Ma’am is the new Miss

Somewhere along the way, I’ve gone from “Miss” to “Ma’am”. I’m not sure when it happened, because I don’t feel like a “ma’am”, but I supposed “hey sexy” isn’t really appropriate from the 18 year old hottie clerk at the gas station. I forgive him though, because I know that’s what he’s thinking.

I’ve never been one to dwell on age. To me, it’s always been a number. Over the past year, a lot of friends have turned 40. Ok, I did too, but some of them went first so I still consider them “older than me”. Last March, friends and family were gathered, (many) drinks were had and 40 candles were lit atop a yummy cake. Ever seen 40 candles burn at once? Thank the universe I’m married to a trained professional because that could have gotten out of hand quickly.

In the past, I’ve sung praises about my 20s. I can not deny it was a good decade. While it started out a little rough, that decade was life changing for me. Literally. I found the love of my life. I got married. I got far enough away from high school and the mentality that every little thing was a cause for major drama. I did not come out of my 20s with the same circle of friends that I went in. Some were there, but some had faded away. It was alright though, because I picked up new ones during that decade and they’re still with me, almost 20 years later.

My 30s just downright kicked ass. Looking back, I can honestly say those 10 years were my favorite. Ok, maybe second favorite, because I think years 1-10 were pretty boss once I learned to talk and use the toilet on my own. However, while in my 30’s, I learned to be even more secure with who I am. I have a house and a job and true friends and a lot of people who love me and little hardship. Hell, looking back, even the hard times weren’t so bad.

The thing that kills me about this whole growing older thing though, is that I’m pulling a major one over on the rest of the population. Since maybe my late 20s, I’ve been referred to as an adult. I could still get away with the “Miss” from clerks and police officers (another story for another time), but something changed. I don’t understand how this happened. Honestly. I don’t feel like an adult. I mean, really? Me? An adult? Does not compute.

To me, adults are those mature people who have dinner parties and weekends in wine country and always pick up the check when they’re out with a group of people and never stress over making sure they look nice enough for an event but aren’t overdressed. Adults don’t put their cars in rivers or walk away from tiny avalanches of matchbox cars that have landed in the middle of the Meijer aisle for no apparent reason. (They were that way when I got here!!)

To me, that’s what being an adult is.

Ma'am is the New Miss

Contrary to those whom I would bestow the title, I’m sitting over here most weekends in my pajamas, binge watching Netflix and wondering how long I can get away with not putting makeup on. I still look at a good accumulation of snow and wonder about its quality – fluffy vs. packing – and how far I’d sink if I were to go out and make snow angels.

I mean, yes. I have a job. I pay bills. I toss the bank the money they want every month so we have shelter and I make sure that said shelter has heat and electricity. I go grocery shopping and make sure the animals are fed. Mostly. Because they make noise if I forget. (Which is why I don’t have any plants in the house, because they just die silently and then look all sad and I’m like “you should have said something.”) But I don’t feel like I should be trusted with all of this responsibility.

Somehow though, during a time I must have not been paying attention, society bestowed this title upon me without my even asking for it. While I’m grateful to not have a bedtime or have to ask if I can have some more snacks, the thought of people looking at me like I have it all together freaks me the hell out. Mainly because I don’t. If there were an award for the best of intentions, I’d win. But I’m the person buying the card on the way to the birthday and forgetting to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer more than I can admit. I hit the snooze button like a teenager and forget to mail actual things that can’t be sent via email. I let my gas tank and my phone battery get too low and have needed to be rescued from my own idiocy a few times.

I’m so not the poster child for having it all together.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that while age hasn’t freaked me out yet, the thought that I’m one of those people I used to look at while in high school is a bit unnerving. I feel that the title “Adult” is better served to those people who really have their shit together, not those (read: me) who have a hard time making a choice about what to have for dinner on any given night. So perhaps I’ll continue my mini-rebellion. I’ll keep watching shows like Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers and blaring the stereo in my car like it’s summer of 1992 and hanging out until 3 AM before going to work the next morning like it’s nothing. Ok, maybe not that last one…

Hey, maybe this adult thing isn’t too bad after all. It still kind of stings when someone addresses me as “Ma’am” as opposed to “Miss”. If that’s it though, I guess it’s not so bad. Or, maybe that’s why they make liquor? Either way, I guess I have to face it and hope no one ever cracks my facade.

You guys won’t tell anyone, right?

Tonya Brown

I'm Tonya. Late in life college student, lover of Tigers baseball, iced coffee and cartoons made for kids but with humor geared toward adults. Married to Adam. We've been together for 20 years and married for 13. No kids, by choice, but we share our home with 2 cats and a rescued Doberman, none of whom do chores or contribute to the mortgage. We've tried. Music is my outlet, and my iTunes library is both awesome and embarrassing. I like to read, love to write and probably swear more than is legal in 48 states. I fully believe that good is the rule and laughter is the best medicine. If you can laugh, you're good. If you can laugh at yourself, even better.