To The Daily: I lived in Florida and Arizona before I moved to Alabama. Very soon, I became astonished by people freely and indiscriminately using phrases of endearment like "honey," "sweetie" and "baby." I never got used to it and I don't want to, because affectionate words are reserved for families, lovers and friends.
It is very strange to me when checking out at a grocery store and the associate whom I have never met calls me honey. Once I shopped for furniture and the associate, maybe 25 years old, kept calling me sweetie. I was insulted. At the time, I was 57 years old.
Another time at a gas station, the lady kept calling my husband "baby." Sorry, he is over 60 and I was standing right next to him. I think that was insulting and thoughtless on the lady's part. These are only examples. I think the culture of the South goes too far with thoughtless and meaningless phrases from people I have never met, or only conduct business with, and barely know.
Friendliness and politeness used by a business to a customer is enough. No endearment or affectionate words are needed — only professionalism.
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