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Cindy McCartney
By Cindy McCartney
Posted on Mar 11,2008
Filed Under Fashion , Local Style,

By Cindy McCartney, Owner, Diva Designer Consignment and Other Delights

As you know if you read the column two weeks ago, I am as fascinated with the fashion of words almost as much as, well, the fashion of fashion. So it was with some shock mixed with a little disbelief that the other night I was called, “Hon”. By a stranger…and repeatedly. I’ve been “honn-ed”, I guess you could say. I just didn’t see it coming in this particular context and setting.

There are some places and situations that being called this could be endearing, even comforting. My grandfather used to call me that sometimes. Of course, I was seven then. Did you ever watch the old sitcom, “Alice”, where the three friends worked at Mel’s Diner? Well, Flo (the over-the-top waitress with the beehive and the pen stuck through it) called everyone “hon.” It fit. In fact, if you go to a really great, diner-y, diner, you’d probably find it strange NOT to be called “hon”. So I don’t find that particular term of endearment offensive by any means under those circumstances. But I must say I was not crazy about its (repeated) use on this night last week.

I was out with three other women, having drinks at a local hotspot’s bar. We were definitely ready for those drinks after a long day, and we were happy to see the bartender approaching. He had a huge smile and a face like (wow, I am really going to date myself here, but…) the perennially grinning game show host Wink Martindale (for those of you who don’t know Wink, his picture is featured at the top of the article…he hosted a show called, “Tic Tac Dough” back in the day. We had all made our cocktail choices and were ready to order when he asked all of us our names, gave us his, and we all shook his hand. Very nice touch. I mean that.

To give a little backstory, I am someone who is admittedly not a fan of using someone’s name every two sentences while having a conversation with that person. For instance: “Hey, Cindy, blah blah blah.” Then, in the very next sentence, “Cindy, what is blah blah blah?” I don’t find that engaging, I find it kind of creepy. Like someone is trying to be all palsy-walsy because they remember (and want to prove this over and over again) your name.

So, to add to the palsy-walsiness of the situation the other night, our bartender was not only a “hon” sayer, but someone who also said our names in combination with it...every time. All of us got a “(fill in the blank with name), hon, what will it be?” OK, once I could maybe see. But during the time we sat there, we probably heard each of our names used in various sentences at least five times. And, sure enough, each time, the name was followed by the inevitable, “hon.” It became funny it happened so much that night. I guess I am just not someone who uses people’s names a lot while talking with them. I figure they know I know who they are and if I say it at most once during the conversation it’s a lot. Heck, I barely ever even call my husband by his name. It always reminds me of something you’d be taught in a Dale Carnegie course, like…” to dazzle the customer, reinforce the fact that you remember his or her name as many times as possible”, or something. “Hon,” is something else again. Doesn’t it sound a little patronizing? I was actually waiting for the inevitable, “So what are you girls up to this evening?”

The one thing during our time there was that he did forget other things (not our names, though!!!) like our requested beverages. Not the greatest thing for a bartender to overlook. The water I ordered never materialized, and one of my friends had to ask three times for her virgin bloody mary. I know, picky picky picky. But if I had to choose, I would like to have what I ordered come exactly right from someone who doesn’t necessarily even remember my name. And, oh yeah….I’d like that with no side of “hon”.

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