Day 50 – See you later hon!

16 Aug

A couple of weeks ago I was leaving the gym and the girl working behind the counter called out to me as I passed by, “Have a great day hon!” Really, I thought, hon, really? She’s almost half my age. This didn’t sit well with me. There are very few people in my life that comfortably call me hon. My mother and my mother-in-law can both do so and I don’t bat an eyelash. My husband often calls me hon, usually when we’re doing something comfortable together, like getting a meal ready or grocery shopping. It’s a term of endearment. Then there’s Teri, we were going to get together with Teri and her husband Art this last trip to NJ this summer, but we put off making plans and it didn’t happen. Art and Teri are good friends and she has this gregarious personality that lets her call just about anyone ‘hon’ and from her it just feels natural. But, the girl at the gym that’s almost half my age. She has no business calling ME ‘hon’.

I used to get upset when people called ‘ma’am’. And, sometimes I still do. I know it’s polite, but in my late twenties, the first time someone called me ‘ma’am’ I said, “Don’t call me that. That’s a term reserved for my mother.” When someone calls you ma’am it seems like a term of respect for someone who is either older than you, or perhaps someone who should see themselves in a position of authority or superiority. I very rarely feel like I’m in either of those positions, and usually it just makes me feel old to be called ‘ma’am’. However, last week I was at a local pizza place and the older man that was working there said, “Have a nice day ma’am,” and I felt nothing but respected. Maybe I’m accepting the polite title or coming to terms with getting older? But, if I were you, I wouldn’t chance it. Obviously, I’m still a little sensitive.

Last night we were out at a restaurant and the young waiter call me ‘miss’. He seems to have experience when it comes to how to speak to female customers in order to maximize his tips. It was quite clear that I was almost twice his age, and he probably could have safely called me ma’am when he handed me the cream for my coffee, but he doesn’t even know me and he didn’t chance it. Smart kid!

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