We never have just one name. I have spent a while considering the number of different ways in which I had recently been addressed. The realisation also came, that being older appears to give more licence for those we meet to be free and easy with the various forms of address which are available to them . . .
I am addressed in different ways,
If the cap fits, then I wear it.
I do not mind, I’ve learnt to accept,
So I just grin and bear it.
“Well, there you are, my lovely”, the waitress warmly said.
I shrivelled in my seat . . . not feeling in the least bit lovely.
“Take your change, old fella”, as the shopkeeper mouthed goodbye.
Honest, I suppose, but unkind . . . I let it pass with a sigh.
“Don’t forget your hat, young man”,
Came the cheeky reminder from a bumptious innkeeper –
Sarcastic enough to hurt my seniority.
“Cheerio ducks, enjoy your day”,
Such jollity from the buxom barmaid,
As if it wasn’t already past my sleep-time,
“Goodbye” was all it needed.
“On your way now , darling”, the cheery matron muttered,
As if I was lingering languidly
And delaying her siesta.
Brusquely bustled aside with an
“Out o’ the way, mate, don’t hold up the British working man.”
My presence effectively disregarded.
“Hiya, Mister, got a quid for a fag?”
Mister, being generic,
My catch-all name … Bought for a pound.
“Can I help you, Sir?”
Kindly meant but formulaic,
Curt but kind
I think you’ll find.
“Come in, Honey … You’re very welcome.”
Warm reception from the receptionist,
And so, my dear,
To make it clear,
How I address you
Fits how I assess you.