I was cashing a check the other day and the teller used the "M" word on me. That's right, she called me "Mrs."
I should have cashed in my youth card along with the check. I have been married for nearly eight years now. I have three kids, a minivan, and a mortgage. But still, I actually checked my reflection in the minivan window after I loaded the kids in. Were my laugh lines laughing at me more than usual today, to make the teller address me in such a matronly way?
Maybe it's because we live in the twenty-first century, when people are less formal and don't use their last names to address each other much anymore. Or maybe it's because the less familial status-charged title of Ms. has become more popular. Or maybe it's because I think of myself as "Kaylie" rather than "Mrs." Whatever the reason, it was jarring, to say the least.
"Mrs." is what they called my mother when I was growing up. Not me.
Besides, truth be told, secretly I'm not a thirtysomething mother of three. Oh, no, I'm actually a wild, independent college girl in my early twenties (masquerading as a woman with a couple of grey hairs hiding underneath the brown). That's honestly how I think of myself. And I probably will forever.
I remember a story my mom told me about my grandma. Grandma was in her late eighties, crossing the street. And a couple of construction workers called out, "Hey! Watch out for the little old lady crossing the street," and Grandma looked around to see who they were talking about.
She was probably still adjusting to being called "Mrs.", too.