Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Natural Sweetener Added

My mother is a sweetener. My favorite Aunties were sweeteners. I am a sweetener. Am I talking about putting sugar on our food? Nope, I'm talking about sprinkling 'Sugar' in our conversations. That is to say we all habitually call total strangers 'Hon' or 'Sweetie' or my favorite, 'Sugar'.

Contrary to what my perpetually bristly black-garbed New Yawk relations may think, I do not do this because I am trying to be condescending (not even to them). I do not do this because I am a hick (I've lived my entire life in cities). I do not do this because I am dim witted (well, I might be a bit dim but that's not why I call the the bag boy at the grocery 'Sweetie').

I do this because I appreciate the people around me who work hard to make my life more comfortable. Like Blanche DuBois, I am often touched by the kindness of strangers. Addressing them with a term of endearment is as natural to me as a smile or a nod (something those snooty Yankee relations of mine should try sometime).

Oh, occasionally I'll see a young man who startles then grins sheepishly when I say "Well, thank you, Sugar!" when he opens a door for me. Every so often there will be a young lady who jumps a bit, peers closely at my face then smiles back when I say "I really appreciate all your help with this, Sweetie!", but for the most part I find it is not such a surprise for folks to be 'sweetened' now and again.

They say variety is the 'spice of life'. I wonder what the sugar of life is and if maybe life might be a little more pleasant with a bit more 'Honey' and a lot less vinegar. What do you think, Sweetie?