At what point in time did I go from Miss to Ma'am? I was recently on the phone with a tech support person for my retail website and the girl I was speaking to was very nice, knowledgeable and...young. I'm guessing she was in her mid-twenties. At the end of the phone conversation she said, "Is there anything else I can help you with ma'am?" Immediately my nose hairs crinkled and I was stunned silent. I regained my phone composure, thanked her accordingly and that was that. Or was it? Over the following few days, I started trying to pinpoint exactly where in my life the switch took place. From when did I go from youthful, artistic, dreamer/impressionable type, where life was a bowl of orange blossoms, to ma'am?
As a late bloomer, I related to the "college crowd" probably past my welcome, but at some point the college crowd stopped relating to me. I was kicked out of the club without even realizing it. Blindsided so to speak. I should have guessed this was all happening when I started feeling victorious on the rare occasion that I got carded, or maybe the fact that I now own underwear that is sold in a plastic pack of multiples.
My ma'am change did not happen after getting married, nor did it happen after having my first child. I feel this is a recent change, even though I can't quite pinpoint it. If I had a guess, I would say it began somewhere between 1 and 2 years ago.
According to the Kubler/Ross stages of grief model, I seem to be surfacing from the 1st stage of Denial and entering the 2nd stage of Anger, (judging by my crinkled nose hairs.) There doesn't seem to be a time frame on all these stages. That is individual. It could take years! After Anger comes Bargaining, the hope to postpone or delay. That could get ugly, but since I lived the better part of 10 years in LA, I've seen that stage manifested in the most unfortunate ways and know better.
Only after the 4th stage of Depression, will I begin to Accept. And who knows what that means!? I think I'll revisit cozy comfy Denial and report back on this issue later.