Proudly celebrating eleven years of faithfully serving our readers, the people of Henry County


"Celebrating Henry County"


Hey Henry
Submit A Hey Henry
As It Was
Look Closer
Church Notes
Submit A Classified
Click & Save
Inside Henry
Where in The World

Site Search
Contact Us
Find Us
Site News





We have 15 new
Hey Henrys
this week!

Submit your
"Hey Henry"





Putting it nicely


Mary Jane Owen

  A handful of you out there know me and those who do, family, friends and foes alike, would not think of addressing me as “Sweetie.” I am not, never have been, and do not aspire to be anybody’s “Sweetie.”  The last time a sorta beaux called me that, I had to lay a cussin’ in him because he had known me since childhood and knew better. I’m pretty sure that term was how he addressed all women as a means of not getting mixed up on their names. He was inclined toward a wandering eye anyway, and I think he thought that was a good way to cover his bases. Strike two, with only one to go and that came pretty quickly. Another story, best left untold.

  In addition to “Sweetie” I don’t like being addressed as “Hun.” When assorted strangers are inclined to use that term, I always turn around to look for Attila for whom that is an appropriate and historically correct way to address him, long dead and good riddance. Alternatives? How about “thank you,” or simply “Ma’am” or even simpler, “Yes” or “No.” No strain, no insult, but polite and respectful.

Other salutations: I just don’t get, maybe because I’m old, maybe because I am not a pop culture enthusiast, certainly I’m behind the times, but “yo,” and “whassup?” require me to attempt translation to Southern English. That takes effort and interferes with smooth conversation because I am required to use cognitive capacity that is admittedly on slow motion anyhow. Now, in addition to strange language, I have to think where my keys, hearing aid, glasses are located and now this? My solution is just to look as dumb as I feel and/or ignore what is being said. The latter only reinforcing the former.

  That aside, let me quickly admit that some people with whom I interact practice better judgment and do so with tact and kindness. Case in point, as I was checking out of a local grocery store recently I inquired of the cashier what day was “old folks” day for their store. She smiled a huge smile and responded “You mean SENIOR day?” Well I had to laugh along with onlookers who got a kick out of that response and my reaction, reminding me how powerful is a sense of humor and even more so how delightful and graceful a response. Kudos to the cashier and very likely to the managerial culture of that store. Other retail enterprises, take note!

  There’s more: I’ve been making the rounds of doctors’ offices lately, a common activity among my peers. A couple of weeks ago, I decided I might as well be dead! My arthritic left thumb was hurting and useless. At the same time my left foot began pulsating with pain, while my right arm was already impaired by a foolish fluke of an incident that had happened recently. As if that wasn’t enough my bad right hip throbbed in excruciating discomfort. My precious little beagle, Lucy jumped up for her periodic lap time and I confessed to her that I thought my days were numbered. She just licked my face. I could do nothing but tough it out and suffer, but fortunately my better angels prompted me to get on the phone and make some doctors’ appointments. Truthfully I was not quite ready to become an invalid. I decided to deal with one ailment at a time. First things first. I needed my right arm to acquire food, avoiding starvation which sustains life. That took precedence. I hit the online White Pages and took a shot in the dark at some sort of medical attention. Miraculously the arm doctor’s office that I called had a doctor that was willing to see me that very afternoon. That bode well, given how unusual such promptness was or is, so I hit the road at the appointed time.

Right away I  liked the doctor because, upon entering the room, he addressed me as “Mary Jane.” Impressive! I responded hastily, thanking him for using my real name and explained that most institutions will not use double names. I went on to tell him that I do not answer to: ”Mary Owen.” and most certainly not to “Mary Owens” since neither is my name. Finally I added that when addressed thus, I waited for a few minutes and then inquired if by chance when using either of those monikers they were addressing ME? (It still does not work, but I do it anyway just to make a point). Patiently the doctor waited until I finished my sermon and pointed out that the two lovely names obviously BELONGED together. Aha! Big points, and just for good measure he expressed his appreciation to me for paying him the courtesy of pronouncing his non-Anglo name correctly. Mutual admiration society and spot on. But wait, that’s not all. After carefully examining my arm/shoulder he pronounced his diagnosis. Concentrate on the nuances of this if you please; “Well, what we have here is doubtless tendonitis and seventy-five years of wisdom and good use!” Couldn’t have been put any nicer!

  Mary Jane Owen is a veteran educator. She has two children and one grandson. She’s an avid Braves fan, reads, writes, and gardens.




©Henry County Times, Inc.