Let me call you Sugar Butt
"Good morning, sweetheart!"
I was in the middle of my morning routine, toasting two slices of whole grain bread for my breakfast. My office building rocks becuase it has a fully stocked kitchen, and I take advantage of it. I make myself toast every day, and wash it down with a raspberry Snapple. I never deviate from this routine, except on Fridays, which is bagel day. Native New Yorker that I am, I cannot resist the call of the bagel, particularly if it's poppyseed or pumpernickel. I know carbs aren't very trendy, especially in LA, but bread is my crack. If it had street value, my ass would be broke.
I digress. I was buttering my toast when a gentleman who works in my building walked into the kitchen and greeted me by calling me "sweetheart". He and I had never officially met or worked together, although we certainly recognize each other and nod "hello" in the hallway to be friendly. Dear readers, I'm a very friendly woman. I chat with a lot of people that I don't work directly with, and since I work in a creative field, a certain amount of informality is perfectly acceptable. "Sweetheart" is beyond the pale, though. I'm quite sure he didn't mean any harm by it, and that he didn't mean to offend or condescend to me when he said it, but I'm an adult woman, and a professional. He wouldn't have called a man that, so he shouldn't be calling me that. "Sweetheart" is a term of endearment best reserved for children, significant others and elderly family members.
I had to call him on it; in my ten years of work experience, I've learned not to let such things pass, as they can sometimes lead to more serious infractions. I realize that I might sound reactionary, but dear readers, various incidents in my work history have made me cautious. Better safe than sorry, but like I said, I'm a friendly gal and he seemed basically harmless. I decided to have fun with the situation. So I turned to him and said, with a big smile, "Good morning, Sugar Butt!"
He burst into laughter. "Now that's a great comeback," he said with a good-natured snort. He knew I was calling him out, and thought it was funny.
I laughed too, mostly because I'd finally been able to call somebody "Sugar Butt". Johnny Depp calls Eva Mendes "Sugar Butt" in the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and I've been storing that nickname in my mental Rolodex, waiting for the perfect opportunity to spring it on somebody. Mission accomplished!
"Well," I said pleasantly, "I don't really do the 'sweetheart' thing with complete strangers."
"Yeah, how have I not met you?" he replied as he poured milk over his cereal. "We've never been formally introduced."
"Ginger," I said, extending my hand.
"Kale," he said, shaking it. "So, can I call you 'sweetheart' now?"
"Nope!" I said brightly, walking out of the kitchen with my toast and Snapple. "Have a nice day!"
UPDATE: Ever since this "incident", the gentleman in question has addressed me by my name every time we've seen each other. Goes to show that if he's a decent person, he'll get the hint!
Labels: Guys sure are funny