Faux intimacy is so annoying. You know, those people who call you honey or sweetie or darlin' and they don't even know you?

I hate that.

I especially hate it when called that from someone in a service industry (retail clerks, waitresses, 16-year-olds from the local Dairy Queen, etc.).

While celebrating Todd's fatherhood at a restaurant today, we received no less than 5 (maybe 6) sweeties and 3 (maybe 4) honeys from our waitress between the two of us.

She was around 19.

I'm 40.
Todd's 40-something.

It came across as very disrespectful.

Initially, I went in to get our table while Todd parked and brought in Ella. I thought I misheard the waitress as she approached with, "Hello sweetie, what can I get you to drink?" I think I actually did a double take. She continued honey-ing and sweetie-ing so much throughout the dinner that I considered mentioning it to the manager. (I didn't.) It felt weird. It felt disrespectful. It felt uncomfortable.

These intimacies used by strangers are so odd to me. I'm not sure what people want to accomplish with this? Do they think it will endear me more to them -- perhaps leaving them a better tip? In my book, it does the exact opposite.

I mean, I call my husband babe.
I've known him for 14+ years.
I call my daughter sweetness.
I birthed her from my loins.
These qualify me to call them whatever pet name I want.
What doesn't qualify as the right to a pet name?
Taking my drink order within 3 seconds of meeting me, that's what.

So, please don't use these intimate pet names with me unless

1) You are a close family member,
2) You are an older person (whom I think has earned the right to pretty much do what they want in life), or
3) You are a waitress with FLO on your name tag who works for Mel in his diner and we're filming a 70s TV series.

Other than that? Let's just stay on simple, non-intimate terms, shall we?
Your Highness works just fine for me.


It had been a particularly rough week and I was feeling down.

So the obvious answer?

Ella and I arrived at the M-mecca, ordered a couple of grilled chicken wraps to share, and sat just outside the room with the play area so she could gaze longingly at all the germy kids inside. (Hey, it's my bad mood, I can do what I want.)

I expected the service that is usual for any establishment these days. You know, strung out, nonchalant teenagers who say "no problem" instead of "you're welcome." This day I was pleasantly surprised.

We ordered no Happy Meal, yet the manager gave us a toy.
Appropriate for Ella's age!
And a Ronald smile mask!

When they saw me struggling with baby, bag, and purse, they offered to bring my meal out.
And then they did it!
And even asked if I needed salt and ketchup.
And fetched it!

And then, as if on cue, an older gentlemen offered to let Ella stick her grubby little finger in his ice cream to take a bite. (To which I politely declined. Please refer to these.)

Where was I? Some alternate universe? Was this what was happening to the world while I was locked away every day?!?

Say it ain't so!

Just as the clouds parted, the birds started to sing, the rainbow appeared and unicorns jumped around cotton candy trees, I watched a mother and her 4-year-old daughter walk up to the self-serve soda station. The little girl put her cup under the water and her mom immediately snatched it away screeching, "We paid for a drink! You're getting orange drink instead of water!"

It was once again clear why I didn't venture out that often.

I smiled down at Ella who was watching the scene intently and happily drinking her water.
From her own water bottle.
That we brought with us.

My mood was a little lighter.
At least for that moment.