Lettuce with Pork and Snow Peas, Ma’am?

Are you a Ma'am or a Miss?

A Sir or a Dude?

Do you cringe when total strangers get overly familiar or do you think it's friendly?

When we left the US, oh those many long years ago, people, for the most part, still treated other people somewhat politely.

It was the beginning of the 'Hi, my name is Twinkle Toes and I'll be your waitperson today' era, but that introduction was not yet taken as a sign that you were now best friends.

For the most part, here in Europe one never knows the first name of one's waiter or waitress. They refer to each other as colleagues and address the patrons as Sir or Madam…. Regardless of age.

I like that.

I find it extremely patronizing and irritating, when I'm buying something in the US and some young man, only just starting to shave, calls me 'Miss'.

Miss is a form of address used for little girls…. And, sometimes, for genteel, elderly, frail, southern women who have never married.

I am neither of those.

Young women, on the other hand, don't seem to do that – they don't use any form of address at all.

Until they see your credit card.

Then they have the unmitigated gall to give one a nickname.

My name, if I do not know you and you are merely looking at my credit card, is 'Mrs. Z____"

If you want to irritate me, call me 'Kathleen'.

If you really want to piss me off, to the point that I seriously consider inflicting bodily harm, call me 'Kathy'.

It's not the name (although the name is not mine) it's the presumption.

What I don't understand is why management (since I'm sure most of the blame belongs to them) gives such instructions.

I recently read that some women don't like to be called "Ma'am" because they think, somehow, it either makes them old or is a judgment on their age.

Just so you know… If you are 30, to the young man just starting to shave, you ARE old.  Him calling you 'Miss' won't change his opinion and he's probably snickering as he says it.

But that's only if he actually notices you. 

You're buying a coffee/sandwich/bag of groceries/whatever…. Do you really think these people take the time to look at you and make a judgement about your age?

The nicest thing about 'Ma'am' and 'Sir' is they're universal, one-size-fits-all signs of respect.  They're perfectly good forms of address, that have been around for ages – because they work.

To all of you women who think you are to young to be 'Ma'am'ed….  Don't you like being treated with respect?

If everyone accepted and expected to be addressed respectfully it would make life run so much smoother and be so much easier on all the people who deal with strangers on a daily basis.

Everyone would know….

Only four words to keep straight: Sir, Ma'am, Please, Thank you

Okay, that was five, but you get my drift….

On to the food…

There is one store that I shop at that occasionally has snow peas.

We love them… Stir-fries in winter; salads in summer.

Salad with Pork, Snow Peas
Lettuce with Pork and Snow Peas

12oz (350gr) pork tenderloin
2 tbs Teriyaki sauce
1 tbs sherry vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 carrot, shredded with vegetable peeler
4oz (125gr) snow peas, trimmed, sliced in half or thirds
3oz (90gr) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp Teriyaki sauce

7oz (200gr) lettuce, enough for 2 main meal salads
Oriental Vinaigrette
2 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs Teriyaki sauce or marinade

1 tbs Sherry vinegar
1 tsp sesame or walnut oil
3 tbs salad olive oil

Pork:  Mix all ingredients for marinade.  Add pork, turn to coat and let marinate for 15 minutes.  Cook on barbecue grill for 20 – 25 minutes, until done, basting with marinade. 
When done, slice into 1/2" (1.25cm) thick slices. 

Vegetables: Sauté mushrooms in oil and Teriyaki sauce for 5 minutes.  Add snow peas, carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes longer.
Salad: Prepare lettuce and put in salad bowl.  Add mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and 2 tbs vinaigrette.  Toss well to coat.  Arrange pork on top and drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette. Serve with any remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Vinaigrette:  Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.  

BTW, this post was triggered by another blog post I read this week…. I would give credit, but I don't remember… and my computer is in hospital (dementia) and I don't have the URL.  If whoever posted reads this – let me know so I can give credit where credit is due…

7 thoughts on “Lettuce with Pork and Snow Peas, Ma’am?”

  1. Delicious – we must try pork tenderloin on the BBQ. Sometimes I do cringe when someone calls me Ma’am….I still feel too young to be called that…although I’m not. But you are right – at least it is more respectful.

  2. I’ve definitely had my moments when someone called me ma’am and I got a bit irked. Maybe I’ll rethink that next time…

  3. My favorite is the vegetable seller at my local farmer’s market. He’s Hispanic and he calls his customers “Amigo” or “Amiga” according to their gender. I find that charming, even though I’m not really his friend. It seems friendly without being familiar, if you see what I mean.

  4. Oh how I miss the standard politeness that is so much a part of living in France! Did have a hard time with tu and vous when first there but once I understood to use vous for everyone except children until asked to change to tu…I loved the order of it! Great recipe by the way!

  5. Katie, great post! I’ve run through the list of Ma’am, Mrs., Ms., Miss over the years and it seems like it really would be easier for everyone if we just had the two choices per your post. Simple, basic politeness that’s all. Thanks for the tenderloin recipe, I was just looking for something like that for the weekend. Perfect!

  6. I rather hate when people call me Kathleen or Kathy myself (given that that is NOT my name. I will never be a Kathy. Grrr). I have noticed this new thing of the sales associate trying to speak with you by your name, but you are right, its Ms or Mrs. ____ Not my first name – but maybe Im just too old fashioned!
    This dinner looks beautiful. I would have to throw rice in to please the BF but its delicious looking as a salad!

  7. Ina, I’ve always been happy with Ma’am – even in my early 20’s. I never considered it a reflection on my age or appearance. Miss is too familiar and too patronizing….
    Joanne, yes, rethink it…. – They really aren’t paying close attention to how you look :-))
    Zoomie, at a market it Spain some of the vendors called everyone ‘guapa’ And, for some reason, I don’t mind ‘deary’ if spoken by a sufficiently elderly person.
    KC, in French at least it’s a bit easier to use the ‘tu’ In Spanish is was a whole new word one had to learn! (I realize that written ‘tu’ is different, but spoken, it most often sounds like the 1st person)
    Christine, it would be easier on the speaker as well as getting rid of one more reason for people to get upset.
    Kita, I really hate that presumption! I often put rice or barley in salads, too.

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