July 30
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.


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FEBRUARY 8, 2013 1:20PM

Thank You, Sweetie

Rate: 13 Flag

I heard it again. Not from a handsome man on the other side of the bed, but from the young cashier as I walked out with the newspapers I buy every morning at the gas station.

"Thank you, sweetie."

It shouldn't bother me so much. I've gladly hung my hat on the moniker of "grandma." I claim each and every single senior citizen discount I can get my hands on. I could probably even find a pair of elastic waist pants in my closet if I looked hard enough. Although they might be hidden under all the comfortable shoes.

And, sure, I haven't joined AARP yet, but I carry one of the temporary cards they send just in case it might ever do me some good if I flashed it. I don't even mind being called "ma'am" by the young whippersnappers all around me.

It's probably not fair to say that I slipped through that door of "senior citizen"  gracefully, but slip through I did. And once there, I accepted it. Along with  every benefit I could get. "Sweetie," however, is something I refuse to accept.

I think my problem with it dates back to my younger days.

I had a friend in college who was setting me up for a blind date. When I asked him how he described me, he said he told my future date that I was the sweetest person he knew.

"What?" I yelled. "That's as bad as saying I have a nice smile. I don't want to be known as nice or sweet. I want to be edgy, or funny, or gorgeous."

"And, yeah, I know, that last doesn't exactly fit. But what about my legs? I have great legs. You couldn't mention my legs? Guys like legs, you know."

"Did you completely forget that I scored more touchdowns than you on our coed flag football team? That I can beat you at swimming? That I can hold my beer better than you? That I wrote your sociology paper?"

I would have gone on, but he stopped me.

"I guess I could have said you're kind of a bitch," he conceded.

"Much better," I said.

And still do. 


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It took some mental adjustment when the youngin's started calling me "sir." Now I'm glad that most of them are too ignorant to know "wizened one."
I'm going to get you for that, toritto!

Stim--It does take some getting used to. I'd look behind initially. No more.
Down South it can be considered a minimizer, a snub, in certain situations. The waitress at Cracker Barrel (who wants your tip) means nothing by it a-tall. The PTA doyenne may be a different story. She may be kind of a bitch.

Great read, thanks.
Sweetie is bad, but "dear" is worse. I almost fainted a few years ago when a woman who didn't look that much younger than I started calling me "dear." WTF???? When did the young become so fucking condescending? ... And yet. And yet, I guess I'd rather be considered nice than mean, even if it upsets young people's misinformed notions about "older" (age is relevant, isn't it?) people. ...
Men look at this differently. If women refer to them by an affectionate nomen, i.e. honey, dear, etc, they think they have a chance. R
Not too different than the 20something waitresses callin' everyone "hon". It used to grind on me, but then I realized that they were just parrotting what they saw the experienced food service people doing. And if they're unable to figure out what is/isn't appropriate on their own, then it really isn't something you can hold against them.
The young have always been condescending to the old, they just used to hide it behind good manners. I know it took me a while to figure out that that slow person over there who shuffled instead of walked still had an excellent mind.

I just can't get beat up about being called sweetie. It beats the hell out of "Ma'am."
[r] so relate, jl. You are so "sweet" was one compliment that made me gag. Better to be "pepperminty" with some kick to it, eh? I never did bitch well. I only get the "bitch" tag when blogging at times. "Sweetie" is so condescending. And being older and called "sweetie" by a young guy is downright creepy. I have a friend who calls everyone sweetie -- seriously. She was called on it cuz at a job place we shared a while back since using it on the male or female superiors did not go over well. When Obama got caught by microphones calling a young woman maybe assistant "sweetie" early on I know a lot of women were grinding their teeth at that moment across America. Creeeeeped me out. That was early on the long list. best, libby
ps for a while I dated a guy who called me "honey" from the get-go and I found it so charming. I discovered soon enuf he was a womanizer and understood that "honey" was probably a lazy way of not having to keep "our" names straight. I've got a name for him but I won't share it here. best, libby
lissen. A guy kinda wants to hear his date might possibly be sweet.
there are so few sweet wimmin left!
plus if they got some edge to them, the edge of their sweetness?
even better, especially with the genetic gift of nice gams.
i go out and buy stuff. i smile at the cashier ladies.
i keep a record of every 'sweetie' i get.
i even use it on them, in a preemptive strike, sometimes!
What would your reaction be if the young cashier had called you Honey?
I've thought about this one before. For instance, when a young guy calls me ma'am, I don't really like it. If he calls me Madame, I kinda think he understands that that I have SOME kind of allure, and should be sucked up to.
"Sweetie", I only take that from one friend because I have know her for thirty years. I try not to get my back up about stuff. When I do, I feel like I am chanelling my Mother who was quite prim.
Gah, maybe rigor mortis is setting in.
Fun post, JL!
Madame Emily
Gabby--I might not be able to handle the South.

Deborah--Maybe if we all started calling them "dude" or something...

Gerald--Ha. I don't doubt that a bit. The great self0deceivers.

Joisey--I mainly roll with it. It's that darn sweet streak in me.

just phyllis--We all have our breaking points. Mine remains "sweetie."


James--In the college dating pool, they're not looking for sweet.

Lyle--I don't like it, but "sweetie" is the one that grates the worst.
Madame Emily--I'm kind of feeling the need to write a formal thank you note here. Where on earth have I put those engraved cards?....
I am absolutely with you. Hate being called sweet, hate being hon. Hate ma'am. Horrified to find myself calling teenagers and kids sweetheart, but I've started doing so, because some of them are, even if they hate it, as I suspect they do. I used to work with a woman who called all of us college kids "dearie-weary," which is probably the worst I've had to deal with!
I think "sweetie" is condescending, but in my neighborhood, the Spanish equivalent is actually kind of flattering to me. When I get called Mamí, I feel like I kind of fit in.
Doesn't bother me at all. As the saying goes, "Call me anything you want just don't call me late for dinner..." Went to Home Depot the other day and the guy who helped me called me "Sunshine." It was completely unexpected and made me smile.

Maybe I should go back there and punch him. :)