We’ve all been there. Whether walking down the street, sat in a coffee shop or the pub, or simply just sat with friends. When your work colleague, your best friend, your new boss turns round to their partner and says something along the lines of ‘Are you okay honey?‘…
And usually, at that point, I taste my lunch for the second time. Because there’s nothing I hate less than pet names.
Now I know they’re used as an endearing term – to distinguish between all the other Pauls and all the other Janes in the world. I know that it’s much easier to say ‘Pass the salt babe‘ than it is to say ‘Pass the salt Jamie‘, but I don’t want to hear it, just like I don’t want to know about what happens behind closed doors.
There’s affectionate terms – and they’re not so bad: calling your loved one ‘love’, ‘sweetheart’, ‘darling’… It could be worse. But calling your girlfriend ‘bunny’, as one guy I know calls his girlfriend, makes my stomach turn.
Why on God’s earth would you want to be called ‘bunny’? ‘Oh, I love you so much, because you have big ears and a button nose and your shit looks like raisins’. No ta.
No, I have a name for a reason. I answer to most things, and the vast majority can’t be broadcast on telly until after the watershed, and even then you’ll get complaints. Because I just don’t care for pet names, and I don’t really understand where they come from.
Nicknames are fine, as are the aforementioned affectionate bits, but pet names just feel bizarre, especially in public. Call each other what you want at home, but I don’t particularly want to know that you call Dave ‘Snufflemunchkin’ because that’s what he wrote in your first Valentine’s card two years ago. I don’t want to be eating my tea in the pub and hear you call Carol ‘Wheezy’ because her 40-a-day habit really takes it out of her in the bedroom. And calling Fred ‘Donkeydong’ is another story.
Keep it behind closed doors. Keep it fun, by all means, but don’t make my beer curdle at the sound of your tummy-churning lovesick relationship.
And if your name actually is Bunny, I’m sorry I got the wrong end of the stick.