Petting Names

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

We are generation that loves the nickname and getting gender specific with inanimate objects. I’m pretty sure if you thought about it, you could name five people who have named their vehicles, iPods, or computers. Mine are Mama, Cricket and Freida respectively. The digital world is a place of naming and like it or not, we are products of it. Personal file management alone requires a clever wit for labeling. I believe this has bled into our everyday lives as we start naming each other. Particularly with my female friends, I’ve noticed nicknames forming with our boyfriends.

See, boys, we talk to each other about everything and you are included, thus early on we nickname you. We put you everything you do in a file under that name and then we share the file. We share that file over brunch with our besties. This file gets renamed as the relationship flourishes, how well Christmas goes, you volunteer to DD, and as you grow from someone we’re ‘dating’ to ‘boyfriend.’ (On the flip side if you get dumped or dump us, we’ve got special file names for you then too).

In my experience, rarely do these boyfriend’s like their nicknames inspite of being ‘keepers’ and fail to understand that the names come from a collective admiration and approval from a group of close friends. What a better way to say, “you’ve been accepted” than a special nickname?

I had a dear friend who’s boyfriend we affectionately referred to as Dad. Why? Because he was so responsible. This boyfriend was not only dedicated to keeping my friend out of trouble but also me and anyone else we recruited along the way. Although sometimes a disciplinarian when our antics brewed crazy, he always had what was best in mind. He never cared that we would sip wine and gab for hours, he would never exclude anyone, and he would always want control of the remote. Very dad-like. But like I said he was very unhappy with his nickname and expressed it in a rather fatherly manner. Despite our efforts to explain to him that it was a term of endearment, we retracted the nickname out of respect.

Another boyfriend disliked his nickname as well. Now Fancy Pants might not be as masculine as Dad, but again, labeled with affection. Perhaps these dudes are just disappointed that we aren’t calling them Big Guns or Butch. Smash and The Hunkster would probably be more preferable. If they could only understand, we want a teddy bear not a grizzly. Well  some of us want a grizzly, but only in the sack and only with an established safe word.

Recently, Mister Red was all too disappointed when he learned his nickname. Indoor Cat. The name was coined when he didn’t want to go out one night, but it’s not because he’s a homebody. In truth, it’s because his likeness to an indoor cat. Like an indoor cat he always wants to be outside running and jumping and playing. I’ve never seen cabin fever worse in a human. I’ve also caught him napping in the sun, on the floor. He’s very good at sneaking up on me and possesses a lot of sass. He gets sudden bursts of energy, bouncing off the walls or attacking things that didn’t do anything to him. He’ll hang around the kitchen for a piece of ham or cheese. He looks at me, guilty, before doing something wrong, but always does it anyway.  However, he’ll rub up on me and really likes my lap. All cat like things, I’m pretty sure he always lands on his feet too. But like I said he doesn’t like it.

A domesticated feline isn’t the most masculine thing to be named after around but surely he must be able to see how endearing these behaviors are, at least to me and my friends. Truth is, I think he just hates cats. But this post isn’t about that, it’s about recognizing the pet names and learning to embrace it. Does he have a name for me? I’m sure he does. Am I going to like it? Probably not. Whatever it is, I hope it’s not Princess Sugar Tits.

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