Baby, Honey, Sugar, Love

I first noticed it on a trip to New Orleans. I was sitting in a saloon, chatting with a young woman I’d just met named Grace. Every once in awhile during our conversation, Grace addressed me as “Baby” and it struck me as such a sweet endearment, especially in my friend’s lilting Southern accent.

Since then I’ve been noticing more women addressing me in similar ways. “Here you go, love,” said the lady at the grocery store when she handed me my receipt. “Thanks, hon!” a client might say on the phone. And just recently in a fancy hotel, the female concierge said to my girlfriend and me, “And how are my sweethearts tonight?” Whenever I hear these endearing forms of address used, I feel a warm connection with the women who say it.

This wasn’t always the case. In the past I felt bothered when women addressed me in such a familiar way. Perhaps it was because, growing up, I became brainwashed against words like “Honey” and “Sugar”—especially when uttered by men back in the days when women were rebelling against being treated as the “fairer” sex. Women spoke out against being condescended to, and men learned that we wanted to be treated as equals. After all, they didn’t call their colleagues “Honey” and “Sweetheart,” did they?

As a result, women these days rarely hear men speak so familiarly to them. Here in the South, however, these terms are somewhat ingrained in the culture, and I stopped being offended when men spoke to me in such a way. I suppose it’s also due to the fact that I feel self-confident enough not to be bothered by a man’s lapse into a cultural habit.

What’s also changed is how I feel when women speak to me this way. I find it announces an initiation into a sisterhood of sorts. It says we are allowed to be loving and warm toward each other. Even more important, in this modern age when relationships seem to be getting harder and harder to maintain—when was the last time you sat and had a good, long visit with a girlfriend?—we need to establish some sort of bond with other women.

It’s hard to make time for friends—no question about it. With the commitments of daily life calling every time we turn around, we barely have enough energy to get through our to-do list each day. Then we’re so tired we zonk out in front of the television at night or fall asleep trying to catch up on the pile of magazines that grows taller each week.           

Yet making time for old-fashioned friendships is important because women friends offer a special kind of support that w can’t get from anyone else. They listen to us vent, rant, and rage against the universe. They offer sympathy, hope, and heartfelt advice. Friends validate us and remind us how worthy we are. Without that support, we can lose sight of what’s important in life.

As cool weather comes our way and life slows down a bit here in the fall, I plan to spend some time with friends, something fun, not work-related. Pick up the newest copy of Tidewater Women and peruse the calendar for ideas for outings and events to attend. Put a gal-pal date on your calendar, and don’t event think about canceling it.

Have fun this month!

Last modified on
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com
back to top

Explore Featured Stories

Train Your Brain for Adventure

Train Your Brain for Adventure

Features 07-01-2020

Trip cancelled? Seek adventure in your own hometown. Read more

July 2020 Virtual Fun

July 2020 Virtual Fun

Features 07-01-2020

Check out geeky fun this month—and more! Read more

On the Trail Again

On the Trail Again

Features 06-01-2020

Meet local advocates for our natural world—then go out and enjoy it! Read more

Virtual Fun

Virtual Fun

Features 05-02-2020

Inspiring fun awaits at local museums and arts centers. Read more

Who Needs to Hear From You Now?

Who Needs to Hear From You Now?

Features 05-01-2020

Reach out and connect to people who matter. Read more

Keep Calm and Do Yoga

Keep Calm and Do Yoga

Features 04-01-2020

How does yoga help you feel more at home in your own body? Read more

Starting Over After a Crisis

Starting Over After a Crisis

Features 04-01-2020

Find out why you're stronger than you think you are. Read more

Bald and Beautiful

Bald and Beautiful

Features 03-02-2020

Local women find empowerment when they embrace their true beauty. Read more

Strong is the New Skinny

Strong is the New Skinny

Features 02-01-2020

Meet three local women who are becoming stronger in more ways than one. Read more