I did not appreciate you calling me “little lady” yesterday. Something I made obvious, I know, when I told you that I was the same age as you so don’t call me that, and you got that constipated/offended look on your face that said, along with your words, that I shouldn’t “get silly” here, because you were there for that. Well. No, dude, you are there to sell alternative furniture: giant beanbag manifestations of the interior design fantasies I had as a third-grader, back when we went around asking what we wanted our dream houses to look like. I was there to ogle said beanbags and imagine napping in one and wonder how much they cost without actually asking how much they cost, because I didn’t want to know.
I get that you needed to improve your conversion rate and wanted my business dearly. I get it. I sell specialty products in that very mall! And it took me a long time to get any good at selling those specialty products! I’m not paid on commission, either; that must be the worst. But what I don’t understand is, why the “little lady”? Is that supposed to charm me, make me more likely to hand over the electronic debit? It makes me feel condescended to. You’re not Southern. And frankly, it makes you sound old-fashioned. You are not Freddy Rumsen, dude! You are a twentysomething beanbag salesman in a green V-neck from American Apparel. You looked shocked when I said don’t call me little lady, like I was an angry feminist bitch who never had fun. (Admittedly, my blue button-up lent credence to this theory.) Am I? Yes, all right, I am getting all worked up and overreacting over a meaningless greeting because (possibly) I am utilizing you to expel stress from my daily life that has been building up, for various unrelated reasons, over the days and weeks. But you know what? I don’t care. Your speech, and general smarminess, exemplifies institutionalized, unnoticed sexism. It is the infantilization of women I claim objection to. So stop doing it. Kthx!!!