Monday, October 6, 2008

Crossing the Ma'am Divide

It's official. I am old.

I tried not to take offense when I saw, "AMA" splashed all over my obstetrical charts. AMA is advanced maternal age. It means any woman over 35. It means dire warnings, lots o tests and sometimes looks by younger mommies at PTA meetings.

I can handle AMA.

I can handle meeting former students who are now parents, business owners and fellow grocery shoppers. I can handle they were born in the late eighties.

I cannot handle being called Ma'am.

Ma'am is what I call my own mother (where she and I to actually speak).

Ma'am is what I would call my grandmother or some other octogenarian.

Ma'am is how you refer to someone who is OLD. I AM NOT READY TO BE OLD.

I will be 38 on my next birthday. There I said it. The earth didn't collapse (though if my 'girls' droop any further I'll be in real trouble!).

However, I just want the cute, young, italian college kid working at Starbucks to NOT CALL ME Ma'am.

I am MATURE (NOT OLD) enough to know I cannot do anything about it. I will not become like one of those mothers who shop at the same stores as their teenage daughters. I will not be like the women who inject, slice and dice their way into pinched youth. (Though I wouldn't rule out one of those micro-lifts....).

I will not rage against the inevitable march of time (too much). I'll take it like a woman.

I will begin to be one of those women who is aging gracefully. I will smile, my best, "Aren't you adorable?" smile at those that insist on calling me Ma'am.

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