Thank you, ma’am

August 11, 2005 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

I was hungry the other morning, so I decided to go through the McDonald’s drive-thru. I pulled up to the outdoor menu, and a husky feminine voice crackled through an invisible speaker and asked for my order. I told her I wanted a Fruit and Walnut Salad and an order of hashbrowns, and she asked if that would be all for today, and did I need ketchup, and I said no, thank you. She said that would be $4.19, and would I please drive around to the window, and I said thank you, ma’am, and pulled away. That was odd, because I never say ma’am in such situations—only thank you. But I was just trying to be courteous, and nice, and show respect for the poor woman stuck behind the cash register with an electronic headband running around her hair and a microphone in her face. And it had to be a pain to sit there are all day with that headband in her hair, because her voice sounded like she was the kind of person who had a big blonde helmet of curls, and an electronic headband in a big helmet of curls is a pain.

Poor lady.

But I said ma’am and then regretted it because maybe that voice was too husky for a woman, and I wasn’t sure if it was quite feminine. I should never have said ma’am, and what if she wasn’t a woman—but she sounded so much like a woman! And I drove around to the window and forgot all about the fact that I was hungry. Surely I did not just call a man ma’am. But she had to be a woman, and from the sound of her voice, she was 30ish or so, and probably plumpish, and of course she had a curly blonde helmet. And just then the drive-thru window flew open and I looked up to see the face of the plump woman with the curly blonde helmet and—aww rats.

She didn’t have a blonde helmet, and she wasn’t a she, and she was a twenty-something, youngish, pudgy-faced, never-quite-got-through-puberty guy.

Oh, dear. And I called him ma’am. Poor boy. Couldn’t someone take pity and inject him with a charitable shot of testosterone?


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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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