...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

i simply say baby, oh baby, my sweet baby you're the one

I have a habit of attaching endearments to people. Within 7 minutes of meeting you (sooner if I get the impression you're all up in my bidness), you'll think I've clearly forgotten your given name. Oh no, sweets. I'll know it. You'll just never hear it pass from my lips again.

I didn't use to be one of those "Sweetie this, Honey that" girls. Not at all. I may be able to trace this habit back to my father, who, while I was growing up, always referred to me as Squirt, but I think it developed in earnest a couple of years ago when I met my best
girlfriend. As we were forging our friendship, we'd spend hours on the telephone and for some reason we apparently forgot we possessed the X chromosome and took to calling each other "Dude."

"Dude! Seriously!?"

"It's amazing, Dude! You really should try it."

"Love ya, dude!" (This would have been the only clear indicator we still sported boobs and didn't spit or grab ourselves. For the most part).

I've since broadened my endearment horizons beyond my basic "man slang." Now people close to me are "pumpkin" or "my precious." I've muttered out a breathless "baby" in place of the names of people who've stretched well past the age of 12 months.

And don't even think I'm going to hesitate if I feel like slipping some "puddin'" on you if I think you've earned it. After all sweetheart, you deserve only the best!

No one has ever complained to me about my excessive use of "dear" or "luv," and I've certainly not taken issue to being referred to as "goddess" or "the best thing that ever happened in my life." When you're comfortable with someone, I think these kinds of monikers get attached.

Don't you, babe?

But last night, I was reminded that sometime it may be good to reign some habits in.

While manning a cash register for a coworker's break, I smiled politely at young family and invited them to bring their purchases forward to ring them out. Two very darling boys happily handed me books they'd selected, a baby entertained herself in a stroller, and the obviously pregnant and tired woman corralled them all while dad took on the retail business at hand.

"Hey sweet baby? I'm going to get your name on our membership card," the man said as he gathered a stack of books and magazines and turned briefly toward me.

"That darling woman right there should be on that card now since we just got married and all," he told me, the goddess who works at Barnes and Noble.

(Yes, sometimes I also refer to myself with pleasing endearments. It kills the time and makes me feel good. Like some of my other habits. I won't link to the posts where I mention those habits. I think you know what I'm talking about).

"You're precious," I muttered, and listened as their conversation floated on endearments that I believe, could they have taken shape and been seen, would have been carried by little round bellied cherubs hoisting gossamer ribbons through a parting flock of song birds and fluttering butterflies. Only in my imagination, those little angels would have been sporting bad attitudes and bitching because they weren't getting paid extra to look all sweet. And God's winged creatures? They may have been diseased.

"We're should we go eat, lover?"

"Oh, baby, you look tired, sweetheart."

"Baby? Remind me that we have to go to the bank tomorrow, together, holding hands and touching each other lightly in the reflection of the brightest sunbeams, and deposit that check."

Come 'ere, Loverboy" I snapped (in my mind, because I have to in order to keep banking that minimum wage). "Will that be debit or credit?"

"Here sugar, use my debit card instead," the woman offered, pulling her husband's hand away from his front pant pocket as he reached for his wallet.

"Oh baby, you know I love it when we use your money instead," he replied. Then blew her a kiss. In front of me. A person whose name should rhyme with "cynical."

The entire transaction probably took 2 minutes to complete, but in that time I felt like I was one person shy of observing a porno threesome. Then I considered I could dangerously slip and be that third person by proxy simply by referring to the man as "sweetie" when I handed him his bagged purchases.

Trust me. I've done it before.

Wait. Not the threesome part. Seriously? Is that where you went with that thought? So quickly? Because if you say yes, I'm going to be a delightful mix of happy sprinkled with a dash of confused. Mixed well with some "Really?"

So anyway, as Sugar and Baby walked away, I wondered if I actually pepper my conversations with friends and loved ones with as many endearments as they easily subjected me to hearing. When do you cross the line from being all friendly and loving to creepy, I wondered.

But then the cashier I was covering for returned and thanked me for giving her a break.

"No problem, sweets," I said, and skipped off.

Trailed by little round bellied cherubs and beautiful song birds. Because they're precious, and so are you, puddin'.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I love all the references from the Dirty Dancing movie. I was so right with you on that. Because, you know, no one puts Baby in a corner... :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

fex beat me to my one liner
see you next thursday--I'll honk once and then you can run down and throw your bags in the trunk :)


Wednesday, May 02, 2007 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger Confused Husband said...

That couple could have been Summer and I. Except for the fact we don't have a baby in a stroller and She is most definately NOT pregers. I hardly ever call her by her first name though. It's always baby, dear, lovey, sexy, or when the kids aren't around then it's lover.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 1:34:00 AM  
Blogger The Savage said...

Great post, sugar tits... what's with the capitalizations? It's freakin' me out, princess....

I promise that I would treat you well, my sweet angel, so help me Jesus....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 4:43:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

DUDE! I am SOOOOO guilty of this. When I worked retail I had to learn to use "safe" words (and so everybody became cowboy) because people were starting to get the wrong idea about me. sometimes it got downright creepy!

I'm guilty of almost all of the above with a sprinkling of "darlin' " mixed in as well as "buttercup" and "sunshine" I had to stock up on the "safe" words...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

I really would like to know exactly how much longer it takes you to write a post now that you are using capital letters.

I grew up in a house with lots of nicknames, too. We lived in the south. My Dad was a smart, old-school father with glasses and dark hair, and he called me Scout. My best friend went by Dill and we had a scary neighbor we always referred to as "Boo."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 9:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm all in on this for sure. Queenie's name is seldom uttered, same for the daughters. It's just atuomatic, which is odd because no one else on either side of the family plays the game. Except me.

Twinkie, twerpie, Grits, Goof, Geeph, Hun, Sweetie Pete, Scooter, Klutz, Yo, Baby Boy, Tater, Mum, Pop, Baby Huey, Weasel, Skip, and probably a dozen or so more that have replaced real names to protect the innocent, or whatever.

In our neck of the woods, though, I have to be careful of playing the game with wimmin-folk as it's not unusual for the men-folk to take offense at it, so I keep it mostly to family and close friends. When I was younger (20 years or so ago) I used it as a weapon. Fellers I really didn't like were referred to as honey-bunch, snookums, hunky, and other bits of obnoxiousness. One in particular, who I still see too often, will turn the other way when he sees me for fear of being lover-boy or sweet-sexy. He's a hateful man who makes everyone squirm. Cept for me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

"Oh, Darlin'!
Please believe me,
I'll never let you down."

This always conjures up in my mind a waitress in a gingham dress, with the little name-badge that says, 'Roz'.

I think there is some 'asymmetry' between the sexes in this regard. I might refer to a woman as 'dear', or 'darlin', or 'sweetheart', and mean it nothing but affectionately, but it will invariably be taken as condescending. (sigh)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I just love the dirty dancing quotes and I don't mind a dear, darlin, or sweetheart either. Of course if I did I would have to move!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 2:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Schnooks!

uukxz (you have been letting me down lately)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 5:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this post! Especially the dirty dancing references. (now I have that song in my head: oh, baby, oh sweet baby. You're the one!)

When husband and I were first married we called each other so many cute names I got stuck in the habit. I have called my dad sweetie, my brother in law, honey and my brother lovey. Doh.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Great post, bunny. Don't stop with the terms of endearment, most dudes and dudettes love them.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that my mind went there, but a 3some aint all it's cracked up to be...er, so i've heard. oh yeah, and i tagged you, sugar cheeks!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

First, just a shout to all my "Dirty Dancing" doll faces - "Oh come on ladies! God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em!"

Sigh. I feel better. I'd let you all into my dance space!

Fex - Thanks for the stop thru and the "Dirty Dancing" love.

Nanette - A theater near where I live is running "Dirty Dancing" this weekend to mark 20 years since its release. Maybe you should make the trip over here sooner, Baby, and we can go see it before I stow away with you!

Confused - The point of saying "lover" is to never say it plain and unadorned. Totally toss it out with a fake accent and emphasis on the long vowel sounds. This public service announcement brought to you by the letter L, baby!

Savage - Ah, sweetheart, the capitalization is just bowing to the pressure, let's say. The various puddin's around here have brought me to my knees.

Stacie - Dude! I've so never even considered "safe words," but perhaps I should. I try to reign in the endearments at work to just the children, but I've given some "huns" and such out to the older set.

FTN - A post these days takes me 2 1/2 weeks. I had to purchase an AP study guide and take some online quizzes to get this capitalization thing down again.

I appreciate greatly you grew up a young girl in the South. I'm sure that experience coupled with the wisdom of that smart old dad of yours made you the man you are today. The one who makes me all smirky, sugar!

XI - Oh! I already have a fondness for "weasel" so I'm going to be using that one a lot more. However, I'm not quite sure at what point to use something line "geeph."

Desmond - Yeah baby! There's my Desmond with some Beatles! Just so you know, when I get called some sweet little endearment, I never take it the wrong way. Make a note, won't you?

Cat - Ah, darlin', you do have the geographical range where I bet these types of words get tossed out easier than I think I offer them up in the midwest. I'd probably be so at home there! Good to see you around here again, dear!

Finished - Oh! "Shnooks!" I forgot that one! Thank you!

DFP - As you may imagine, based on that whole scary "we don't say 'love' to each other" post about my family earlier, I keep the "sweeties" and "sugar butts" in check with my parents and sister, but I relate to the whole marriage component! Thanks for the comment!

George - Ah, a new visitor! Thanks for swinging through, doll face!

You Da Mom! - I'm thinking the prep work alone that would come into a pulling off a successful threesome would tax me. I might have to take to my couch with a fan and a cocktail.

So, really, it would appear that I could actually be setting the stage for such an event, really. Not that I'd know. Yeah, so I've heard, too, honey-bunny!

Thursday, May 03, 2007 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger ArtfulDodger said...

Gosh sweetpea, I feel like i missed a party, but as long as you're my snookums, how can that be bad? hehe. I do it, sometimes coming up with the dumbest nicknames, just for fun. Keeps things interesting.

Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Art - Ah, baby love, you know I wouldn't let a party get too out of hand before my sweet meat showed up!

Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:39:00 AM  
Blogger watermonkey said...

mon petit chou, my little melted muffin, wassup hotcakes!, sugarplum, my little slice of key lime pie... and the list goes on...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 5:38:00 PM  

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