Back Away From The "young Lady"

Lounge By -K8memphis Updated 17 Apr 2009 , 6:16pm by 7yyrt

-K8memphis Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 10:52pm
post #1 of 29

I mean I'm 58. Clearly I look it--I don't color my hair and I'm not going to. I've earned every one of these colorless babies. And it is one of those jobs where it looks like the color has slid off the top kwim? It's grey ~ almost white in the front--full on brown in the back when I've always been a dark blond. I got a few wrinkles--dude, it happens. I'm fine with me though. Wish a few parts worked a little better--can't complain.

So I'm loosing patience (and I don't have much left as it is) when I hear someone address me as "Young Lady" WTF?!

Do they honestly think I am so shallow, weak or in need of (what they consider to be) positive attention, to be flattered in some way by that moniker? That the grey haired and estrogen starved apparition before them would be blessed to be thought of as 'Young"???

Could there be anything more patronizing?

I'm ready to go:

me ~ "Dude I'm 58 years old--that's getting East of middle aged much less young."

them ~ "You're only as old as you feel. Blablablablabla"

me ~ "I feel like punching you--how old is that?"

me ~ "You're only as stupid as you sound when you address a white haired woman, "Young Lady". "

Bite. Me.

I'm ready to start my campaign of one to push back when someone-for example the substitute mailman today-addresses me thusly.

I think I'm gonna go, "Young lady?" with a gently incredulous look on my face. I'm not trying to filet them but give me a very large break on such obvious condescention in the name of being friendly/kind. It's cheeky is what it is, fresh.

Maybe they expect me to giggle?

Agh!!

Does it bug you?

28 replies
indydebi Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 11:41pm
post #2 of 29

HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The guy at my regular gas station addressed me as "young lady" once. I immediately told him, "Every woman knows that when she is addressed as 'young lady', that it's code for "man, you're one old broad!" So stop insulting me."

He opens his eyes really wide and does the "ohhhhhhhh-kayyyyyyyyy!" thing.

I am NOT complimented when someone wants to check my ID. I'M A FREAKIN' GRANDMOTHER!!!! I have ZERO tolerance for those women who giggle coyly and pretend to be embarrassed that someone wants to check THEIR I.D.

I have said to one person, "I know you're only doing your job but do I REALLY look like an empty headed 19 year old?"

I LUV getting older and am PROUD of my gray hair!! If I wasn't, I'd color it and I dont' color it!!

So kiss my wrinkled white a$$ .... and stop insulting my maturity and life experience by insuating that it's a bad thing to be my age!

God you hit a hot button, can ya tell???

cakedoll Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 11:46pm
post #3 of 29

Yeah, bugs the heck out of me....patronizing and condescending all the way. I'm 56 and have names and dates for every white hair I have. I know they think they're being cute but...COME ON!!

While we're on the subject, another pet peeve is when I'm out to eat and have a server constantly calling me "honey" or "sweetie" through the entire meal... CRINGE....Totally grates down my spine like fingernails on a chalkboard.

OK...I feel all better now... icon_lol.gif

JodieF Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 11:55pm
post #4 of 29

I'm almost 49...next month....I don't know if I LOOK 49.....but what does 49 look like?
Anyway, I got majorly ticked off at Sams a few weeks ago. The DH and I had gone to shop, and I had left my purse at home. I always leave it in the car in the garage, and for whatever reason I had brought it in and forgot it. No biggie...DH has his Sams card and debit card. It was a huge shop....last thing on the conveyor was wine....which I NEEDED for my then stress level.
So, DH helps put all the groceries on the conveyor, runs the debit card, and, being a nice guy, goes out to get the car because it's raining. Idiot 4 year old checking me out rings in the wine, looks at me grinning and asks me for my ID! No purse...no ID. For heavens sake, I have two KIDS old enough to legally drink! I said I didn't have my purse. Guess what? Since they asked me for my ID, I had to produce it, or no wine.

I was SO not impressed!

Jodie

Edited to add: now, I DO get a kick out of my students. I have a photo of the DH and I in my class. He's Italian...black haired. He's getting all silvery, not gray, gorgeous silver at his temples and in his goatee. Anyway, I have little ones ask me if he's my dad. icon_lol.gif I do have to laugh about that!

indydebi Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 11:55pm
post #5 of 29

on the peeve list .... I cringe when someone addresses me as "Mrs. Brim" but I will go down their throat to be introduced or addressed as "Mrs. Phil Brim". I am not anyone's possession and I have my own name, thank you very much! icon_mad.gif

Ever see I Love Lucy when Lucy would introduce herself as Mrs. Ricky Ricardo, and intro Ethel as Mrs. Fred Mertz? Even when it was a room full of women, they would identify themselves by their husband's name and not their own. That's the saddest thing I've ever seen on a comedy show.

So if anyone ever introduced me as "This young lady is Mrs. Phil Brim", we're going to have a WHOLE 'nuther definition of "going postal"!

VannaD Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:11am
post #6 of 29

you ladies are great, i dont have the "young lady" problem because I am a young lady (22) but i dont like when people say "aww, you're just a baby!" I know I'm young but I'm not a baby, in fact I have 2 babies of my own. And cakedoll, i cant stand to be called "honey" or"darling" and growing up i had a neighbor who called me "sweet pea".... ugh, i still hate to hear someone say that. Thats my take, kind of the other end of the spectrum.

JodieF Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:33am
post #7 of 29

Vanna....I run an elementary school computer lab, so I see all 373 kids in my building. I would LOVE to say I remember all their names, but I don't! So, I do call them sweet pea, and sugar, and chickee and babe.

I just had a little girl last week....she's not verbal at all, a lot of behavior issues. Anyway, it's a bear getting her to leave her computer. She loves it, and she never wants to leave, but she absolutely has to log out herself! Don't you dare try to help! So, we give her warning....."Perla, in a few minutes it's time to go"...."Perla, time to restart". She was ignoring me and I said "Come on sugar....log off" and she stood up and said "I NOT a sugar...I a chickeebaby!"

Jodie

cakedoll Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 3:04am
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanna1487

you ladies are great, i dont have the "young lady" problem because I am a young lady (22) but i dont like when people say "aww, you're just a baby!" I know I'm young but I'm not a baby, in fact I have 2 babies of my own. And cakedoll, i cant stand to be called "honey" or"darling" and growing up i had a neighbor who called me "sweet pea".... ugh, i still hate to hear someone say that. Thats my take, kind of the other end of the spectrum.




Oops, I guess I better stop calling my one granddaughter "sweet pea". I slipped up a couple of times and called her my mastiff's nickname "boogabear". She's 7 and she was less than impressed that I would confuse her with a bull mastiff. icon_lol.gif

cakes22 Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 1:45pm
post #9 of 29

I'm 36 so I don't think I qualify for the "young lady" comment either. I'd find it patronizing.
My kids friends come over and call me by my first name, not Mrs.xxxx. When I was their age, I called every adult Mr or Mrs or Miss so-and-so. I'm not sure if I would like being called "Mrs.XX". I would feel like they are addressing my DH's mother(who passed away a while ago).
I also get "M'am" Hate that too, but I understand people trying to be polite. I have told some people not to call me "M'am" (customer service reps or my insurance rep) specially if you know my name.

We call our kids by their nicknames all the time. When we use their real names they are either in trouble or we need to discuss something a little more serious.

jammjenks Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:23pm
post #10 of 29

Uh oh - DH may be in serious trouble and doesn't even know it. He often stands at the door and helps the older ladies at our church to get in the building. He calls most of them "young lady". They all seem to love it. Are they just humoring him?

emrldsky Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:38pm
post #11 of 29

See, I have the issue where people really do think I'm much younger than I am. I'm 26, and will be 27 this year. I work at a University and often I am present for different student welcome events, taking care of a table and answering questions about our department.

I'm often asked if I'm a student. I know students range in all age groups, but it's always asked by parents and they typically are asking if I'm an undergraduate. I doubt they're being PC.

But that's not what bothers me the most...nope. What bothers me the most are those who say, "But in a few years, you're going to LOVE being mistaken for someone much younger!" How do you KNOW that? Did you graduate from Miss Cleo University? I mean, really.

If I really put on the makeup and dress up, I can avoid those questions, but I have issues with wearing makeup often (mostly with my eyes...I get painless-styes too often to wear makeup everyday).

Phew...I think that's been waiting around a while. icon_wink.gif

butternut Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:44pm
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The guy at my regular gas station addressed me as "young lady" once. I immediately told him, "Every woman knows that when she is addressed as 'young lady', that it's code for "man, you're one old broad!" So stop insulting me."

He opens his eyes really wide and does the "ohhhhhhhh-kayyyyyyyyy!" thing.

I am NOT complimented when someone wants to check my ID. I'M A FREAKIN' GRANDMOTHER!!!! I have ZERO tolerance for those women who giggle coyly and pretend to be embarrassed that someone wants to check THEIR I.D.

I have said to one person, "I know you're only doing your job but do I REALLY look like an empty headed 19 year old?"

I LUV getting older and am PROUD of my gray hair!! If I wasn't, I'd color it and I dont' color it!!

So kiss my wrinkled white a$$ .... and stop insulting my maturity and life experience by insuating that it's a bad thing to be my age!

God you hit a hot button, can ya tell???



LOL, this is too funny. You've almost given me the courage and confidence to stop coloring my gray. icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 2:49pm
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky

But that's not what bothers me the most...nope. What bothers me the most are those who say, "But in a few years, you're going to LOVE being mistaken for someone much younger!"




AAAUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!

That's the attitude that i just HATE!!!!!! It's telling me that you are useless and ugly and no one wants you if you are older than (insert any age!). WHY would I want someone to think I'm a teeny bopper empty headed ditz for my entire life??????????????? How DARE you insult me like that! icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

jammjenks, I think this 'age' thing may be a generational thing. ALthough those who think it's "cute and complimentary" are probably all dying off by now.

I remember when Gloria Steinam turned 40 and people asked her about "looking 40". She replied with a shrug, "This is what 40 looks like."

jen1977 Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 3:13pm
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky



But that's not what bothers me the most...nope. What bothers me the most are those who say, "But in a few years, you're going to LOVE being mistaken for someone much younger!"




I get that all the time, and I also HATE IT! I'm 32 and have two kids...8 and 6. <ost people think I'm about 19, and I find it insulting. Why would they think I'd like it when I'm 50 when it already bothers me?

VannaD Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 3:31pm
post #15 of 29

Jodies thats so cute that she said that, I can understand you using those names, nobody can be expected to remember so manynames. I just dont like it when a stranger uses all those names, for instance.. im eating out, waitress comes over and says,"Darling, do you need some more tea?" , i understand that thats just the way some ppl talk, i just dont like it. The sweet pea thing, i dont know why i didnt like it, i just didnt, cakedoll, im sure your granddaughter doesnt mind, it beats being called the dogs name! icon_lol.gif Their were 5 of us growing up and my mom would often go through everyones name plus a few pets before she got to the right kid, we didnt mind, we thought it was funny.

bigsisof3kids Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 4:02pm
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakes22

I'm 36 so I don't think I qualify for the "young lady" comment either. I'd find it patronizing.
My kids friends come over and call me by my first name, not Mrs.xxxx. When I was their age, I called every adult Mr or Mrs or Miss so-and-so. I'm not sure if I would like being called "Mrs.XX". I would feel like they are addressing my DH's mother(who passed away a while ago).
I also get "M'am" Hate that too, but I understand people trying to be polite. I have told some people not to call me "M'am" (customer service reps or my insurance rep) specially if you know my name.




Well I am a young lady, I'm 20. And I was raised to always call people older than me "Ma'am" and "Sir." Like, "Do need any help, Sir", or "Yes, Ma'am." Obviously, now that I'm older I reserve using that term for people around my parents age, everyone younger I would call them by first name.

I am honestly asking this question, I want to know... is it patronizing for me use the terms Ma'am and Sir? I don't mean to be if I am, I am just trying to be polite and show respect. Is that one of the things you cringe at? What do you think?

I hope my age doesn't automatically put me in the "Teeny bopper empty headed ditz" category icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 4:20pm
post #17 of 29

hey bigsis! I'm not offended by ma'am as I view it as a way to address someone with respect.

(And age isnt' what puts ya in the ditz category. Someone thinking that I'd giggle and think it was SO cool that they thought I was younger is the insult that says to me "I think you're a ditz and you will think it's so cool if I treat you like you have no sense or value at all.")

cakes22 Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 5:06pm
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsisof3kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakes22

I'm 36 so I don't think I qualify for the "young lady" comment either. I'd find it patronizing.
My kids friends come over and call me by my first name, not Mrs.xxxx. When I was their age, I called every adult Mr or Mrs or Miss so-and-so. I'm not sure if I would like being called "Mrs.XX". I would feel like they are addressing my DH's mother(who passed away a while ago).
I also get "M'am" Hate that too, but I understand people trying to be polite. I have told some people not to call me "M'am" (customer service reps or my insurance rep) specially if you know my name.



Well I am a young lady, I'm 20. And I was raised to always call people older than me "Ma'am" and "Sir." Like, "Do need any help, Sir", or "Yes, Ma'am." Obviously, now that I'm older I reserve using that term for people around my parents age, everyone younger I would call them by first name.

I am honestly asking this question, I want to know... is it patronizing for me use the terms Ma'am and Sir? I don't mean to be if I am, I am just trying to be polite and show respect. Is that one of the things you cringe at? What do you think?

I hope my age doesn't automatically put me in the "Teeny bopper empty headed ditz" category :lol






It only bothers me when I have told the person my name but I would rather be called "M'am" than "Hey you".

Funny story about names: my DH's dad never addressed me with my name for about 6-7 years. Never once did I hear him say my name. EVER! I've been married for 17 years, been with DH for 19. So we're talking a long time not being called by my name. Anyway, one night not too long ago we were sitting around, and we were shooting the sh*t and I said to my DH "It took your Dad 7 years to call me by my name, what gives?" His anwser was that he was afraid to call me his ex's name (someone who DH was involved with for 5 years before me). True, cause DH's Grandma addressed me as the ex and I cringed!

Bigsisof3kids: Sir & M'am are respectful & polite terms & for a 20 yr old to have that towards others is something that is few & far between nowadays!!! icon_wink.gif

cakedoll Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 6:04pm
post #19 of 29

Totally agree about Sir and Ma'am. They are terms of respect. I grew up in Florida until I was about 8 years old. In school, and with adults, everything was Yes Ma'am or Yes Sir. That's just the way it was. When we moved up to Wisconsin, I remember being confused because the teachers kept correcting me and telling me not to do that.

I've worked with the public for so many years that I still do the Ma'am and Sir thing. It's just a force of habit with me.

My kids and grandkids were and are taught to address adults as Miss or Mr. so and so. Like Miss Robin, Miss Doris, Mr. Greg and so forth. Most of the parents of their friends don't like being addressed formally like "Mrs. Johnson" but these terms still afford them a form of respect.

MystiqueFire Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 11:18pm
post #20 of 29

I'm actually really glad I read this thread, because I work in the food service industry and I see a lot of people that come into my store and I do these very same things you are all complaining about!! icon_sad.gif At least once a day I do the "young lady" joke!

But here's my peeve... I'm 21 but my family has seriously good genes. My mother is 50 next year and she looks 30, no joke. She doesn't have wrinkles on her face, and she dyes her hair because she's not ready to go grey yet... So it's only natural that I would have the same genes. But this is what gets me, I'm really short (5'3" with sneakers on) and I'm thin, that paired with my mother's genes, I look really young. And I really HATE HATE HATE going out to food shows and business trips with my father (who I work with) and having important clients/proprietors look at me and say, "Oh are you daddies little helper??"

I AM NOT AN ELF.

And it really stinks when I'm trying to get a date, too, because the age group I try to date in (24-29) think I'm underage. And going to the bar? Forget it. Dont even get me started.

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2009 , 11:52pm
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MystiqueFire

And I really HATE HATE HATE going out to food shows and business trips with my father (who I work with) and having important clients/proprietors look at me and say, "Oh are you daddies little helper??"




"No, I'm his Vice President of Procurement and Purchasing. Who would I talk to in YOUR company IF i wanted to purchase your product?"

But then ... I tend to take the smart-a$$ approach to things! icon_twisted.gif

cakedoll Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 12:02am
post #22 of 29

MystiqueFire, my daughter goes through the same thing and it irks her no end. She's 31, has waistlength blondish hair and could easily pass for a teenager.

She gets carded everywhere she goes; she's even been accused of presenting a fake drivers license. Strangers have thought that her daughter is her little sister.

Last year I asked her to drop off a check for my dues for the clubhouse, which I have never seen the inside of in 23 years except to pay them....and she called me up and told me they wouldn't accept the check, wouldn't tell her why; just told her to have me call.
I called to see what the problem was and the clerk told me that they are not allowed to accept payments from children sent by their parents.

I'm like "HUH?? What children?"

"You sent in some little girl in with the check. She's a minor and we can't accept it"

I said "LITTLE GIRL?? She's 30 years old, been married for 10, and has a 6 year old daughter."

"Well, she looked like a kid to me. You'll have to bring the check yourself." So I did...

She hates it with a passion just like you do.

bigsisof3kids Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 12:49am
post #23 of 29

Good, I'm glad you all cleared up the "Ma'am, Sir" thing for me icon_smile.gif I feel much better now.

I kinda have a similar problem as your daughter, cakedoll. I sometimes take my little brothers or sisters (huge age gap, they're 1-7 years old) to the store and other places with me. I look younger than I am to most people, so I get the disapproving stares from people everywhere. They think my siblings are my kids.

This was a while ago, but one time, in line at Wal-Mart, and I had my then-2yo sis in the cart. I could hear this lady behind talking about me to her friend or whatever. "It's a disgrace that kids have no morals these days! Having kids when they're kids themselves! She had to have had that kid when she was 14! She should be ashamed!" Etc. Etc. And she knew I could hear her.

Now, I'm the type of person to keep my mouth shut (that's why I want to be indydebi and/or k8memphis when I grow up!), but I was LIVID. Then my sister starts waving and saying hi TO THE LADY BEHIND ME. *Idea light bulb popped up over my head* I turned around and quipped, in a not-so-nice tone....


ISN'T MY SISTER ADORABLE???



Needless, to say, she was silent during the rest of our wait in line. icon_evil.gif

ladyellam Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 1:10am
post #24 of 29

Okay, so what happens when you get carded and the kid (20) COUNTS ON HIS FINGERS to get to your age and says "Wow! You don't look THAT OLD? You're hot-looking." I told him "oh, darling if only you were a bit old I could show you things you haven't even imagined yet!". Of course my husband was just a few feet away laughing his A%% off.

I don't mind being called ma'am--way better than dude or sweetie.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 1:55am
post #25 of 29

I love some of y'all's responses.

I got a good one for 'hon' too. My aunt's name was "Hon" her real name was Mamie but we called her Aunt Hon. So just say, "Oh you must mean my Aunt? Her name was Hon" That's all it takes usually to get them to rethink that.

And you can tell if someone means it sh*tty or if they mean it just as an endearment. It's hard to swallow from someone younger though huh.

I mean Gordon Ramsay says. "My Darling" to lots of chicks on his tv show--not so much on Hell's Kitchen though--his other shows. That never sounds inappropriate.

So how someone says it is huge too.

>>>Hey but I think I have the perfect response for the 'young lady' thing.

I'm gonna go, "So would you say 'young man' to a 58 year old male?" cough<you idiot>cough

'Cause I'm not trying to dissect their gizzard without anesthesia--yes I do need to control the urge to verbally coldcock them but--no seriously I think that's a real good line to use to make them think.

I think if one just blows up that ain't gonna work --then you're just a crazy crabby old lady. This way maybe they'll get it--no guarantees but it's worth a try, huh, all you elves, hons, and sweetie pies. icon_lol.gif

MystiqueFire Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:20am
post #26 of 29

[quote="bigsisof3kids"] I turned around and quipped, in a not-so-nice tone....


ISN'T MY SISTER ADORABLE???
quote]

Good for you!! =) People are SO nosy. Who are they to be judging?? But sometimes it's better to not say anything than just shoot your mouth off, like I've done in the past. Count it as a blessing instead of a curse, I'm Italian/Israeli, usually I dont mix my words, but I love what Indidebi suggested!

Indydebi: Hahahaha, I'm putting that one in the back of my mind for next time!! =P

Cakedoll: What?!? That is crazy!! That's actually borderline insulting.. =/

Jasmine

MystiqueFire Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:23am
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

I think if one just blows up that ain't gonna work --then you're just a crazy crabby old lady. This way maybe they'll get it--no guarantees but it's worth a try, huh, all you elves, hons, and sweetie pies. icon_lol.gif




Now thinking back, maybe I'll just add elf outfits to my everyday wardrobe that way I can't blow up if they tell me I look like an elf!! icon_lol.gif

Carson Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 4:13am
post #28 of 29

I'm 29 and I get dirty looks ALL the time when I'm with my children...I also get the feeling that some parents at my 6 year olds school think I am 20 years old or something and they don't seem to take me too seriously. I was only 23 when I had her - but the most mature 23 year old you would ever meet!

I had a guy that plays hockey with my dh actually asked if I was his wife...when I told him I was, he just looked at my dh and said "WOW, your wife looks like she is 17". After that his wife finally started talking to me at the games...but I don't really have time for that kind of bull! They just assumed (assumptions again) that I was his young ?mistress? DH is only 2 years older than me, but looks his age.

I try hard not to be insulted...but after you get these comments daily it is harder and harder to ignore.

7yyrt Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 6:16pm
post #29 of 29

I had prematurely gray hair, and kept hearing "Does your granddaughter look like her mother?"
When someone called me 'Ma'am' it used to make me go home and cry. I didn't want to be her grandmother, da^^n it - I was her mother!

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