Reflecting, it had been a pleasant day. Exiting the office, I wished a co-worker, "Good evening" -- then stopped in my tracks at his response: "Ma'am, good evening, ma'am."
Instinctively (foolishly), my head swivels around. Who is he calling "ma'am"?
My bad. Poor Henry's practically stuttering, "Miss. I mean, good evening, miss."
Stifling the urge to giggle, I paused to consider. Surely he's not intimidated? By me? A recent hire, this man - a boy really - is not yet accustomed to our "behind closed doors" informality.
On the other hand ...
Since my Southern "grands" could form a sentence, they're addressed their parents and grandparents -- all adults as "Sir" or "Ma'am."
Methinks it's touching; a lost art, if you will. What a difference from the acquaintance who calls her parents by their first names!
'Sounds old-fashioned, but I'm still loathe to address "certain folk" by their first names -- unless invited to do so. Don't get me wrong, I'm no "Miss Manners" .... rather, terrified of making a spectacle of myself.
Somedays it's a sticky wicket!