Terms Of Endearment

On Tuesday, I was walking down the aisle of cubicles heading towards the kitchen with a male colleague, Brian, and we were talking about a presentation we were planning. I was carrying my lunch plate with the intention of washing it in the sink, and as I did that, we continued talking. I was done with the plate at the same time that the conversation ended, and I don’t know if it was the domesticity of the situation or whatnot, but as I put the plate in the drying rack, I said, “Super. Thanks, honey.” Cue the sound of a record scratch.

Me: Oh, wow, I think I just called you ‘honey’.
Brian (laughing): Yes, you did.
Me: Sorry—it kind of slipped out.
Brian: It’s perfectly fine. I call the people on my team ‘honey’ all the time.
Me: OK, well as long as it didn’t bother you.
Brian: Not at all!

Because you never know, right? But then on Thursday, Brian and I were continuing our conversation about the presentation and as I walked away, he said, “OK, thanks honey!” There was a pause and then he peeked his head out of his cubicle and called after me:

Brian: Hey, I just called YOU honey!
Me (laughing): I know!
Brian: See, I told you I call people that all the time.
Deep Male Voice From Another Cubicle: IT’S TRUE. HE DOES.

So now I don’t feel as bad and also I think Brian and I have to get married. Sorry, Ken.

And when I told Ken this story, after reminding me that I was already married, he confessed that he was having trouble with terms of endearment at work too. Mostly because we’ve been binge-watching Rupaul’s Drag Race.

Ken: It’s really hard not to walk into a room and greet everyone with ‘Hey, queens!’
Me: Or be like, ‘Bitch, we need to discuss that budget variance report, okurrrr?’
Ken: Or leave a room yelling, ‘By-eeee!’
Me: Yass, babe. I was so tempted to put ‘Sashay Away’ on the light-up marquee in my office just for fun.
Ken: Girl, you know you better don’t.
Me: Bitch, please!

At any rate, it got me thinking about those affectionate names that people have for each other, like sweetie and honey and baby, and how very few people ever call me Suzanne:

  • Ken calls me “Honey” 99% of the time. The other 1% is when he’s mad, and then he refers to me as “Buddy” in an incredulous kind of way, like “BUDDY! Really?! Come on!” I can’t remember the last time he actually addressed me by name but that’s OK, because I’m pretty sure he knows what it is.
  • My dad and I greet each other with “Hello, dahling!” When I was younger, he called me “Sugarplum”, which I also loved.
  • My mother generally calls me “Sweetheart” or “Ooh, you cheeky monkey!” When I was little, her affectionate nickname for me was “Squeeg” like a squeegee. Neither of us know why, but I always liked it.
  • Katelyn calls me “Mom”. She said “mama” for the first time at around 3 months (she was a super-early talker and was speaking in two-word sentences by the time she was a year old), but that quickly morphed into just Mom. I think there were a couple of months where she might have called me “Mommy” but it didn’t last long. When she was little, I called her “Baby” all the time to the point where she began to refer to herself in the third person as Baby and would say, “Baby up” or “Baby tired” or “Baby agrees with Nietzsche—if the taste of these strained green beans doesn’t kill me, they will definitely make Baby stronger” (ok, she didn’t actually say that, but when she was two, she actually DID say, “When I gwow up, I will be a bus dwiver and I will dwive all the children to the beach and they will pway in the sand and I will pwotect them” and I said, “Have you been reading Catcher in the Rye AGAIN?”) Then she started pre-school and one morning, she turned to me and said, “Don’t call me baby anymore. I’m a big girl now”, and it kind of broke my heart, but I stopped.
  • One of my aunts, who is only a few years older than me, calls me “Kiddo” which is cool because I’m 54 and it makes me feel young. My other aunt calls me “Suzie”. She’s the only person in my entire life who’s ever shortened my name, and I let her do it because she’s adorable and I love her. If anyone else does it, they will get throat-punched.
  • A lot of my virtual friends called me mydangblog, or MDB (or Suzune, thanks to an unfortunate cake incident), and it’s very cool to have a secret identity like that.
  • I have been lobbying for literally YEARS to be called Player One. At this point, I don’t think it’s happening, but I’ll keep trying.

At any rate, I’m very lucky to have people in my life who refer to me with terms of endearment instead of nasty slurs. I asked Titus about nicknames because he never really calls me anything:

Me: So what do you call me in your head?
Titus: Player One, of course.
Me: You do?! Wait—are you only saying that to get a cookie?
Titus: Obviously. In my head, I just call you ‘Mommy’.
Me: Really? Awww. That’s why you’re the bestboi.
Titus: Cookie?
Me: Of course, honey.

70 thoughts on “Terms Of Endearment

  1. Precoffee response…read with caution…. Katelyn? didn’t know there was a Katelyn…super cute story though…what does Tristan call you? I will most definitely refer to you as player one in all future comments, if you will allow me to shorten it to P1. I do need to get some coffee though as I am curious what people call me and to be honest I can’t think of a single name though, I am also somewhat aware that no one uses my given name. :/
    I hope that you have a great day Player One! Ty for the chuckles!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Bryntin says:

    Most of the terms of endearment Mrs Bryntin uses for me are actually two words and the first one is always ‘You…’ She has quite a few different words to follow that one. I won’t bore you with them here but I have wondered if she used to be in the Navy.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Reading this and after my cappuccino, laughing out loud, I realized that my youngest also referred to himself in the third person. He was three, and would say “baby Gus doesn’t like carrots” or “baby Gus is bored.” Seriously, how bored can a three year old be? Lol

    Player One seems logical, although I don’t remember exactly why, lol.
    My brother calls me Ron, my parents call me Roni, not Ronnie because that’s a masculine name. According to my aunt, who is also only a couple of years older than me, who calls me slugger because of when I played softball as a kid.

    I have all my boys on my phone as Ice Bear, Grizz Bear and Panda Bear from the cartoon We Bear Bears. Because each one has the exact same personality those characters have. Awesome post Player One, over and out!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am so resistant to terms of endearment. My pet name for Sean is is his first and last name – but that kind of happened accidentally because his last name is similar to my ex-husband’s last name and so I did it deliberately to burn it in my head and not accidentally let the other one slip. So I’ve called him that since day one and he probably has no idea why. Meanwhile, Sean didn’t know my last name until we moved in together and the landlady asked him what name to put on the buzzer. He didn’t know. HE DIDN’T KNOW MY LAST NAME!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Let’s be thankful for Karen Grace, “P1.” As now, you’ll always be Player One. I hate when I call someone “hon..” It doesn’t matter who, or why… Ru Paul or no, I just do, ‘hon’ or ‘sweetie…’ even ‘dumbass.’ (Usually in place of ‘buddy.’) I’ll honestly try to use ‘buddy’ instead of dumbass. Dumbass hasn’t been a very popular ‘nickname’ nor heard as a term of endearment. “No, you did not!” 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Daughter: Sweetie
    Son: Doodles
    Wife: Miss
    Dog (gone now): Dweeza
    Office titles: Sir & Ma’am, regardless of age or seniority.

    As to “Honey”, Bobby Goldsboro… And speaking of songs, I can’t believe nobody calls you Suzie-Q.

    “If you knew…”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Is it Mrs. Player One or Ms. or just P1 or Pone? Well anyway, I expect a cookie. I am used to saying love you at the end of a call with my kids or grands and when a really helpful tech person was done helping me on the phone, I must have zoned out and said love you. I was so embarrassed I didn’t know what to do so hung up. I’m sure he got a laugh out of it. At least he was helpful. Most tech calls end up with me wanting yo say F off!

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 2 people

  8. Suzanne, Honey!, you seriously make my life better. I know I have had my invisibility cloak on for about a hundred years, but I will never stop adoring you. From the start of this, I was laughing out loud!!! Thank you for always bringing laugher into my day! I have taken to calling even waiters honey, when they are lovely and patient with my 45 things on the side kind of ordering that is! Otherwise, the term is less endearing…I am good at those!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Too funny, reminds me of a time a co-worker was writing a note to another and almost signed it, “Love you” at the end, in the habit of writing a note to her husband. Haha.

    I don’t know, I really like Suzune.. 🙂 But P1 is a cool name, too. Me, I never liked being called Kathy, so later in life my friends started calling me Leener, which also morphed into Lean Bean, and Beaner. My folks always call me Kitty, which is common nickname for Kathleen.

    Thanks again for the laughs!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The problem with calling you P1 is that I can’t disassociate that from the McLaren supercar or the animated manga cartoon Marine Boy (the awesome flying sub was called the P1). But that’s because I have weird thought processes, don’t mind me.
    As for pet names, well we have a few. We still call our daughters daft names, eldest being Pud / Tiggle / Tiggly (her name’s Tegan & she’s 23 – when she was younger she was also known as Smush which she hated). Youngest (20) is still referred to as Pud / Boo / Boo-Boo / Rabbit / Munchie / Pickle & probably a load I’ve forgotten. When she was small she was asked at school if she knew her full name and she nodded and said “Natalie Boo”, because that was what we called her.
    I have a pet name for my wife (it’s a long story so won’t bore you) but the best name ever is what her mum used to call her when she was little: Kitten-Woolly which is utterly cute. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My mother called me by my first name whenever she was angry with me. I made the mistake of telling a nurse that once and then I got lost and wandered by her station and she said my full name and added, “Are you lost?” Now that I think of it I’m not sure why it was a mistake. I went through a phase of preferring to be called “Christopher” then a phase of wanting to be just “Chris” and then I stayed with a French family and the way they pronounced “Christopher” made me want to be called just that by French people. And I’m pretty sure our dogs think of me as “Dad” because when my wife tells them “go find Dad” they come looking for me. Then again maybe there are only two of us so maybe she could tell them “go find stupid” and they’d come looking for me.
    Anyway I think Titus deserves another cookie, and have a great week Player One!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My husband and I exchange Honey’s and sweeties all the time. I generally use kiddo when talking to the kids. Years ago when we started referring to the dogs as “the boys” I began calling my husband Big Dog I then became the Girl Dog.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think those terms are often said just out of habit. I’ve had numerous waitresses call me ‘Honey’ and I know they call everyone that or are after a bigger tip :). I think we as a society have become a bit hypervigilant with “offensive” terms, at least here, in Canada. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Mrs C and I call each other “mama” and “papa” because we’re always referring to each other when talking to the dogs and that’s what they call us. “Where’s papa?” “Go show mama!” That kind of thing. At work once, my wife called one of her warehouse managers “Hon” the second day on the job and he lost his shit. He yelled at her for using a term of endearment on him because he was a “manager” who needed to be “respected.”

    Things went better at her next job, the next day. 😉

    Good post, P-hon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, Ken and I refer to each other with Titus as mummy and daddy—when Ken sees my car pull into the driveway, he says “Mummy’s home!” and Titus runs you the door. Mostly because he thinks I might have groceries 😉. I’m glad Mrs. C changed jobs—that guy was NOT a honey!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I like this, so many terms of endearment and the thing is in this day and age you have to be careful. If I called one of the HR girls honey I’m like to be sacked.

    Anyways, have a great week Player One!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I just love you. I read your posts and wonder how we aren’t lifelong friends who became neighbors when we have so many things to discuss over wine. I have a similar list of names–certain people only call me certain derivations of Wendy that no one else does. I think it’s kind of fun! Thanks for the smiles.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. When I was little I called my grandfather by his first name, Joe. Everyone corrected me but he thought it was funny for a little kid to call him by his first name. I guess that never happened before. From that moment on it was always Grandma and Joe. Amazing how things stick, isn’t it.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I’ve always been amazed by people who use terms of endearment to address strangers. It seems to mostly be an old people thing (My Dad would use “honey” a lot when talking to female customer service people)… but I’ve been called sweetheart and dear and even honey by customers of all ages before. Maybe it’s my major social awkwardness, but I could never use a sweetheart name like that to ever address someone I didn’t know REALLY well!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Jay is almost always Jay for me. Sometimes I try out other stuff, like sweetie, but Jay just feels the most natural. And because of that I have not had much confusion at work or elsewhere. But thanks for sharing these great stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I once had a boss who rarely called people by their actual given names. He wouldn’t remember your name, so he’d make one up. For example, if your name was Nicole, he’d call you Shelly, etc., and even if you corrected him, it made no difference. I had to admire that kind of dedication to mis-naming people.

    Liked by 1 person

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