In my youth – of which my mind still thinks I’m there – I’d walk into a store or business and there was always some older woman and even the odd older man behind the counter asking that age old question, “Is that all, dear?”. Or, “How are you making out, Sweetie?” I’ve even ran into ‘one of those’ people at a fast food restaurant of late that persists on calling me ‘Sweetie”. Please!!! I’ve got at least 30 years on ‘ya lady so skip the ‘Sweetie’ bit. As I said, even the odd man has called me ‘dearie’ or ‘love’, and for some reason I can shake it off, only because the men are more times than not older than I and I get a kick out of older men – always have. It seems a bit more condescending when it comes from a woman – especially a younger one!
Having said all of the above, I had my first volunteer visit with an elderly lady in Fort Erie. Wheelchair bound and living in a small one bedroom apartment it was obvious she was struggling and surviving as best she could. We had our first visit and it seemed a bit one-sided. She’s not a great conversationalist but then it takes time to get to know one another. Somehow, we managed to struggle through the half hour and it was time to go. So as I was heading for the door I blurted out, “Well, we’ll see about next week, Sweetie”. Egad, egad, egad!!!!! As it was coming out of my mouth I knew right then and there that I had become ‘one of them’. I couldn’t believe I had said it. I shook my head walking down the hallway, thinking where in hell did that come from. I was now one of those condescending people that use those words. Hopefully this nice lady didn’t hear me complete the end of that remark, as I was opening the door and making my way out. Now that I’ve done it once, let’s pray that this old brain will put a stop to any one of those words coming out of my mouth again!! Unless, of course, it’s to ‘My Sweetie’ at home!!