Friday, January 22, 2010

Pet Peeves: Pet Names

I feel like it is always somewhat comforting to find someone else who shares your philosophy on what is totally obnoxious. That moment where you can turn to another and be all, "Finally! Someone understands why I'm so irked about this!"

A little pet peeve confession: pet names.

I'll make it very black and white for you. You cannot call me sweetie unless, um, I'm your sweetie. Which I'm not. I cannot think of one person, with the exception of my lovely mother, who is allowed to call me that at this time. If we're in love and you roll over in bed and call me sweetie, I will think it is the most adorable thing. If you are some stranger and you hold the door open for me and call me sweetie, my blood pressure instantly rises. If you are a male friend of mine, pet names should not be in your vocabulary when talking to me. I'm pretty easygoing, about most everything. I am rather offended by people taking the liberty to call me anything other than my name.

This past summer, I was allowing myself to sort of be set up with someone. I wasn't excited about it. I felt like it was more of a chore than anything. But I also allowed myself to feel like dating was something I should be doing. So I get this voice mail from said set-up dude wanting to make plans. It was so awful to me that I was a horrible person and played it on speaker phone while out with my girlfriends for beer night.

They all looked at me. "Are you seriously that pissed that he called you beautiful?" One of them asked, a bit incredulous.

It wasn't a good, respectful thing.

It was, "Hiya, beautiful, blah blah blah, well hon, blah blah blah, give me a call sweetie. Blah."

Needless to say, my call was abrupt, direct and I declined the dinner invitation.

Am I the only one? I honestly feel like this type of talk is degrading. If you're my sweetie, you'll know. Until then, I am annoyed by pet names.

What are your pet peeves?


  1. I can completely see how that guy's pet name comment was disrespectful, not to mention patronizing. Hopefully you haven't encountered too many people who do this.

    How do pet names work for you in relationships? The odd thing that I've noticed in my long-term relationships is that we end up calling each other our pet names but almost never our real names. How does that happen? Every once in a while my girlfriend would slip up and call me "Jamey," and it was so refreshing. I like pet names in relationships to some extent--it's a little joke or endearment between the two of us--but I want to hear my real name from time to time and use her real name from time to time as well. What's your take on this?

  2. You're absolutely right--long-term relationships typically turn into pet names being used more than real names. I like to be called my real name when I'm having a conversation with my significant other. However, I actually like pet names as a term of endearment between someone I'm with when it's more of a, "Hey babe, do you mind picking up milk while you're out?" Or "Sweetie, do you want to go out tonight or stay in?" I just don't care for it from anyone else!

  3. Hey snickerdoodle!
    Too bad I read this blog after I texted you and called you "my dear". My most sincere appologies. Take care doll.

  4. Krissy- Exception: my girlfriends may call me "my dear" in a text. I do not take offense to that. Especially when we are planning a playdate for our children. :) Doll, on the other owe me a beer. ;)

  5. hahaha you crack me up. down here, everyone calls everyone else babe. a big burly man saying "thanks babe" to another man of the same type i found to be exceptionally discomforting, and i still think it's weird, but it happens all the time.

  6. Heidi! I cannot stop laughing at one man saying "thanks babe" to another and imagining your discomfort. Haha! :)

  7. I totally agree with you being irked at a stranger (did he even know what you looked like?) calling you beautiful and sweety in a voice mail. For some reason it weirds me out more when female friends of mine call me sweetie.

    To me, 'sweetie' is something a grandparent calls their grandchildren. NOT a close friend to another friend.

    Plus, I am pretty sure I am ANYTHING but sweet.

  8. I don't care what you say I will continue to call you babe and sweetie all I want. Deal with it!

  9. Ashley- I met the guy once, briefly, and he was not at liberty to call me anything but Penelope! I'm okay with my female friends. Read below. :)

    Kelly- you are the one person who was with me while I was in labor for 15 hours. I cringe to think of what un-lovely names I might have been calling out. You have earned the right to call me whatever you want. :)

  10. I HATE when people call me "sweetie" or "darlin'" or "beautiful" and they don't know me. I have had bosses who shall remain nameless who throw "darlin'" around out of some weird antiquated manners pattern. I don't think it's polite to call me "darlin'" - I think it's weird. And there is just something skeezy about someone you don't know calling you "beautiful" -- it's not the same as saying "Wow, you are beautiful." Sentiments like, "Hey, beautiful" feel cheap, objectifying, and just plain gross when coming from someone you don't know well.

  11. PS - That all said (blabbed), I love when my SO calls me by a nickname...but if he ever called me "babe" or "sweetie" in a non-ironic way, I would think he had been taken over by a pod-person. I think it's so...shmoopy...when couples are always "babe" and "sweetie"-ing each other! But yeah, I love when he calls me Kimmy (he is one of two people in the world who do this).

  12. Kim! You described it perfectly. It's really cheap and gross to hear it when it's coming from someone and isn't wanted! Who else gets to call you Kimmy? :)

  13. My dear friend Colette, who has called me Kimmy since we were 12 years old :)

  14. My biggest pet peeve is retarded texting or emailing. If you use numbers for words in a text... don't bother texting me again. No one is so important and busy that they can't spell out the word "see" or "you". If you have time to text, you have time to spell.