Our relationship held such promise.
He got the number of our office through the chamber of commerce. He had a dead realtive and needed help. I gave him direction and [non-legal] advice because that’s what I do. He called me 3 times in the space of 20 minutes late on a Friday afternoon. Annnoying. And yet, affectionate. He called me darling and sweetheart.
Imagine that. A person I’d never met whispering terms of endearment to me. Well he wasn’t really whispering – we probably just had a bad connection. Of course it could mean only one thing…we were destined to be together. He loved me – even though we’d never met. Otherwise why would he call me darling?
We would meet, and… and sparks. Oh the sparks! He called me sweetheart before we even met! Imagine the passion once we met and talked about things besides the dead relative, the missing will, and the rundown mobile home.
There would be wildflowers and meaningful looks, candles and poetry and lots of stuff happening in slow motion.
The next Monday he came to the office for his appointment. I wondered where he’d tie up his steed. Wait – a stupid midsize SUV? Golfer’s clothes and sensible shoes? He called me sweetheart and showed up without wildflowers from an obliging field, without the riding coat and boots and the Mr. Darcy purposeful walk.
He barely acknowledged me as he offered a limp hand.He didn’t love me. I’m not darling, just darlin’.
I ‘m not sure whether I’m bothered by this because a) it’s sexist b) there’s a presumption of familiarity c) I’m not the kind of person who could ever get away with calling someone sweetie or d) all of the above. It doesn’t bother me when a Wafflehouse waitress calls me hon – it’s maternal and waitressy. But when a guy does it, it feels demeaning in a 1960’s Mad Men way.
If I ever speak to Phoneromeo again, I may call him babe, bro or dude to see how he reacts. I’m guessing he wouldn’t like it too much if I called him dick.