I am not a woman. This picture taken of me during my enormous beardy phase I think illustrates that point beautifully. I feel it necessary to proclaim my manhood with great verve because throughout my adult life I have been “Ma’am’d” dozens upon dozens of times. Ma’am’d as in people, complete strangers, from all walks of life call me ma’am. This awkward phenomenon is usually restricted to conversations that occur over electronic devices. For example, a telemarketer may call and ask me if I’m the lady of the house. I then have to convince said telemarketer that not only am I not the lady of the house, I am indeed a man. I’ve actually had to argue with telemarketers before over the nature of my… gender. The other times this happens is at fast food drive through windows. I pull up to the two-way communicator, place my order, and listen helplessly as the fast food worker says, “Please pull forward, ma’am.”
Here’s the thing, I do not have a particularly feminine voice. In fact, I haven’t a single feminine quality to my voice whatsoever. Yet, I am constantly ma’am’d! Listen to this recording I put together for my book, and tell me if I sound like a woman.
I bring this up because I was ma’am’d in person this past weekend. A guy had his back to me, and I asked him if he was in line for the movie. Without turning, he said “No, ma’am!” My wife was blown away. During our 13 years together, I have told her about my ma’aming problem, but she thought I was exaggerating. This weekend she witnessed it first hand, and she was flabbergasted. It is a maddening problem. If this is a huge prank the rest of the world has decided to play on me, I give up. Please stop calling me ma’am. I am not a woman!