You guys, this is nuts

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

It has be­come quite com­mon­place for a male and fe­male cou­ple to be greeted, mainly in restau­rants, but else­where as well, as “you guys.” Re­cently, my fe­male com­pan­ion and I went into a Cracker Bar­rel and the wait­ress came up and said, “Hi, guys, my name is so-and-so and I will be tak­ing care of you tonight. Can I start you guys off with some­thing to drink?” She re­turned with our drinks and said, “OK, guys, here are your drinks and your or­der should be out shortly.” Then, when she brought our or­der and set it down be­fore us, she said, “can I get you guys any­thing else?”

I couldn’t bite my tongue a fifth time and said, very po­litely, “First of all, she isn’t a ‘guy,’ which should be ob­vi­ous to any­one, and yet you have re­ferred to her as a ‘guy’ four times in the short time we have been here. I con­sider ad­dress­ing any woman in that man­ner to be quite dis­re­spect­ful.”

The wait­ress seemed nei­ther stunned nor of­fended but said, “You know, they did a sur­vey on that and found out that quite a few peo­ple feel as you do about that.” Of course, I couldn’t help but won­der, if she knew that, why in the world would she con­tinue to use that term.

I am not sin­gling Cracker Bar­rel out as a spe­cial of­fender in this mat­ter, nor that par­tic­u­lar wait­ress. The prac­tice is so wide­spread that sel­dom are a mixed cou­ple ad­dressed any other way. To com­pli­cate mat­ters, this par­tic­u­lar wait­ress was ad­dress­ing a 78-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman. If noth­ing else, our ages de­mand a lit­tle more re­spect than that.

Hav­ing said all of that, I have a ques­tion to ask. Why is it that I have never heard a mixed cou­ple ad­dressed as “you gals.” I won­der why that is. Is there any dif­fer­ence in call­ing a mixed cou­ple “you gals” as op­posed to “you guys?” While the of­fended woman qui­etly ac­cepts the of­fen­sive name, if a man was re­ferred to as a “gal,” I sus­pect he would prob­a­bly ex­plode. I know I would. Think about it!



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