Is it just me or does anyone else really dislike pet names? Especially when they’re said by complete strangers?
I know many people who do this, and I don’t have the heart to say to them “Actually, do you mind not calling me honey? I met you, like, three minutes ago? Thanks” and by the time I do have the courage to speak up about something like that, it just sounds strange and ridiculous. They’d have been calling me babe, honey and sweetie for months by that point, afterall.
Maybe it’s because I visualise them saying it as “Hunni”. I visualise subtitles as people speak and sometimes pronunciations of words can throw me off because my brain will spell words the way people have said them. It’s got me into trouble a few times because the word’s exactly the same, but maybe the way they’ve said it sounded like it had an extra “er” into it and it’s thrown the whole word off?
But that’s derailing and hunni doesn’t even have one set of “er” in it, let alone any extras.
I just think some pet names should be off limits for at least a few weeks. And I don’t mind regional ones. I’ve been called Queen and Queenie a few times and Pet and Petal a few others. So maybe my mind is targeting personal ones. Afterall, there’s a difference between being called Queenie by a taxi driver in Liverpool than “honey” by a work colleague. The tone? The implications? Surely there can’t be any implications if people wait all of two seconds to be calling me “honey”.
Maybe this is just a childhood trauma thing. I never was a fan of Whinnie the Pooh…
But then it doesn’t account for the other ones I have a problem with. Babe, Sweetie, Love, Girlie… (Weird how I have a problem with Girlie but not Girl, another regionalism) They’re all themed, mostly with the intention of calling girls these generic psuedo-affectionate pet names rather than guys. I don’t have a problem with being called “mate”. Maybe that’s the problem.
Is there a Dr Freud in the house? How about a psychology student, then?
Actually, thinking of my childhood, apart from the occasional “hon” which seemed to be saved for the special occasion of being on the phone or sick/upset/away from home, my parents didn’t use pet names when I was growing up. Maybe it’s just that i’m simply not used to that word being said around me, or that i’m not used to being called anything other than their nick-name for me, my given birth certicate name, the name they call me to show me that they do pay attention and do know that I don’t like being called their name for me which is the name some friends call me by which ironically was started by my parents introducing me by that name, and then my nickname which friends gave me and most others call me by.
This is all getting deeper than I originally intended…
The bottom line is, I don’t like feminine pet names, and when used around me, I feel like I should be using them too but they don’t sound or feel right coming from me. Then I feel like i’d be making a bigger issue of it if I said something about not really feeling right using pet names, so I just don’t and hope that no one says anything about me not using them.
I also have a problem with throwing the word “love” around, but that’s a therapy session for another day.
Issues. I has them.