Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Call Me Sweetie

Some years back, I lived in Miami. Most Sunday mornings, I went to a deli for breakfast, my fat Sunday Miami Herald in hand. Wolfie”s, Pumpernick’s and a few others.

All delis in Miami are busy on a Sunday morning and the servers, usually middle-aged women, tended to be brusk. “So, sweetie, what’ll you have?” “Refill on the coffee, hon?” “Ready for the bill, sugar?

You get the same sort of endearments from waitresses in a southern “meat and three” place, though a bit less rushed.

I was reminded of this today at lunch in an unsettling way.

A couple or three times a month I eat lunch at a place on Cheshire Bridge in Atlanta. Very good food and pretty good service. And, all of the staff and 90% of the clientele are gay.

One of the waiters always uses these endearments when talking to me. “How’s your lunch sweetie?” And I’m jarred. Not world ending jarred. Not offended. Just a touch put off. I’m secure in my heterosexuality. I’ve had a lot of gay friends and acquaintances over the years, though they don’t use terms of endearment with me, however generic and bland they may be. My gay waiter means nothing by using the terms, as did neither the Miami or meat and three waitresses. I notice the words of all three; but, I’m put off kilter only by the guy. I guess I have some social evolving to do.


Anonymous said...

I think truck stops are the last places on earth where the waitresses "mother" you. :)

fermicat said...

I think it's sweet.

Debo blue said...

When I cut my hair very short two years ago I noticed more attention from the lesbians at work, one, I suppose the spokesperson of the group flat out asked if I were coming out. I laughed and told her no but if I didn't find anyone that weekend I may have to. It can be offsetting at first but after awhile...

PS-start leaving bigger tips and see what they start calling you:-)

Annie K said...

I would make fun of you for having a server "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but I'm not going to. I wish more men would acknowledge that their insecurity on this particular matter is ridiculous.

My husband, who freely accepts my gay father, is always weirded out when hit on by a man, which happens a lot when you live in the gayest neighborhood in the gayest city in the nation. I tell him, "try being a women, see how often you get hit on by someone you aren't attracted to." But apparently, because women are constantly dealing with unwanted come-ons, we've learned to deal with it better. Men are evidently more sensitive?