He called me young lady

I got pulled over today. We were driving home from Memphis, and I had just taken over at the wheel. Geoff offhandedly mentioned that he had been booking it at about 85 miles an hour on the first leg of the trip. He assured me that he hadn’t seen any cops out this early on a Sunday morning.

So, I admit it, I wasn’t careful. I was zipping along at 83 miles an hour, reaching for a pretzel when Geoff noticed the cop. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have seen the police car at all until it pulled behind me with its lights on. Damn. The worst part is, this exact scenario has happened at least once before, while we were driving through New York years ago. That makes me extra angry, since Geoff will be adding this to his list of stories that display my poor driving skills.

Okay, so the police officer approached the car, and I was ready with the window unrolled, my license and registration in my hand.

“Good morning, young lady,” he boomed through the window.

Wait. Young lady? The officer was markedly older than me. But still. Is “young lady” a term of respect? Was he trying to be endearing, as if he was my dad or my grandpa? What the hell? Should I be relieved that he didn’t call me “M’am”? At least I look young enough to still be called young lady, but I’m not. I’m turning 36 in a few days. I don’t feel like a young lady anymore.

I was polite to the officer, because that’s how I am. A few years ago, I would have been intimidated. Now I was just ready to get back on the road. We still had most of our trip ahead of us, and with all three kids in the car, I was ready to get moving.

Still, that “young lady” stuck with me all day. It really bugged me. And it’s going to cost me $120.

2 thoughts on “He called me young lady

  1. Even when I was a young lady I didn’t get called “young lady.” I wouldn’t know wether to be humored or insulted. No danger of that starting now.

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