You guys, this is nuts
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!