Sir? Sir? !!!! Many years ago I wrote about being “ma’amed”. You know the first time a woman is referred to as “Ma’am”. (butterflysand.com/2013/11/10/it-happened-to-me/ ) Well I can now report to my faithful followers that I have been “Sirred”! Please allow me to explain.
I was working around the apartment when it suddenly dawned on me that I needed something immediately. I quickly picked up my wallet and nipped out to the pharmacy. I didn’t stop to brush my hair or put on lipstick or the ubiquitous mascara. I simply left my apartment. There’s a red light where I needed to cross the street and I was forced to stop for a few moments to allow traffic to pass by. Seconds later a very nice car with two gentlemen in it made a right hand turn in front of me. (perfectly legal) Through the open window I heard one gent say to the other: “It’s Open, it’s open!” I wasn’t eavesdropping, I was less than 4 feet away. They pulled around the corner and stopped at the curb.
To put things into context: the car was behind me and off to my right. Directly behind me was the liquor store. One man got out of the car and raced the five or six feet to the building. At which point I heard a rattling and a question: “Excuse me sir? Do you have the time?”
I was the only other person around. Now I have never considered myself a mean person. I try not to make fun of people because they don’t understand something. I’ve always been proud of the fact that I am definitely a woman. And in all my 58 years I have never, ever been confused for a man. Never! Until today.
The truth is I had just had my hair cut very short. Fewer trips to the hair salon as my hair grows rather quickly. This man also appeared to be in some distress. So I guess I shouldn’t judge. But seriously, sir? He did see me from behind. My hair is short. I am sitting in a wheelchair so it does hide some pretty apparent female attributes when seen from the back. I did correct him as I turned around. And then I gave him the time as requested. But it rankled!
This happened several days ago but still I can’t stop thinking about it. I fantasized that he was a raging alcoholic and was so hung over that he could barely make out the fact that I was human. He wasn’t stumbling so that might be out. Then there’s a thought that he was blind but knew there was someone there as I do have a deep voice…… nope. I didn’t speak until spoken to and he didn’t have a white cane so that probably isn’t it. Then I hypothesized he was an alien from Alpha Centuari and didn’t understand the sexes. Ha ha ha!
What this incident really did was show me how sensitive I am about things that have no real importance in my life. He was a stranger who misspoke. He didn’t mean any harm. He did not mean to disrespect me. He was in a hurry. He should not be judged negatively for something as inconsequential as a pronoun.
When did I become so vain? Yes, yes I would admit to a certain amount of vanity. I think we all have to admit to that. But it isn’t the end of the world, yet. And something wonderful did come out of this: my Sunday post!