In case you’re not from where I’m from, ‘Shug’ is pronounced ‘Shooog’ – like sugar. In fact, it’s used in calling someone sugar in a loving way… ‘Want to go to the store with me Shug?’ ‘Come sit by me Shug.’ ‘Oh Shug, I’m so sorry.’
Not all step-mom’s are like Cinderella’s… I wasn’t around mine a lot, just a couple weeks every summer when I would go back to my hometown to spend time with Daddy. She always called me Shug and I always felt loved by her. We had great fun together – her little girl was half my age. So I was old enough to ride the roller coaster with her at the Miracle Strip, old enough to tube with her in the lake. We laughed a lot…
She took me to have pictures done one summer, I must have been eleven and I wanted to wear lipstick so bad. The shade I wore in that picture matched one of the stripes in my dress. It was a quite a sight, but she loved it and so did I. ‘Shug, you are the prettiest little girl I know’ is what she said after we got them back.
I heard my husband’s secretary a couple years ago on the phone with a client. She called her ‘Hon’ a couple of times (you know, like honey). She did that with a lot of the clients. Everyone loved her. They thought she was the kindest, most helpful person they had ever talked to.
So, I’m thinking my mother’s old saying ‘You get a lot more with honey, than you do with vinegar’ is true. Not that we should use these ‘terms of endearment’ insincerely. But how about a little grace on the phone when you have problems with the phone or cable company: ‘Well, hon, I know you aren’t at fault here, but I need your help getting this straightened out.’ Might go a lot further than most approaches we’ve used before.
We never know how our words are going to affect others. I sure hope there’s someone out there over the course of the years that can look back and say about me: ‘I remember this lady who called me ‘sweetheart’, ‘dear’, ‘cutie’…and it made me feel cared about, loved….’