My Wife is Not a Guy.

I know that for a fact.  So why does everyone, everywhere anymore, insist on addressing us as “you guys?”

In the middle of our missions the other day… getting prescriptions, stopping off at the library… we stopped for a bite to eat.  We were greeted by a young waitress who asked if “you guys” were ready to order.  And we discussed the fact that only one of “you guys” was actually a guy at all.  Now, there’s no way Tammy could be mistaken for a guy: she’s 5′ 3″… a beautiful blue-eyed blond.  In no way a “you guy.”

Not a guy

Okay, okay, I’m channeling my inner curmudgeon, which, come to think of it is more and more also my outer curmudgeon.  And okay, it’s not a big important issue.  But isn’t this just one more teeny tiny example of the erosion of civilized discourse?

Actually, I noticed this phenomenon about ten years ago, while dining at a fine dining establishment in Pennsylvania.  Next to our table was a very distinguished, very old couple.  They were well-dressed, genteel and well-mannered, and had that quality that made you want to hold doors for them. They were the sort of elders you would never even consider addressing by their first names, even if they had invited you to.  But our waitress in this very nice fine-dining establishment flounced up to them and said, “So!  Are you guys ready to order??”  Of course, being the classy couple they were, they ignored the gaffe.  But it made me wince.  How could anyone see this couple and call them “you guys?”

During our conversation the other day, Tammy said there’s not much that bothers her, and that’s true.  But for some reason, she too is offended by being called “you guys.”  Maybe offended is too strong a term, but you know what I mean.  If she were by herself, she wouldn’t be referred to as a guy, but if there’s more than one person, it’s “you guys.”

And, for cryin’ out loud, we’re in the South.  Whatever happened to “y’all?”  I know, I know.  It’s no big deal.  I won’t bring it up again.  Anyway I have to go chase some damned kids off the lawn.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bev on August 9, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    And here I thought that was a western Pa. thing! And yes, I’m guilty as charged.

    Reply

  2. Oh, my goodness, Steve. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. I have frequently told the waitress in no uncertain terms that I am NOT a guy. I think you should start a campaign to do away with this offensive practice.

    Reply

    • Sounds like a good idea, Marilyn. Maybe we could have “I Am NOT A Guy” buttons printed up. Of course, they’d prompt a lot of questions…

      Reply

  3. Posted by Pete on August 13, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    She COULD be a guy – plenty of relationships of that nature. But not your relationship…that would just be decadent.

    Reply

  4. The plural of “you” in direct address is, and should be, “y’all”. You don’t have to be a Southerner to use it. What baffles ME is when ignoramuses use “y’all” when talking to one person. That’s stooooopid.

    Well, okay, you can talk to one person on the phone, and ask, “When would y’all like to come over for dinner?” – meaning you’re inviting the whole family.

    Reply

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