Thursday, February 4, 2016

Don't call me dear!

Are there things that really bug you?  For me, it’s being called ‘dear’ in a restaurant, doctor’s office or shop.  I hear ‘you poor old dithery thing’. 

 I don’t know what they intend, but that’s what I interpret. 
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a person who dwells on age much and I am aware that I no longer fit in the ‘no spring chicken’ catergory. I’m fine with that. Plus, I come from a great place (Cape Breton) where everyone calls everyone ‘dear’.  It doesn’t mean ‘you poor old thing’ their either.  It’s just a warm and friendly term used by people of all ages to people of all ages.

Outside of Cape Breton, it seems to mean something quite different.  I find it condescending and just short of a curled lip. I notice it's rarely used for large, young men.  I'd be happy to be corrected on this.

I arrived home recently seething from a restaurant one night and called to complain to Victoria. “The waiter kept calling me ‘dear’.  Victoria said, “And did you call him Lamb Chop? Honeybun? Cuddlekins?’ 

As it turned out, I hadn’t said any of that. I did get a good laugh out of it, but future ‘dear’ attacks, I couldn’t quite manage to say, ‘Thanks, Lamb Chop.’

Part of the problem is that I know that being a food server is a tough job with a lot of pressure and most of them mean well (even if they think I am a poor old thing).  I like people in food service and try to treat them right.  Still the sound of dear and other condescending names (nouns and pronouns) make me mad. You think they’d figure that out by looking at me.

Then last night, at a lovely restaurant, the young waiter kept saying “How are we?”  “Are we ready to order?” “Would we like anything else?”
Aside from this, he seemed like a nice ‘lad’, looked like a smaller version of Damien Lewis and was very efficient. So I didn’t say “Oh, are you joining us?”  But I’m sure it was clearly written in the talk bubble over my head   I found this ‘we’ thing annoying too, but nowhere near as bad as “How are you young ladies tonight?”  This is always said to a group of not at all young ladies by a man, either young or middle aged.  What message are we to take from it?  We fooled you?  You really think we’re young ladies? There’s something about our not at all young ladyness that needs speaking about?  

Now over to you readers!  Should I just get over myself?  Should I call the next server Sugar Lumps? Or should I get a large button made that says “DON’T CALL ME DEAR”? or maybe one that states “Be careful. I know 147 ways to kill someone.”?

While we’re talking, what really riles you?