Z was too familiar

Oh dear, I’ve just embarrassed myself. Again.

Mark from the garage just rang to say my car will be ready today. As we’d asked, they have given it a full service as well as the head gasket repair. I asked the price. £1,235.81. “Actually,” I told him, “I’d steeled myself for more.”

I then thanked him for his helpfulness throughout all this – praise is more important than blame, I think, when it’s due – and then I said “Right then, see you later, love.” I bit my tongue in dismay. It was a business conversation, dammit. I don’t even know the lad. I may call you all by (richly merited, you lovely people) endearments, but this is entirely different. And I don’t have the sort of voice that sounds as if I call everyone “luv” or “darlin'”

At least I didn’t say ‘dear heart.’

I will dress in a business suit and look sensible and proper when I go in, and perhaps he will think he misheard me.

15 comments on “Z was too familiar

  1. PI

    I should think it made his day. It’s not as embarrassing as ‘darling’ which I find myself using with younger people (and most people are) when they have been helpful and kind.

  2. Dandelion

    Well, “darling” is much better than “dear” when it’s coming down the generations, I must say. It’s more equilibrious.

    Although I quite like it when older people call me dear without a second thought, because its inappropriateness/patronisinghood betrays a vulnerability in them when actually they were trying to assert or assume seniority.

    I also like it because it kind of amazes me to be called it, when there was little me blithely thinking I was passing myself off as an actual adult.

  3. Z

    Doesn’t it depend on the intonation, whether or not it sounds patronising? – mind you, it sounds as if you’ve given it some thought, so maybe I should just accept your wisdom.

    It still surprises me, on the occasions I’m taken to be an actual adult. I think I slipped seamlessly from a first childhood to a second.

    Martin, you are a rascal and a very naughty young man.

  4. Anonymous

    Don’t worry about it. I think being called love or dear heart by you would be a real compliment. I do detest it when older waitresses or female clerks use these terms on me. Usually it is because they don’t know my name and/or don’t care.

  5. dharmabum

    am sure the lad would apperciate u were only being nice, z. btu that post – u have a way of making these little things sound ridiculously funny 🙂

  6. Dandelion

    Doesn’t it depend on the intonation, whether or not it sounds patronising?

    Only up to a point. Often people calling me dear clearly mean it in the nicest possible way. Which is why I don’t find it offensive.

    It’s like older men saying “thank you” after you have sex with them, I think. They think they’re being nice, but actually they have a rather wrong belief about things.


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