29 August 2011

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

I have to write this from the dude POV, because, well...I'm a dude, and that is somewhat critical to the premise of this post.  So there's that.


The TV was on the other morning, because the Wee Lass was here.  I was listening to it while doing a little web-based chore minding, and a commercial came on for a car insurance company.  At the end of the commercial the perky (and if I'm being honest, cute) spokeswoman says to the dancing guy dressed up as dollar signs, "Really, go, honey, it's your break!".

Something about the word "honey" in her mouth made me sit up and take notice.  I felt a twinge of light-headedness and realized that, for all my facades of dude-ness, I like it when a woman calls me "Honey".

Or "Sugar". Or "Sweetie".  (sigh)  I'm such a violin.

I know in the current climate of Political Correctness and Gender Distinction Awareness and Avoidance of (possibly) Patronizing Forms of Address Awareness, it can be a slippery slope to use terms of endearment in a public venue and addressed to someone we barely know or do not know at all.  That's why I don't do it with women I do not know, and rarely if ever in a public setting with women I do not know well or only in a professional* sense.  It's best for everyone, that way.  Especially if you ask the legal folks in human resources.

But when I hear it applied to me in a more informal setting (the office is not such a place) like a restaurant or in a store...I usually get that puppy-dog sensation in my gut and I immediately relax a little.  I think its because I grew up in a different climate of male-female relations, one that was further along than most of the neanderthal-ish antics I remember hearing about from my elders (and which have not completely disappeared today), but certainly a little more traditional than today.  That was a time when it was much more common in my experience to hear those terms bandied back and forth and no one, male or female, thought much of it.

As I have evolved, and as things have changed, I realize that we all have to be much more careful about how casual we treat others, especially when affection can too easily be misconstrued for disrespect.  I certainly don't advocate calling colleagues "darlin'" or "honey" (male or female) in business meetings or in places where focus and respect are key to getting things done.

But sometimes?  I don't mind being called "Hon" or "Sugar", especially when I can tell someone is being nice because nice is the normal way to be.

And when it comes from the lips of someone you love?  Well, that's just the cat's meow.

*Note:  By 'professional' I mean in a career or workplace-based setting, not in the informal slang of a (ahem) prostitute.  Get your heads out of the gutter.


  1. Glad you cleared that "professional" part up.

  2. Here it's almost commonplace to use the word "luv" while talking to someone. Come to think of it, even "darlin'" Strangers say it all the time.

    But when someone you love, says those words in that particular tone... yep i'd agree with the cat's meow.

  3. Yeah, in a professional setting I never want to hear a man or a woman call me a name of endearment because it's almost always condescending. But in a casual setting, or from people you love? Bring it on, darlin'.

  4. A couple of my clients (I work in a law firm) call me beautiful or sweetie, it is strange to say the least and I am not sure I am a big fan of it. But yes hearing it from my husband.. meow :D

  5. favorite part: im such a violin. that makes me laugh

  6. Am a huge fan of endearing names. Sweet post.

  7. I only use honey to the closest person of my heart. Never liked it when folks say my fiend, darling , honey etc all the time. But friends of mine (women) I can say sweetie to. Now so many words are watered out, many hardly mean what the words really mean anymore. If you got my point.

  8. well, i like to think you smile when you read "sugar," too! ;) xoxoxo


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...