Terms of endearment

Years ago when we were living in Jordan, before Dean and I had our own kids, we spent a lot of time with an American family who had an 11-year-old daughter.  One time I accidentally called her “sweetie.”  I apologized, and she said, “That’s okay.  You call me that all the time.”

This morning before I drove carpool Mabel’s friend asked if she had time to run home and get something she’d forgotten.  I told her she should be fine if she hurried.  After the door closed behind her, Mabel turned to me, mortified, and asked, “Why did you just call her ‘Sweetie’?”

I didn’t know I had.  I said, “Sorry, I guess I was just talking to her the same way I talk to you.”

I’ve also on a few occasions accidentally called my brothers “honey” — and in every instance it was as I was asking them to hand me something or lift something or do some other task for me.

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11 Responses to Terms of endearment

  1. Kristina says:

    I do this too. I think it’s fine. Unless it’s a waitress. Then it bugs me.

  2. Mrs. Organic says:

    It’s sort of like when I called my 3rd grade teacher Mom.

  3. Barbara says:

    Gotta love the things habits lead to:) My 3 year old neice calls everyone around her ‘honey’—much like her mother.

  4. Jennette says:

    I tend to do this too. Like Kristina said, it does bug when it’s a waitress or another adult saying it to me. Here in DE lots of adult women call other adult women ‘Hon.’ It’s still gets me. Except when I was living in London and the adult women referred to me as ‘Lov.’ I can totally handle that!

    Although, one time I called Max ‘sweetie’ and he said, “no Mom, I’m ‘buddy’…Olivia’s ‘sweetie.'”

  5. Brian says:

    Everyone does that. It’s totally normal, babe.

  6. zstitches says:

    You all are making me laugh. Glad to hear this is a common thing. And I DO hate being called honey or sweetie by waitresses or salespersons.

  7. Virginia Wood says:

    On my airline trip back to DC from Richland, Washington in December, I sat next to a man from India. He’d been displaced from a flight that was supposed to get him to Boston, but instead was going to have to overnight it at the Dulles airport in the D.C. area. He had no way to contact his friends to let them know NOT to pick him up in Boston. I offered him the use of my phone. When he finished, he handed it back to me and said, Thanks luv! I knew immediately that he’d learned his English in the British manner. I’m glad that I had experience with that or I might have thought him “fresh”.

    When I mistakenly address people in a familiar way, I usually say “DEAR”. Oh dear!

    Aunt Ginger

  8. Melanie J says:

    I just know one day I’m going to hang up with someone by saying, “I love you,” and it won’t be my husband. But that’s who I talk to most on the phone and that’s how we always hang up so I know it’s just a matter of time. It’ll probably be one of the poor elders in the ward, or a loan officer or something. I think I’d rather call them Sweetie.

  9. Christina M. says:

    Eh, I do that too. My hubby used to complain about me calling other people (i.e-other MEN) honey and sweetie, but now he knows I honestly mean nothing by it so he doesn’t say anything. I’ve had kids give me funny looks, but usually people don’t seem to mind. Besides, it’s a great way to cover if you can’t remember someone’s name!! I used to work around a bunch of pilots who thought that the universe revolved around them. (no offense to anyone who is/knows a pilot) They all thought that they were “my favorite” because I always refered to them as “sweeties” and “honeys.” Little did they know, I didn’t know (or care) who they were, I was just doing my job! 🙂

  10. Jenn says:

    I use those terms with EVERYONE and I’m even worse when it’s kids. The poor kids I nanny for…sweetie, honey, turkey (somehow that’s an endearing name, I swear!), monkey butt…the list goes on. 😛

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