Wednesday, October 10, 2007

building a miss-tery ...

this is the face of a miss. this is also a gratuitious shot of me to prove that occasionally i wash my hair. granted, i used VO5, but it still said shampoo on the bottle. right under the thing that says 89 cents.


i was at starbucks yesterday, picking up a large coffee and cramming the pockets of my hoodie with free itunes. on my way out, i ran into a woman i know and her wee child. we exchanged starbuckian pleasantries, then she introduced me to her daughter:

"this is my daughter [wee child]," she said.
the wee child looked up at me.
"[wee child], this is miss [pista]," she said -- although using my real last name.

i thought she was just being cute with this miss business. giving me a little nickname. like how if, hypothetically, on my first day of in-car drivers' ed training i hypothetically ran a red light. the instructor slammed on her custom-made passenger-side brake, earning us both a sash of horizontal seat belt bruising, then turned to me and and, hypothetically, said:

"that little manuever, missy, would have cost you your liscense!"

or, like, if your mom met you on the front steps on her way to work in the morning, and you were just sneaking in after falling asleep at your boyfriends' house and you were 24ish, she might spit between clenched teeth:

"listen here, miss christa. i don't know what you heathens were up to, but us catholics are home by at least by 2 a.m."

so we continued chatting, then i left -- rich with free downloads -- and it took me a block to realize: hey. wait. i am miss pista. if you are a wee child and you meet me -- an adult, according to my birth certificate and intolerance of super loud music and super spicy chili -- i am miss pista.

this is the first time i've ever been introduced to someone as miss pista. as you know, i'm not a teacher or regularly in trouble with the law -- as far as the law knows. i'm not usually assigned a title, per se. even when i'm subscribing to something new or filling out forms at urgent care, i tend to gloss over the whole miss, mrs., ms. portion of the paperwork. i'm sure in sixth grade, i probably refered to myself as christa l. pista, esquire. but that was just hommage to bill and ted's excellent adventure. but that was a phase. like this whole blogging thing.

this miss thing wasn't insulting. it wasn't like being ma'am-ed. it was more like wearing a training bra for the first time:

a) a little itchy
b) a sign of support
c) something my grandpa would laugh about
d) something i could shed when i got home.

i don't know why this is so strange. the teaching of manners to children. despite the fact that i can burp "thank you" i, too, was taught manners. if i were at a slumber party at fannies' parents house and we were giggling too loudly and her mom came downstairs to shush us, i'd say: "sorry, mrs. mcfanster."

or, if i was at a stoplight exhaling camel light, and turned and saw princess linda's mom at the light next to me, i'd cough, throw the cigarette and say to myself: sheeeeet. mrs. princess linda just saw me smoking.

and actually, it is worse than that. my mom fixed my aunt up with my high school track coach -- a man i'd known for years as mr. miller. they got married when i was in college, and to this day we have this exchange every time we see each other:

me: hi mr. miller.
mr. miller: christa. you can call me [first name]
me: okay, mr. miller.

14 comments:

Fannie said...

e) something my dad would refer to as my sling-shot, as in "you left your sling-shot in the bathroom". this still makes me lol everytime I think of it.

Also, have you been watching 'Journeyman'? They play a lot of Sarah McLachlan when he travels to the past. :)

L Sass said...

Fortunately, I'm not in contact with many small children. My boyfriend's niece and nephews call me by my first name as do children of close friends. I'm not sure what would happen if I encountered the child of an acquaintance!

Of course, I also grew up calling most of my parents' friends by their first names, so I wouldn't expect to be addressed as Miss Sass!

Beverly said...

I'm totally famous! And under surveillance. Yes, folks, it's "the woman" with the polite manners. If you'd just hang out with more homeschoolers, you might get ma'am-ed more. I knew you would think that was weird.
I've been a mom for almost 9 years, so I'm starting to acclimate to being a grown-up. And I called you "Ms.," not "Miss." 'Cause we're liberated ladies.

Clare said...

Hey, missy! What's up with this whole Starbucks/iTunes free download thing? I just exhausted the 13 free song credits that they gave me for having downloaded a faulty Patty Griffin tune (it was supposed to be 1 free song credit, but who am I to quibble?), but it sounds like this could stave off paying for iTunes downloads for a little while longer.

ps said...

omg. mr. miller of the miller twins miller?!

christina said...

b -- thought that since you are now part of the blogging community i'd give you a story about you. :)

clare -- starbucks has little baseball card sized redemptions for a new free song everyday. at my home starbucks, they don't go through them all, so they had four for me to glom on to. unfortunately i like "free" so much that yesterday i cast aside good taste and grabbed gloria estefan.

ps: nah. different mr. miller. however, miller twins MRS. miller was my kindergarten teacher. tiny, tiny world.

Whiskeymarie said...

I can't even THINK of myself as a "Mrs."
the very thought makes me shudder, so I choose "Ms."
If I have to choose, that is.
And I get Ma'amed all the time- I hate it and have vowed to give everylast person that says it the stink eye.
I'd rather be referred to as "Miss" still, that's all I'm saying...

CDP said...

I embrace the Mrs., Ms., and ma'am. So much so, in fact, that I get a little huffy if anyone under say 15 addresses me by my first name. (and VO5 is perfectly fine shampoo. Also try the old school Flex if you can find it...$1.29 and it smells awesome)

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

i have just begun to occasionally be referenced as "mam". it makes me want to punch the little miss who said it in the face. yuck.

i'll have to think of a good comeback instead. i doubt the punching would go over really well.

chuck said...

Is there a male equivalent of "ma'am"? Somehow "sir" doesn't seem so bad.

Andrew said...

Please never ever let Mr. Miller be confused with the Miller twins. Do they still have their own wall at applebees?

christina said...

here i thought i could reference your step dad without intrusion. YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T READ MY SITE ANYMORE!

and i wouldn't know about the applebees wall thing, since it has been so long since the last time i was at the rochester applebees. in fact, the last time i was there, my cross country photo was on the wall.

Miss Kate said...

I have been getting ma'am-ed since I was 24. Which is still in the MTV demographic, I'll have you know.

I chose "Miss Kate" as my final blogging name because I have zero imagination.

Anonymous said...

I make all children call me Uncle (Quackers), it will make the arrest story on CNN more interesting.

"The suspect, who the children referred to as Uncle (Quackers), was last seen..."

--Quackers