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Why do they call me Honey? I can't come up with any reasonable reason for the title. They don't even know how sweet I am -- well, maybe not.

It's sure not that I have been running around on Mrs. Griz. And I don't think it's being suggestive, but it happens quite regularly. Some woman I hardly even know at an office or at a store or in a restaurant will address me as "Honey" or "Hon," and sometimes right in the presence of my only honey, Mrs. Griz.

It happened again at a restaurant on Sunday. A waitress called me "Baby" right in front of Mrs. Griz. I thought maybe Mrs. Griz missed the comment since she's had a cold and hasn't been hearing quite as well, but she let me know she heard it, loud and clear!

Yes, it probably bothers my wife more than it bothers me. We'll pull up to a fast-food window on the way to somewhere and the female clerk will look at me and call me "Hon," just like she knew me from somewhere else or from some clandestine meeting about which I have no recollection and about which I have said nothing to Mrs. Griz. How could I tell my wife about something which never happened?

I realize it's probably just a difference in culture and social norms. The ladies -- and many of them young enough to be daughters or even granddaughters -- mean nothing by it. They probably address all men -- or at least the older ones -- as "Honey" or "Hon." However, to folks of my age and background, such terms of endearment are reserved for one's spouse or, on some occasions, a very young child or grandchild.

Never in a thousand years would I in my right mind address one of these young ladies as Honey or Dear or Sweetheart. If I did, I would fully expect to be slapped. And, if the young ladies didn't slap me, I expect Mrs. Griz just might do it for them.

Mrs. Griz counts it as disrespectful. She supervises schools which train medical staff and says the textbooks still say and students are still taught never to use such forms of address when they care for the elderly.

Hey, I'm at least getting very close to elderly, so don't use such forms of address for me!

When I was young, we were taught to use terms like "Ma'am" and "Sir" when addressing our elders or those we didn't know extremely well. When conducting business and serving customers we couldn't address with Mr. or Mrs. in front of their last names, they were either Ma'am or Sir to my generation. I still use those terms today, even when addressing those much younger, unless I know people well enough to be on a first-name basis.

To be honest with you, I've been called a lot of names before and prefer most of them to being addressed as Honey by a total stranger, even if she isn't bad looking. I've even thought of telling a few of the young ladies who have addressed me as their "Hon" that I am "Sir" to them; but then they'll probably think I'm just a grumpy old man and, just perhaps, that's true.

Randy Moll is the managing editor of the Westside Eagle Observer. He may be contacted by email at Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 05/16/2018

Print Headline: Why do strange ladies call me Honey?

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