I’ll never forget the first time somebody called me that. I was 12 years old. I was staying with my grandparents in Georgia for a couple of weeks one summer. My grandma took me to the grocery store and, while shopping, asked me to run off to get something she had forgotten. Proudly, I walked around looking for what she wanted. I couldn’t find it. Instead of returning to her empty handed, I tracked down a store clerk.
I said to him, “Excuse me, but could you tell me where [whatever it was] is?”
In his rich, southern manner of speaking he said to me, “Yes, ma’am, it’s down there in aisle [whatever it was].”
I was stunned and all in one sentence I felt so grown up. He called me ma’am. Heck yeah! I’m all big and stuff now world. Look out people a “ma’am” is coming through.
Last night while arriving home from my class I had to pass through the gated guard house which blocks the entrance to our community (high falutin’ if I ever saw it). Anyway, the familiar guard, as he recognized me, said, “Mrs. Reed. Welcome home. Pass on through and have a lovely evening.” All formal and sweet and he’s my favorite one by the way. Isn’t that a nice way to be greeted as you drive home from somewhere? Yeah. He’s my favorite.
But as I rounded the bend to my street all that Mrs. Reed stuff reminded me of the first time I was called ma’am.
I am only 34 years old. Too young to be a Mrs. As I’ve heard it said before, Mrs. Reed is my mother-in-law. I am Heidi.
However, that respectful remark took me back in time to a moment when I felt so grown up and to a vacation with my grandma I will cherish my whole life. She passed away in November.
I miss her.