Why can Flo get away with calling you “Honey” at Mel’s diner while Vera can’t? This question has gnawed at me for years as I’ve encountered a number of women, mostly in service positions such as waitresses, who freely toss about the term of endearment toward patrons.
For the most part, the women who use it do so casually, disarmingly, and endearingly. But every so often you find a woman who makes you uncomfortable when using it.
Years ago I worked at a facility where several of the women in the cafeteria tossed “Honey” about. However, one young girl who worked as a cashier never sounded right using the term. I thought at the time it was simply because she was so much younger than me, and that only women older than me could use it comfortably.
Then last week, a waitress at the local diner was calling us each Honey and it seemed perfectly natural. Yet when I stopped to think about it, she was probably my age. So maybe it’s really not an age thing. So what’s the deal?
I’m thinking now that it’s more of a motherly thing. The woman doesn’t need to remind you of your mother, she just has to conduct herself with that motherly demeanor. She’s there to serve and to help, but keep in mind you’re at her table, so mind your manners. You be nice and she’ll take good care of you. It’s almost more of an attitude or an air about the person. If she can pull that off, she can call you “Honey”.
Heck, if she can pull that off, she can call you anything because she instills that feeling you should sit up straight and say “Yes, Ma’am.” And somehow for me, that kind of makes the whole diner experience.