Thursday, April 24, 2008

What did you just call me?

So, last week I was at the eye doctor's getting fitted for a new contact lens prescription (yay!). At one point in the ordeal, the lady helping me referred to me as 'kiddo', a term that I've only heard from my mom in these first 30 years of my life. It sounded odd (though strangely reassuring), but different people have their quirks so I didn't make much of it.

Well, today I went in to the dentist's to get my teeth cleaned, and wouldn't you know, TWO different people there called me 'kiddo' too!

What's going on here? Is this some sort of medical office lingo that's been universally adopted to put people at ease? A generic friendly sounding term that you can insert when you forget someone's name? Most importantly, how old can I be and still be called 'kiddo'?

When it comes to friendly generic nicknames, I can't help but think back on a kind british nurse that assisted me one time in college, after I had surfed down a flight of stairs on my knees (which I don't recommend, btw). As she meticulously picked gravel out of my shins, she reassuringly told me "You'll be alright, love" in a perfect Mary Poppins accent. I could have taken her home with me right then and there!

Unfortunately, calling someone 'love' only works for the british. Perhaps 'kiddo' then, is the best we americans can do? I'm scheduled for a physical next month - I can't wait to hear what they'll call me there.


caljoy said...

Well kiddo, er I mean Katherine, it sure beats being called Ma'am, which I am getting tired of. They do not say it in the nice southern way like they do in Baton Rouge or New Orleans, no they say it like I am an old woman with no real name.
I guess it's better than Sir. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, but my pet peeve is when the waitress calls you "hunny"or "sweetie" She doesn't know me from adam but feels comfortable calling me something only my husband should use. I guess she could call me alot worse. I'd have to agree that ma'am is not much better.