Friday, January 18, 2008

What's in a Name?

I love pet names. Sugarplum, Poptart, Angelpie, Monkeyface, Snuggelina, you name it, I love it. I call my friends by silly names all the time and almost have to bite my tongue to prevent myself from addressing coworkers with them.

I don't know where my penchant for these terms of endearment comes from; I don't remember my parents calling each other Honey or Dear. My sister and brother-in-law drop the big H sometimes, but I've never heard my brother or sister-in-law utter it to one another. I wonder if maybe couples' pet names fall by the wayside when they have kids because all the creative naming effort is put into giving little baby Peanut Pumpkin a sufficiently adoring moniker.

Backing out of the offspring and spouse arena, though, we get to the most important use of the pet name...the first-time use. I'm always a bit stupefied the first time someone I'm dating calls me by one of these little gems. It's like DeNiro takes over and wants to ask, "You talkin' to me?" And I have to wonder: Does it mean something? Does that inaugural name-call mean I've reached a new echelon of endearment in the person's heart and mind?

I sure hope so. Because Sweetie without any significance behind it just isn't as sweet...

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