Somebody really smart has invented a tiny video camera that can be attached to just about anything. Now, I’m not generally one for gadgets, but I will admit I’ve been tempted to get one of these bad boys. I’d attach it to myself and run errands to record how many young store clerks, bank tellers, nurses, receptionists, and others call me “Dear” or “Hun” or “Honey” as I go about my business on any given day.
I’m not sure when this became so common, but I have a hunch it began when kids started calling every adult they knew by their first names in that casual, “Hey, Betsy! How was your colonoscopy?” way that many do today. There are still people who I run into that I call Mrs. or Mr. for no other reason than that it was ingrained in me as a child to be polite. Back then, if I’d tried to form their first names and say them out loud, I’m pretty sure that my tongue would have withered up and fallen onto the sidewalk. This would have made us both very uncomfortable.
My aunt calls me “Dearie” from time to time. She’s known me since before I was born, so she can call me anything she wants. If she lives to be 100 (I’m banking on this) she’ll probably still be calling me that when I’m 75. When I was young, local legend Melba Miller called everyone she knew “Honey” and got away with it because, well, it was hard to get mad at anyone in a silk brocade jacket and gold I Dream of Jeannie shoes who was that happy to see you. But post-Melba, unless you are related to the woman you are saying it to, you need to cut it out with the Honey stuff. For real. Just. stop. If you are a doctor, lawyer or teacher you need to stop, too, because you sound like a ninny. It is 2015, not 1950. We live in Minnesota, not the deep South. Most of us are hanging on by a thread as it is, what with menopause and husbands and bifocals and the rest. We are an unforgiving lot. And you’re not Melba.
And so, as we all look forward to springtime, this is my fervent plea. If you are anyone other than my Auntie, just smile and say hello to me. Go ahead. Make my day. If you know me, call me by my first name or my last name. Heck, if I can order off the Senior menu, I’ll even take a “Mrs.” or a “Ma’am” from time to time and smile.
I’ll try to be sweet as honey, actually.