Pam or “Ma’am?”

Today’s crankiness could be attributed to the fact that it’s Monday and some Mondays are extra Monday-ish, (like this one.) It’s also a million degrees outside with 150% humidity and I may or may not be menopausal, but whoa… I’ve really disliked being called, “Ma’am” on this particular day.

Argh.

I visited just two places and at both locations, I was addressed multiple times by the moniker that sometimes, makes me shudder;

  • MA’AM, your prescription can’t be filled today.” (Pharmacy staff)
  • “Polly’s prescription is ready for you, MA’AM.” (Vet staff)
  • MA’AM, do you want to put your rewards number in?” (Cashier)
  • “Pardon me, MA’AM… (Customer sharing the aisle with me)
  • “MA’AM? MA’AM? MA’AM?!” (Pharmacy staff trying to get my attention)

Sometimes, I really don’t mind being addressed this way. Today, it was different. It happened so many times in a period of about 60 minutes.

I do know some women who are downright offended by the term AT ABSOLUTELY ALL TIMES, because it somehow makes them feel old; but really, isn’t it a polite term of respect more than age?

Please discuss and do let me know your thoughts. I’m genuinely curious!

Look, I don’t care much about age, so whether or not someone thinks I’m old doesn’t matter to me. What bugged me most about today is that I felt like “ma’am” put a type of formal distance between me and the human beings who were addressing me. I’m a person who really likes to get to know other people.

So, yeah… it’s my problem. If other people feel more comfy calling me, “Ma’am,” (cringe) I’ll have to be okay with it. I can’t envision myself correcting someone when in actuality, they’re pretty correct. I probably am a “ma’am.” I’m a “ma’am” named Pam. Speaking of which…

don’t eeeeeee-ven get me started on how “Ma’am” rhymes with my name. I often think people who know me are calling out my name when in fact, they’re really saying, “ma’am.”

This minor quibble definitely falls into the high-class kvetch category. Also, on a brighter note, it would be even tougher if I was a man named, “Adam” and I thought people were calling me, “Madam.” 🙂

P.S. I haven’t yet made it to “MADAM/MADAME” status unless I’m at a French restaurant which of course, I frequently dine at. I love French doigt de pied-fou.

Le Yum.

Really, no matter what the moniker du jour, One thing I continuously remind myself is that even when I’m cranky over silly things such as this, I’m a very lucky Pam

and sometimes, “Ma’am.”

For Juliette: A Love Letter You May (still) Hate, (for now.)

Nov. 24, 2019

I wrote the letter that follows today’s entry, to Juliette, exactly five years ago, one day before her 11th birthday. It’s interesting to look back to see what’s changed, what hasn’t and what will likely never change.

There’s so much in the past five years, no one could have ever predicted, but we walk through and not around. This is something I so love about you and our little family. 

You are without question, one of the smartest, most empathetic and beautiful human beings I know. I’m not even being biased about it because I’m your Mom.

Tomorrow, you turn 16. This is an age I’ve been warned about from many sources. I don’t know, but I am really enjoying this time with you and witnessing all of the many ways you’re blossoming into an extraordinary young woman. (Okay, but you still live under my roof and follow the rules!)

While you’ll always be my baby and the one who made me a mother, I respect the very mature young person you’ve shown yourself to be.

And I won’t even get started on your singing. Your vocal gifts blow my head off of my neck. When others compliment you, believe them.

I love you endlessly and this is something I know you know. I’m so grateful that no matter what doubts we may have, we never doubt that one essential fact.

Happy Sweet 16! I hope our homemade Ramen and purple cake will bring you joy. You know that experiences are everything and stuff is just, well… stuff.

Love,

Mom


Continue reading “For Juliette: A Love Letter You May (still) Hate, (for now.)”

ABCs of 5779 & 5780

During this transition into 5780, I decided to do an exercise: to sum up this past  year and vision for year to come, in less than five minutes.

I forced myself not to overthink, but to fly through a list that I believe is the truth – the good, the bad and the ugly. There was a lot of ugly in 5779, but toward its close, my family and I experienced more hope in our “Happy House.” May it represent better things to come for me, my family, you, your family and humankind.

 Blank Instagram Landscapes

  • Afflicted
  • Burdened
  • Crafty
  • Dumped
  • Exit
  • Freaked
  • Genuine
  • Happy House
  • Inventive
  • Job
  • Kicked
  • Loved
  • Mishegas
  • No
  • Prayer
  • Quandary
  • Responsibilities
  • Scary
  • Tricky
  • Unjust
  • Vacant
  • Whipped
  • X-rated
  • You   (Yeah, YOU.)
  • Zapped

Blank Instagram Landscapes (1)

  • Authentic
  • Better
  • Caressed
  • Defused
  • Energized
  • Free
  • Gentle
  • Hopeful
  • Illuminated
  • Jerusalem
  • Knowledge
  • Loved
  • Mom
  • No
  • Open
  • Present
  • Quiet
  • Renewed
  • Simple
  • Tranquil
  • Unencumbered
  • Visionary
  • Well
  • Xenophile
  • Yippee
  • Zeal

Shana Tova. Even if you feel it more sour than sweet, may we have the patience to wait out the sour until it transitions into sweetness.

XO, Pamegranate

Getting to the meat of the issues

I haven’t published anything in months. While there are enough heart-wrenching stories to tell, they aren’t for public consumption. Continue reading “Getting to the meat of the issues”

The Practice for the Panicky Parent

I recently learned that my kids see all that I am. They’ve known about my many flaws for some time now, but I am just starting to get okay with this fact. My hope is that I can use their truths about me as a learning tool for personal, parental and professional growth. Continue reading “The Practice for the Panicky Parent”

Lightening up about mistakes

Tonight, for some unknown reason, I suddenly thought of a beauty product I tried a few weeks before my wedding in 2002… Epil-Stop.

Please see below for happy customers.

Like most brides, I wanted to feel and be as lovely as I possibly could.

Continue reading “Lightening up about mistakes”

Philanthropy is Phly: Not Phancy – Redux

I originally wrote this article in 2016. Not much has changed except my two daughters, phor example, no longer permit me to say, “fly,” let alone spell it with a “ph.” I am hardly permitted to breathe as it’s incredibly embarrassing for them.

I am reposting this because of my unwavering love of philanthropy and the importance of instilling it in my children and all of our children. Philanthropy is often perceived as only monetary funding. It is so much more than that. 

ORT has an upcoming event at WhirlyBall in Chicago and it has been designed intentionally to interest kids in philanthropy and tikkun olam. (Repair of the world.)

Worst case scenario, at least the kids who come to Sunday Funday on January 27th can be exposed to the different struggles of other kids throughout the world. This is not to diminish any child’s struggles, but to enhance their lives by opening their world to philanthropy.

One more shift that’s transpired since I wrote this post is that I have learned how to be somewhat handy and forego the need for a “Schneider.”

If you need your toilet fixed, I’m your gal. Continue reading “Philanthropy is Phly: Not Phancy – Redux”

You = VIP: an Experiential Experiment

Last week, I took time off from work. For a brief shining moment, I acted like a stay-at-home mom to my beautiful daughters. It was wonderful. (See photo for proof of great time. Also, we have actual seating in our home.) Continue reading “You = VIP: an Experiential Experiment”

Single Working Mom Seeks Understudy

This morning, the dogs woke me at butt o’clock, A.K.A. 4:20AM. I bundled up and took them for a long, slippery walk. It was crisp, dark and slightly foggy. I was moved to take photos because it was just so beautiful outside. I was grateful to my pups who forced me to be out and about in the quiet, without any cars or cares. After I snapped the photos, I put my camera away so I could be fully present for my walk. I tried to extend my freedom from thought or worry about anything in my day to day life. My brain, body and spirit are continuously seeking a breather no matter how brief it may be. Continue reading “Single Working Mom Seeks Understudy”

Grateful for Art.

And mindful reflection.

IMG_20181102_170415_862
Evanston Canal, by the hospital

And quiet.

And breath.

And tears.

And laughter.

And color.

IMG_20181124_224934_307
J and C in Chinatown

And sound.

And eyes that see.

And ears that hear.

And the willingness to work through what I cannot see or hear,

yet,

or maybe ever.

cagey
Safe doesn’t always mean pretty

Instagram post 11-13-18
Strength from all over the place. Some boundaries too.

IMG_20180826_224536_787
No such thing as trapped. Not really.

Grateful for all that has led me here, right now.

Grateful for you and others on my path who may have caused wounds,

And scabs.

And scars.

And joy.

IMG_20181110_104738_997
My busy head. I have learned to like my head and its committee.

And grateful for my voice and for yours.

mountain3
One scar, of many.

This is my heart.

And this is my art.

IMG_20181210_142759_817.jpg
When I couldn’t sleep last night, this happened.

And we all have stuff with which to make art.

So grateful.

 

Jake Lawler

Writer | Director | Motivational Speaker | Storyteller

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