What’s in a name?

Dear Casanova,

I can’t help but think back to the first time I read Romeo & Juliet in the ninth grade whenever I think of names. I believe Juliet’s lines go a little something like this:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

You can check me on that though, but I’m pretty sure I got it right. So what is in a name? Specifically nicknames. Even more specifically “pet names” or “terms of endearment” or however you want to frame those names that we’re supposed to call our significant others (or those on the path to becoming somewhat significant in our lives). If you cannot tell by my tone and previous posts, I am anti-cliché AND anti-pet names. Let’s lay them out, shall we: baby, babe, boo, booski (a new one that you may not have heard of yet), love, mi amor, sweetheart, snuggle bunny(?)…and I’m sure the list goes on but just thinking of them makes me want to say “blech.” Let’s not forget the baby voice that they’re said in either… Who decided these terms were affectionate anyway?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely cynical. I’m okay with pet names once you actually care about the person (even though I prefer less generic ones). I guess my problem with pet names is that they are often used before the person using them actually has any semblance of feeling for the other person. So what is the point of the pet name if it’s not expressing that person’s “special place” in your heart? Is it supposed to make the other person feel special? Or does it make the person feel special that they have someone to call that name?

I don’t know what it is. I just know that a guy who calls me “babe” off the bat just increased his chances of getting ex’d by 98%. Maybe it’s because I feel like he’s calling me that because he cannot remember my name. I’m bad with names and always put guys in my phone as “Dude from…” to remember if I should answer or ignore their calls/messages. So maybe I’m just projecting my own tendency to forget a name on the guy. Or maybe it’s because I feel like the guy is being cheesy and thinks he’s “sweet talking” me. (Insert eyeroll). Whatever it is, I feel like it is disingenuous and I do not want any part of it.

xoxo

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This work by bellereveur.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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