Wednesday, October 10, 2007


The older I get older, the more often strangers call me Sir.

It is an unsettling reminder that my youth is behind me and looming is the sunset of my life. Makes me cringe.

But then when people don't call me Sir, I find it bothersome too. I sense disrespect.

Is this how one gets old and cranky?


At October 11, 2007 7:15 AM, Blogger Julie R. Neidlinger said...

At age 23, I was called "Miss Neidlinger."

I was a teacher at the time. It was very strange, though, right out of college. Some of those students, who are only four or five years younger than me, still call me that when they see me because it's what they know me as. That is incredibly odd at this point. I have friends younger than them who obviously call me Julie.

However, recently at work, a fellow employee who only works for a brief bit each day and obviously hasn't taken the time to find out names, called out "Hey. Hey. Excuse me. Hey," to get my attention.

That was very annoying.

I am growing old and cranky, too.

At October 11, 2007 8:31 AM, Blogger Granny said...

My kids were taught to say ma'am and sir to any adult and Mr. or Mrs. this or that unless the adult said otherwise. Then first names were okay. When I lived in the south, close adult friends were often made courtesy "aunts" and "uncles".

My how times have changed but I'd still rather err on the side of respect.

At October 11, 2007 10:13 AM, Blogger Barbara (aka Layla) said...

I almost emailed you last night to see if you fell off the planet. Glad you didn't.

I get the "sir" thing I hate being called M'am, much rather be called Miss.

At October 11, 2007 10:13 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

Julie, I have had teachers who are only 4-5 years older than me. Then when we met up later, they specifically said to address them by their first name, and it was a bit strange at first, but got used to it.

granny, in Korea close family friends are made aunts and uncles as well. I guess it makes sense because the South and Korea are/were conservative societies.

At October 11, 2007 4:51 PM, Blogger Mad Ethel said...

I get irritated when my mail says,
"Miss Crystal Watson." BOO! I've been married for seven years now! You'd think they'd have figured it out by now!

At October 11, 2007 8:13 PM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

Yes, sir. I mean, oops.

At October 12, 2007 6:32 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

I am less annoyed by the "sir" than when people I introduce myself to immediately shorten my name. If I shake your hand and say "I'm Joshua," you should not respond "Hi Josh." Then I am either forced to look like a jerk by saying "it's Joshua" or forever be referred to by a name other than what I prefer.

Someone, please, feel my rediculous, idiosynchratic pain.

At October 12, 2007 9:33 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I've been called "Ma'am" plenty of times. It sucks. I hate it every single time.

At October 13, 2007 3:19 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

I'd rather be called, "sir" than "darlin'", "hon", "sweetie", "suga", etc. by a clerk or waitress, or waiter for that matter.

Yesterday afternoon I was at a Tully's Coffee shop and I was walking back to the men's room. The manager called after me, in a VERY loud voice, "You'll need a key to get in there, darlin". Groan. Everyone looked. And then two more "darlin's" as I ordered my coffee.

When I was much younger, such appellations were confusing. Was the clerk or waitress or whatever hitting on me, or just being superficially and artificially intimate? Did she want a bigger tip or did she want to bear my children? (It was always the tip.)

At October 13, 2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey David, whatever happened to your photo? I know they don't require a membership photo on AARP membership cards, but don't you have a current pic? Your old one that was taken in the bathroom mirror was ok.

At October 14, 2007 9:49 AM, Blogger rubyslipperlady said...

My middle sister insists on introducing me as 'my OLDER sister' and I want to punch her.

Here in Kenya the 'youth' refers to anyone about 45 and younger. YEA! does that help?

At October 14, 2007 7:21 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Yeah, I've noticed that about your sister too.

At October 14, 2007 7:41 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

I know that I get REALLY mad when someone calls me "sir"---okay that hasn't happened, but I know that it would make me angry! :)

I actually really like the respect behind being addressed with such words. I am a firm believer in the use of them no matter age.

At October 14, 2007 9:04 PM, Blogger SUPER said...

I had a conversation about this just this past week. I, too, have found myself irritated with being call maam...thinking there is no way I'm old enough for people to be calling me that!
Yet, I find myself using it on a regular basis (even to people younger than I) in stores or places where I need assistance.

At October 16, 2007 10:55 AM, Blogger L-girl said...

Hey, take the respect and enjoy it.

Sunset of your life. Pfft. The best is yet to come.

Although I will freely admit the first time I heard a young person say, "That lady says..." (meaning me), I was quite shocked. But I've gotten over it. :)

At October 16, 2007 6:19 PM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

Sparks my interest in the etiology of "Sir"

At October 18, 2007 9:18 AM, Anonymous Susanna said...


Yes, David, just so you know, you ARE old and cranky ;)

Just joking!

When I call someone "sir", it's usually to indicate respect. Never a comment on their age (though I doubt I'd call someone younger than me "sir").

At October 18, 2007 12:04 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I've been old so long, that it shocks me when someone DOESN'T call me "ma'am".

At November 14, 2007 1:13 PM, Blogger San Nakji said...

We call everyone "mate" here :) Is that better?

At December 01, 2007 3:58 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Old man, could you explain to me why you do not already consider yourself cranky?

Thank you, sir.


Post a Comment

<< Home