think the youth of today gets away with a lot more as far as speaking to adults in a casual manner then we ever did as kids. And I don't think that is a good thing!

Big Kahuna said...

First of all, as your Father, I am very proud that you and your sister have learned the old custom of respect by saying Sir and Ma'am. I am always silently pleased to hear the two of you say, "Yes, Sir," to me .... just as I still do to my Father.

But there is one thing you've written with which I must take exception. You said that you were a Texas by birth (and by choice ... that's important) and were therefore, Southern. We are NOT and have never been Southern. We Texans are from the Southwest and should never be confussed with those people in the South. Yes, we did fight with them during the Civil War, but that, in and of itself, does not make us Southern.

The SOUTH stops at the Texas/Louisiana border ... and don't you forget it!


Cant Hardly Wait said...

I was born and raised in the the north, so I grew up not normally sing ma'am and sir. But we did use Mrs. and Mr. I live in Louisiana now where Ma'am, Sir, and using Mr. and Miss infront of first names is all about RESPECT. Not age. That lady is trippin.

myfreespamguard said...

I don't get the part about the cattle?