I really mean this. Here’s why.
You don’t know me.
You may not call me “Dear,” “Sweetie” or any other endearment unless you know me, and I like and respect you; I know that you like and respect me; or, as I tell total strangers, you’re about to buy me an extravagant lobster-with-champagne dinner.
You may not call me “Dear” simply because I am present, or you want my signature on something, or I’m standing near the elevator button, or because you don’t know my name. You may not call me “Dear” when you disagree with me. Ever.
A poll-taker called me “Dear” recently, and I explained about the lobster dinner thing. He gave me an extravagant wave and said, “Well, obviously, honey, that’s not happening.” Immediately, however, he had the good grace to look me in the eye, take two steps back, nod and say, “But I see your point … ” Well, we both had points. I happen to support his, and now he understands mine, too.
Some women disagree with me, and tell me they like being called “Dear” or “Honey” by strangers, but that’s the point of a good discussion, no? Post your thoughts below and let’s get this rolling. We might as well toss “Ma’am” into this as well.
I will now look forward to the avalanche of emails from friends, all bearing the salutation “Dear ‘Dear'”; because I know them, I like and respect them; and I can see it coming.