Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Who are you calling "kiddo"?

Sorry, guys.  This is yet another tired rant on pet names.  I have already expressed my disdain for the word "kiddo".  If I'm honest, I don't really like to hear anyone referred to as "kiddo" because I think it's creepy.  But I especially hate it when someone I don't know calls me that.  It really sets me on edge.

Before I explain what happened and why it's annoying to me, allow me to also explain that I realize that not everyone cares about this issue.  I know many people would tell me to "get over it" or "let it roll off my back".  Personally, I think when someone tells another person to "get over it", they are usually just adding insult to injury.  If I'm annoyed enough to say out loud that I hate pet names, your advice to "get over it" isn't helpful.  If I could get over it, I probably wouldn't have said anything.  Just because it doesn't bother you, that doesn't mean I have no right to be irritated.  But I also respect your right not to empathize.  This is just another one of my rants, capisce?

So... last night, I was getting ready to fall asleep for the night.  Bill and I had just had a rather heated discussion, so I was feeling a little stressed and irritated.  I was going to try to relax by doing a little reading before bed.  I'm in the middle of Toni Tennille's book and it's been surprisingly interesting.  Just as I was about to tuck in to my book, I got an email.  It was a private message from a karaoke site where I blow off steam.

Some guy I don't really know decided to do a duet with me.  He wrote:

HEY KIDDO - BOB FROM SC HERE AND I HOPE YOU AND YOURS ARE DOING FINE... AS I'M WRITING THIS TO YOU, IT'S ABOUT 9:30PM THERE (JUST HAD LUNCH HERE...lol)... HERE'S OUR EIGHTH DUET SO FAR... - BOB (O)_(O)

Now... this seems like an innocuous enough message, right?  But here I was, lying in bed thinking to myself.  Damn... I'm 44 years old.  Moreover, I have a name that is easily read on my profile.  Why would you call a middle aged married woman "kiddo"?  So I decided to respond.

You know I'm 44 years old, right? Haven't been a kid in many years.



You are right about the time. Will check out the duet!


Somehow I knew he'd respond.  Sure enough, he did.

44...............
WHEN I WAS 44 - REAGAN WAS PRESIDENT - GAS WAS ABOUT .90 A GALLON - SONNY BONO BECAME MAYOR OF PALM SPRINGS CALIFORNIA - ROY ORBISON GAVE HIS FINAL CONCERT BEFORE HE DIED AND THREE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES CAME OUT - ROGER RABBIT - RAIN MAN - AND BEETLEJUICE... I WAS A TV RECORDING TECHNICIAN FOR A SC MEDIA DEPARTMENT AT THE COASTAL CENTER IN LADSON AND WE WERE JUST A YEAR AWAY FROM A HURRICANE THAT KNOCKED THE CRAP OUT OF SC - HURRICANE HUGO... SO ABOUT 6 MONTHS BEFORE HUGO ARRIVED I WENT TO CHARLESTOWN LANDING WITH A BRAND NEW VHS RECORDER AND RECORDED THIS....

And he included a video that he shot.

My response was:

But I'm still not a kid, right?

He wrote back that I wasn't and, at 72, neither is he.  Good.  Then he wished me a good night.  

That was a relatively benign confrontation, for which I am very grateful.  Other people might have escalated the situation, demanding the right to call me something other than my name.  Indeed, I even looked up on Google "guy calls me kiddo" and found out that I'm not the only one who dislikes this practice.  However, despite the fact that a lot of people-- women especially-- don't like being called "kiddo", the standard response from a lot of people is 'Don't get your panties in a twist. ' or 'It's no big deal.'"  

I, for one, think those people should shut the fuck up.  I mean, seriously.   Do you realize how very condescending that is?  Who are you to tell me what should be annoying to me?  I'll thank you to allow me the right to my own opinions.  I will, in turn, not tell you what should or should not upset you. 

I would think being called "kiddo" would be especially irritating in a workplace, which is where I found the most comments from people who think people should just "get over it."  If you're working, you're supposed to be professional.  Why would it be appropriate for you to call one of your colleagues by a name other than the one they prefer?  Why would you take it upon yourself to call someone by something other than their name?  Where do you get your nerve?

It's one thing if you are familiar with someone and call them by a pet name.  If they're okay with it, it's no big deal.  But strangers?  Really?  I don't know this guy from Adam.  Why would he use a term of endearment for me?  What if I'm not worthy of a term of endearment?  If he spent fifteen minutes with me in person, he might come away with the idea that I deserve an entirely different pet name than the one he deigned to bestow upon me.  

If you're on the job, it seems especially inappropriate and potentially risky.  A lot of people think it's disrespectful for a colleague or superior to call someone by a cutesy pet name.    

Anyway, I get that many people think this isn't a big deal at all.  I respect their right to think this is a non-issue.  I don't happen to agree with them, though.  I think a person's name is important.  In my opinion, if you respect another person, you should take the time to learn their preferred name and use it.  If you don't respect them, perhaps you shouldn't be interacting with them.  Calling someone "kiddo" is potentially annoying and offensive.  Save that crap for when you become friends or lovers, please.  


Lint licker... hmmm...  The lady with the brown hair used to be on Guiding Light.

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