Monday, July 04, 2005

Thanks, girlie.

I just found a DVD for an older gentleman who kept calling me love. Strangely, it didn't flush my cheeks with rage the way it usually does when someone I'm helping refers to me in the female diminutive. To exercise my arcane librarian skills, I could try to classify the various usage styles of said diminutives and in so doing, attempt to clarify why some raise my hackles while the others makes me glad to run down the stairs, then up the stairs, then down the stairs, to find you the Tom Cruise movie you were looking for. I suppose the main difference is that the ones that don't bother me don't feel diminutive at all.

Secretly, I've always wanted to be the kind of person who can casually refer to strangers as darling (or perhaps even darlin') without raising eyebrows. But I can't. I think it has something to do with my bland, pacific northwest accent, or the fact that I was raised in a climate that lacks humid summers. For the gentleman who called me love it was reflex, as unstoppable as a sneeze. It always sounds deliberate and forced coming from my lips, even more so since I usually get stage fright just as I'm about to say it.

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