I wish I could remember the conversation that led up to this particular exchange. I remember the scene well enough, though, so let's go with that:
It's my sophomore year of college. I'm in a room in one of the girls' dormitories, talking to one of the girls. Let's call her... Dana, I guess, since I don't know any Danas. (Or is that Danae? Oh, well, never mind.) Anyway, Dana's roommate is also there. She is in the far corner of the room, trying to give the impression that she's working on something instead of eavesdropping on us, when in fact it's glaringly obvious that her whole purpose for still being in the room is to listen in on our conversation.
I should point out that Dana and I were not, in any sense, dating. I was, at the time, busy being the campus ghost, so I never got to know her well enough for anything serious. But we hung out occasionally, and we flirted with each other.
Dana said something that I thought was a little silly. (This is the part that I can't remember.) It might have been some sort of personal advice, or an opinion on whatever-we-were-talking-about. Because I thought it was a little silly, I said, "Yes, dear."
This prompted a little gasp from the far side of the room - you know, over where Dana's roommate definitely was not in any way listening to us. We both heard it, and we both turned to look at the roommate, who explained: "He called you 'dear'."
"Yes," I said patiently, "I do that when I'm being condescending."
Whereupon - WHAM! - Dana punched me in the shoulder. Hard.
Which, I have to admit, I pretty much had coming to me.