Wednesday, October 22, 2008

don't call me ma'am


I don't like being called ma'am. It happens every time I go to the grocery store and the well-meaning high school bag boys ask me "would you like help out to the car, ma'am?" or "how you doing today, ma'am?" I know they are trying to be polite and probably can't think what else to call me, but ma'am has got to go! I want to look around and see if there is someone else they are talking to. What does it really mean anyway? Short for Madame, right? Who calls anyone Madame any more! It's 2008, not the 1800's, people!
Anyway, I illustrated this little old lady, who I think could be called ma'am and that would make sense. I did this totally in Illustrator with my new skills I learned in the workshop I'm taking. It's not a fantastic illo or anything, but I gotta tell ya I'm proud of myself for actually getting a finished piece done in Illustrator! I used to open it up and get frustrated within 5 mins and quit, so this is a HUGE step for me! I can't wait to learn more and do more with this amazing program. Now, I just need to figure out making curves with the pen tool....arrgh!

7 comments:

Nicole said...

You are so funny! We are one in the same, I don't like being called ma'am either... or honey... or sweetie... or babe (except by my husband). Love this illo... your grandma makes me smile.

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

Well, isn't she just the cutest!! Congrats on your first ILL project as well ... I have yet to tackle that program myself..... just one more thing to do, one more thing to learn. =)

Edrian Thomidis said...

Once I had kids I gave up the whole ma'am thing...

First time with illustrator, what do you use for your other illustrations? I assumed your were using illustrator! -- it's really not that hard, it just takes some getting used to. There are some tools however, that I still don't know what they do and I've used the program for over 10 years!

Jennifer Katherine said...

Such a cute style. Love the look of your illustrations:)

Chickengirl said...

Hahah! I've been called ma'am now and I really don't think I am that "old." Hooray with Illustrator- this looks great :-)

Edrian Thomidis said...

I usually use the pen tool and work the anchor points with the selection tool(little white arrow) and the convert anchor point tool (part of the anchor tool set)to get the right curves. I find that the fewer anchor points I have the easier it is for me to get the right curve. Great job!

Anonymous said...

Nina -

Awesome that you showed the world your rightful distaste for the new four-letter word, "Ma'am".

You are soooo not alone. I hate it too, and have hated it since the tender age of 38 when it first started.

I've chosen to almost always say something to the Ma'ammers. Strangely, MOST of them already know we don't like it, they are using it as a bad habit. Therefore, better to SAY something to them and remind them that, like 96% of women, you too do not appreciate being called Ma'am.

However, a few are still as yet not awakened into the 21st Century, and do not understand your dislike for the word. They will usually counter with, "Then what am I supposed to call you?"

My answer is always, "You don't have to 'call' me anything. Just say:
- Can I help you to your car with your bags?
- Did you find everything you were looking for?
- Is there something else you needed?

Say those with a smile in your voice and that is exceedingly polite."

Sometimes I stand there and have them practice the "Non Ma'am" version of the sentence. One time I did that at Safeway and the WHOLE LINE of women behind me started clapping!! Then the cashier added to the bagger, "Yeah, my mom hates being callled Ma'am too!"

Point is, you're in the majority to believe it's an archaic word (American Heritage Dictionary defines "Madam" as archaic. Therefore, is not it's abbreviation archaic too?) that makes many of us feel crappy. So go ahead and say it: "Hey, do not call me Ma'am."

Also, just Google this phrase:
"Don't call me ma'am" to see a host of others such as yourself!!