We, as sentimental, selfish, romantic, loving, generous, narcissistic, jealous, caring, wanting humans, do this thing. We label things…and animals…and people. Not just for the ‘type’ of creature they are, but actually label. We are born with given names, acquire nicknames, short names, pet names and labels.
As my name is quite long, and has several abbreviations, I have been called many things at different stages of life. I have also been given both names and labels by people who feel for me, good and bad (and quite realistically, probably a few choice ones I’m not aware of).
I don’t take too well to alternate names, but some seem to adhere regardless. They have changed over the years from schoolfriends, parents, old ladies, work colleagues, business clients and in the online community.
There are also endeared labels. Two people in my life have always called me ‘Sweetheart’, one of my oldest friends, and my most recent. It sounds strange coming from most people, but from these two sounds quite natural. The former only uses the word on those he despises or loves, and I’m pretty sure it’s the latter…or at least I hope so.
Another person I used to know, for a while called me ‘Lover’, which sounded quite heartfelt, until I found that I wasn’t the only one, literally. Loses it’s gloss pretty quick. Now it sounds more like poison.
I debated once, about the use of labels in a relationship. At what age do you stop using the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ and pretend you are mature enough to have progressed past that point? We were no longer boy and girl, yet supposedly exclusive, but not married? Hhmm.
‘Partner’ sounds ancient or gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so/but essentially misleading. In the end, we decided that it was not in any way a normal relationship, and found odd metaphoric terms of endearment. I like to think they were both metaphoric anyway, although there *may* have been a tinge of truth to mine.
Another friend, who is actually married, never refers to her husband as that, but always just calls him ‘my Mi***el’. It is sweet and completely innocent, like her, yet as mentioned above, a very direct form of ownership.
I’m pretty sure just about every committed couple out there use some form of alternate name for their partners, ranging from gut-wrenching stuff like “Honeybunch’ & ‘Sweet-pea’, to the more widely used ‘Love’ or ‘Darling’. Today I saw ‘Snuggle-monkey’, which seemed very apt considering who applied it, and to whom.
A guy once made the mistake of trying to call me ‘Darl’…wow. He never did that again.
I guess in a nutshell, if you are with someone, that you acclimatise to whatever they call you (within reason-and excluding the heat of argument), but by far the most soul-piercing name anyone has ever called me…is my own. My real name, from their lips. In those moments it wasn’t just about me. It was acknowledgement. It was about this person being with me, and only with me. Even if only…for those moments.
What names do you share Kids? We want the vomit-inducing cuteness. Spill.