I’m quite sure it was a genteel confederate soldier on his way back to Memphis from The Battle of Shiloh who started the seemingly considerate tradition of referring to lady passersby as ma’am. As fond as I am of genteel gentlemen north and south of the Mason Dixon line I would like to punch this fine genteel gentleman – oh let’s just call him Rufus – I would like to punch Rufus straight across his square yet stubbly battle weary chin if he is responsible for this “polite” tradition. Now I have no idea if in fact this famous Civil War battle was the inspiration for the Jolie-Pitt child of the same name but I’m sure her oh-so-hot mama doesn’t want to be called ma’am either – I digress. Dear Rufus, may I call you Rufus? Unless I am in a motorized wheel chair wearing a gray wig from the Dolly Parton collection or in line at the Social Security Office picking up my check OR on a bus tour with a gaggle of nuns in habits visiting ancient religious sites, please Please, PLEASE call me Miss.
P.S. Have a nice day.