Being patronized is one of my biggest pet peeves. One of its manifestations that I can’t stand is when people call me names like “honey,” “darling,” “sweetheart” and “dear.” To me, it comes off as insecure, as a way of subtly putting people beneath you. Do you agree, or am I taking this way too seriously?
There are usually 3 different demographics of people who love to sprinkle the sugary names around:
1. Older ladies. I used to work as a grocery store cashier in college, and I had endless (typically Southern) women call me every sugary name in the book. I bag their gourmet mustard in paper? “Thanks, doll.” They hand me their Visa? “Here you go, sweetie.” I give them their receipt? “Thank you, darling.”
2. Older men. This is where the boundaries of creepiness start to be transgressed, especially if it’s older men at work who are calling you “honey.” Condescending much?
3. Your girlfriends. This phenomenon started, I think, with Carrie Bradshaw. In most episodes of “Sex and the City,” Carrie’s constantly referring to Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha as “sweetie,” “honey,” and “dear.” (Seriously, go rewatch!) I’ve found that my female friends sometimes do this all well, and it always bugs me. If I’m telling you about a problem, and you say, “you’ll figure something out, dear,” you’re basically blowing me off and trivializing what I’m trying to talk to you about.
Men are very seldom subjected to being called “honey,” in my experience, so why do people feel compelled to assign these terms of endearment to women who are strangers?
Do you agree with me, Lovelies, or do you mind as much?