Marg was the first one to call me Dear. I mean the first in my adult life other than my Grandmother and Aunt. I was taken back by it but Marg lived with her elderly parents at the time in one of those role reversal situations that happens to single women of a certain age, AND she was and is my contemporary or at least close enough that it no longer matters.
Then there was a "shop girl" by that I mean a woman who has chosen or had chosen for her. a life in retail. Familiarity can be expected from someone who has just seen you in your skivies.And the "odd waitress" but some of her customers were "Honey" so Dear didn't seem so bad.
The other day it was one of the managers at work who resolved a problem for me as is his job. "there you go Dear" he said. Bite me - thought I as I smiled a benign smile.