Terms Of Endearment

“That will be $45, my lovely!” the girl at the checkout said.
No doubt she had just noticed I had my hair cut and blowdried to perfection.
I appreciated that someone had noticed.
I looked up at her, only to notice she herself was done up to the nines:  full makeup complete with thick, black eyeliner and false eyelashes; straight, black hair highlighted with chunky blonde streaks; lips lipsticked to perfection.
I laughed and handed her my credit card.
I have noticed lately that more and more people are handing out friendly terms of endearment for no other reason than to make someone’s day.
No ulterior motives; no false compliments.
Just pure and utter friendliness.
I love it when store clerks call me “Hon” – a term I reserve for my hubby – but one I am only too happy to be subjected to when out and about – albeit it is only from females that I receive it.
And that’s the thing.
All these terms of endearment, pet names, are issued by women.
If a man threw these about, he may be subjected to a harrassment suit, indeed.
And, in the alternative, if a woman issues them to a man, some serious flirtation may be alluded, when none may exist at all in reality.
But if a woman issues them to another female, it is considered friendly, matronly, social, fun.
And I have noticed that with men also.
Males have pet names for each other – “champ”, “sport”, “buddy”.
Incredibly cute, but if a female called another male those names, it may be misconstrued.
Having been to the southern states in the U.S., I have been delighted to have been called any number of sweet, pet names.
It seems to be part of their culture, to sweep everyone with a “sweetie”, “honey child”, “missy”.
A colleague I have worked with even goes so far as to include such terms of endearment in her emails.
I have been called “hon”, “sweetie”, and even “babe” during the course of our correspondence.
And I find it incredibly sweet.
And I think the world needs more of that, too.
A friendly overtone, meant to extend the bridge of friendliness, inclusiveness, human warmth.
And even though I personally find it difficult to extend pet names to anyone but my hubby, I welcome them with open ears should anyone else decide they would like to go all Southern on me and call me “sugar pie”.


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