A spoonful of sugar

“Thank you, sweetheart. Have a great day!” I accepted my receipt from the young attendant at the drive-through window, and drove ahead to pick up my order. 

Each time I visited this particular fast food business, I looked forward to seeing her once again. Despite the required black mask she wore, I could see her smiling eyes. For some reason, no matter how badly my day was progressing, she consistently lightened my mood. 

Many of my acquaintances feel that being called “dear,” “sweetheart,” “honey,” “love,” “doll” or any other affectionate name is condescending and inappropriate.

I would like to think of myself as a strong woman with tender edges and I certainly can determine the discrepancy between disrespect and well-intentioned interaction. I am aware that some people use terms of endearment as a sort of dressing-down, if you will, and I must admit I, too, have been spoken to in just that way. 

Call it old-fashioned, misinformed or what you will, but I see no harm in using words that are soft in delivery and sweet to the ear. 

I haven’t seen the young window attendant for quite some time now. I cannot help but wonder where she may be and how she is faring in a world filled with far too many unkind words and dark deeds. 

I am hoping she is now at another window, sprinkling sugar on a society that has grown bitter. I hope she’s making someone just like me smile as they welcome her brightness in a world that is growing far too dim.

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