“Oh my God, you totally just scared that poor lady!”
“Excuse me, but there is a lady waiting to be helped. You can clean that spill up later.”
These are the sounds that I have heard lately. The sounds that won’t let me escape the undeniable fact that I am positively…
Becoming a lady.
I’m only 29, I honestly had no idea that I was treading on “lady” status, that is, until I was referred to as a “lady” not one, but two days in a row. I’ll admit, the first time I thought it was a fluke. I was in line at Starbucks trying to get an iced coffee, and there was a teenage barista and his twenty something year old manager working behind the counter. The Justin Beiber-esque looking boy was in the middle of cleaning up an entire jug of iced tea that fell out of the fridge, and the manager was restocking cups near the coffee machines. I walked up, with no one else behind me, and patiently waited for a few moments. Then, the manager says, “Excuse me but there is a lady waiting to be helped…You can clean that spill up later.” I almost bursted out laughing…“lady” moi? You cannot be serious. “Girl” maybe, but “lady?!” C’mon people! Then, the teenage boy stops what he’s doing, leaves the rag on the floor, and proceeds to come up to me and say, “I’m sorry ma’am. Sorry for keeping you waiting.” I couldn’t help it, I chuckled a little. First “lady” and then “ma’am?” I thought it must be a coincidence, no doubt about it.
That is, until…
Directly the next day I was having lunch in the food court of the mall, where a group of six or seven teenagers were loitering. They weren’t eating, they were simply “hanging out” at the mall. They were no older than fifteen or sixteen, and the group consisted of mostly boys and two girls. One of the girls had the most obnoxious laugh I have heard in my life to date. It was this obscene cackling that occurred every ten to twenty seconds, and the worst part was, it wasn’t even a genuine laugh. How do I know this? Every time I looked over at her, I saw her staring out of the corner of her eye at the boy sitting next to her before she would bust into one of the cackles. Also, her mouth wasn’t smiling, she was basically just shooting out sound, for the sake of shooting out sound, in an attempt to laugh at the boys jokes.
But whatever, this is normal teenage stuff so far…
I actually got up to move because I was on the phone with a friend, and her laughing was so ridiculous that my friend couldn’t hear me. As I walked passed the group, the teenage girl decided to suddenly scream in the boy’s face, I guess she was trying to be funny or something, and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I jumped a mile, because it startled me to the core. A cackle I would’ve expected, but a shriek? No. A different girl who was sitting across from the boy and girl with the cackle said, “Oh my gawwwwwd. You totally just scared that poor lady!!!”
That was it. They couldn’t have been talking about me! Could they? I looked behind me, and my question was validated. The whole group was staring off into the direction I was walking away, and when I made eye contact with the girl with the cackle, she immediately looked away. I could not deny it any longer that they were in fact talking about me. And to top it off, she looked at me in the way you might look at an adult, that you were afraid was about to reprimand you.
And that, my friends, is how I became a lady.
Photos by ideachampions.com