I don’t know why; maybe it’s because I’m from the South where dur’near everybody calls each other Darlin‘, Honey, Buddy or some other such term of endearment, but I’m constantly taken aback by people* who get their knickers in a twist when I call them Sweetpea or Punkinshell or what-have-you. What’s wrong with showin’ a lil’ love?
I’ve noticed that these are usually the same people* who get all rankled when I use the term “ma’am.”
Me: “Yes, ma’am.”
Random Woman: “Did you just call me ‘ma’am’???”
“Don’t call me ‘ma’am.’ My gawd, I’m not that old. How old do you think I am? Really!”
“It’s just a sign of respect.”
“So, where are you from?”
I really don’t understand the problem with using terms of endearment. I don’t even think I do it on purpose. I just can’t help it. Offense is certainly never my initial intention. I think I’m just being Southern. And, polite. I write the way I talk, so I’ll even do it when I’m writing to people. It just feels wrong, otherwise. In fact, it seems almost mean to me to just abruptly end a sentence. Is this a Southern thing? A Texan thing? A Mom thing? ‘Cause I’m all three, and it’s really hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Where do you stand on the use of these terms? I’m eager to know … Puddin’cup.
*By people I mean women cuz the guys don’t seem to give a hoot what you call ’em as long as you don’t call ’em late for supper.