I was sitting in the coffee shop with four of my friends last week. A man we all know, a business man and husband of another friend, stopped by the table for a minute. "How are all you girls?" he asked politely.
I'm pretty sure if it had been Mark, he would have said 'ladies' and honestly, I'm not sure anyone else even noticed or cared. Does it matter?
Mark's brother, who now lives in the South and has developed an accent to match, always talks about how he couldn't get along without the 'girl' who runs his office. Every time he uses the word, my toes curl a little inside my shoes. I want to ask how old she is, but I don't think he would get it and Mark would probably rather I just kept my mouth shut.
I suppose I could take it as a compliment to be called a girl but somehow it always feels a little demeaning. If we are girls, we must not be doing anything too important. When we see a group of men, we don't call them boys, maybe guys but not boys.
Of course I wouldn't have said anything at the coffee shop. That's the heck of it. Who wants to be the crank that makes everyone uneasy over something as trivial as that? I do write the script later in my mind. It would be a great start to a short story. I'll think about that for a while.