R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ?

I was going to call this An Open Letter to Marketers but I felt like such a Jenne’ wannabe. So here we are stuck with that title. Oh, never mind. Here I go.

Dear Marketers of products and services to Adults 40+ or Occupant:

We know you are glad we have become such avid consumers. We treat ourselves well (cha-ching) and we are in constant desire of more. More, more, more. And, lucky for you, we’ve finally attained enough to be able to afford all that. Well, some of it. Okay, a little.

You keep making new ads with younger-looking older people. You try to portray us in commercials as fun and hip, even though you think we’re tired and ratty and old. Fine. We can live with it. We recognize that you are young and naive and you don’t realize what it’s like to be a little older. We have found peace with our (minor) wrinkles and our (extremely minor) cellulite and our (perhaps slightly less minor) waddle and muffin top.

So, when you call us ma’am when we come into your shops and you treat us like we don’t understand technology and you humor us with your strained smiles…remember that it was you, yes you, who told us we are young enough to wear your jeans and that we are young enough to frequent your restaurant or hip enough to use your service.

So don’t go treating us like we are old. Think it. Whatever. But don’t call me ma’am.

Give me a little respect. I still feel young.

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6 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ?

  1. Bravo, Oh, Bravo. I’m giving you a Standing O, as I comment.

    Oh, this needs to be published somewhere.

  2. i’m sorry, but i call many people sir or ma’am. the cashier at publix, the gas station guy, the receptionist at the pediactrician’s (who happens to be younger than i am).

    so i can’t speak for the rest of the stuff you complain about, but calling someone ma’am is just being polite.

    and the only thing “old” about that is that it’s perhaps “old-fashioned.” i think the world could use some more of that, down-home politeness, quite frankly.

  3. GNG – and YOU are younger than I am… 🙂

    Maven – Hey there! It’s not the words, it’s the tone and the attitude. Hard to explain. They dont’ say ma’am to the women who are 30 standing next to me. The implication is different. Seriously, get back to me about it in 10 years…I KNOW when someone is patronizing.

  4. I say ma’am to all woman over the age of 20. It just seems the polite way to address someone whose name you don’t know. A few weeks ago a woman in the grocery store took offense when I said “excuse me ma’am” as I squeezed past her. Now I know why. (But I really wasn’t being patronizing!)

  5. Let’s face it; “ma’am” often has the underlying insinuation that the user is *r.e.s.p.e.c.t.i.n.g* his/her elders, particulary when used with aforementioned attitude. A woman of the age of my favorite blogger, (Blanche, we’ll call her!), who happens to be the same age as myself, doesn’t want it blatantly pointed out that she’s older, no matter how it’s done. But ponder this: It’s not very often that I hear an older woman calling a younger one ‘ma’am’, yet when I’m called “ma’am” by an older man, it doesn’t seem as “put-offish”– it’s almost cute, or sweet; funny how that is. The messenger as well as the attitude of the messenger seems to change the message.
    –Laurie

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