I do believe the world would be a nicer place if our greetings were such. How might we all tend one another if we began with, "Handsome" and "Dear," "Doll" and "Love" ?
When the Cashier at 7-Eleven Called Me "Beautiful"
I wasn't feeling particularly pretty
and I suspect the woman behind me in line
with greasy hair and wearing pajama bottoms
received the same salutation.
No matter, I actually blushed
and walked out of the store smiling.
My clerk was simultaneously training a worker
on an adjacent register.
She was on speed perhaps,
her efficiency almost manic
but the best part of a drug arc,
a disc jockey with two turntables,
a bartender pouring shots.
Still her goodness was genuine,
her purpose pure.
I doubt it was in the employee handbook,
to ring up gasoline and give change with such affections.
I too have offered them as easily,
holding the door for unfamiliar dears and cuties.
I like to think of Raymond Carver's quote,
And did you get what
you wanted in this life?...
And what did you want?
To call myself Beloved,
to feel myself Beloved on this earth.
Recently I took an ethics course for my
master's degree in counseling.
The professor advised us practicing therapists
not to tell clients we love them,
or touch them without permission.
I took notes dutifully.
But when she lectured we ought not to
call our clients honey or sweetie,
I put down my pen questioning my career choice,
wondering what then was the point.