Sir and Ma’am… please and thank you.
It seems like the days are few and far between now when we hear these words used.
Have you ever been present when someone actually takes offense to being called sir or ma’am? Sometimes a person reacts so strongly that they make you feel like you did something wrong. In my experience, most have been female. A while back I heard a woman react horribly to a young lad for simply being courteous. “I’ll have you know I am not old enough to be a ma’am, young man!” she retorted. The boy looked crushed and didn’t know what to say to her. I’ll never forget how hard it was to resist kicking her teeth in at that very moment. With one swipe of her sharp tongue, she successfully crapped on ten years of respectful upbringing. At the very least, she planted doubt in the method.
I call a female ma’am. I’ll call a gentleman sir. It’s not just a southern thing. Sometimes they’re older than me – sometimes they’re younger. I don’t and won’t ever consider it a slam. You see, to me it’s not about age at all – just plain old respect.
How about the kids today? Okay, not all, just most. At least the ones in my city, USA. GIMMIE!!!! NOW!!!! Hey kid… a please will likely get you that lollipop you’re screaming so loudly for in Cracker Barrel. And not if but when your parent gives in and buys you that thing you’re screaming for – how about a thank you? And whatever happened to excuse me? Excuse me’s come more in the form of an eye-roll nowadays. Yeah, you get my drift – all these words are grossly underused. Sadly enough, manners are simply becoming a thing of the past.
Come to think of it, I think we just might benefit from a Sir/Ma’am/Please/Thank You/Excuse Me University. Starting at Pre-K.
Yes sir. Errr, ma’am…