It’s not that we don’t like sweets, sweet people, sweet stories, etc., but we think calling people you don’t know “sweetie” is in appropriate. Interestingly, it seems that not everyone is qualified to become a sweetie. To qualify, you have to be very young (like a baby) or on your way to becoming very old (over 40).
There’s a lovely, young barister at a Starbucks in Harlem – she’s quick, always with a smile and unfortunately, always with a “sweetie” at the end of the transaction. Another barrister in a midtown shop seems to have the same affliction. We don’t think that this is in the training manual. By the way, this is not purely a Starbuck issue, it’s happened to us in other retail establishments.
Could it be about class? We’ve spent a lot of time on Madison Avenue and no salesperson we’ve ever dealt with has ever used the ‘s’ word. It may be upbringing. Our friend in San Francisco known for her charitable work and parties asked us when we first met her children, “How would you like them to address you?” That’s a class act.
Men, we’d like to think, know better than to call a woman they don’t know of any age, “sweetie”. But what gives a young woman even a teenager the right to call another woman and in most cases a stranger, “sweetie”?
The only people we don’t mind calling us “sweetie” is the waiter or waitress in the local diner. “Sweetie” is part of the wonderful, American greasy diner landscape.
What do you think, dear?