It's nice to call the person you frequently snog something different to what Fat Geoff at the office calls you, but I have a real problem with romantic nicknames.
Sure, sometimes I'm so adorable it's difficult for my current fancyman/woman/person (from here on in all significant others will be referred to as "fancypeople") to even form a sentence. PLUS, it's a declaration of affection, a sweet sort of ownership in the "weeeeeee you're mine!" way as opposed to the "get back in the basement" way.
However, the following are out of bounds (ranked in order of hatred -1 being the worst)
10. Pet 9. Sweetie pie (space optional) 8. Hun 7. Gorgeous 6. M'dear 5. Chick 4. Babe 3. Baby 2. Sexy 1. Sexy Baby
"But what's wrong with this, Stevie?" I hear you some of you say out of your eyes,"it's all about the meaning behind the words! Were you strangled by lovelessness as a child? Also: you missed out 'honeybunch'"
I am very romantic - I nearly cried when my fancyman gave me a Compare The Meerkat toy. I am also fairly average-maintenance in terms of affection - I nearly cried when my fancyman gave me a Compare The Meerkat toy.
Oh, and I let him call me one of the above names, mainly because of the aforementioned "meaning" behind it, and because he likes doing it and he's my fancyman.
But, on the odd occasion, I still find it arse-clenchingly uncreative.
It's not about romance, or laaaahvee, or affection, or meaning, or any sort of deep psychological, pseudo-feminist bullshit. It’s because such names catapult a person from a unique relationship into a low budget soap opera.
They remind me of a male friend who used to argue loudly over the phone in public, saying things like "Gorgeous, stop yelling", "Sexy, stop crying", "Come on baby. Babe. Babe. Babe. Listen to me. Babe. Babe" while we all concentrated on not slowly crushing our own eyes to dust.
See, regardless of the reality, nobody wants to feel like every other girl who has partaken in a relationship since the dawn of time. Or even to be called the same thing as every other girl a particular male has wooed/dated/shagged etc.
The meaning and the intention may be there, but why does it have to manifest itself in the way Kanye West refers to Kim Kardashian?
I may panic when giving directions, I may sometimes dress a bit funny and a bird may have actually shat on my head in February 2008, but I still count myself (alongside anyone reading this) to be much better than Kim Kardashian. It's science.
So, come up with something different, OK? Unless, of course, the word "baby" or "sexy" or "m'dear" makes you go fluttery in your pant regions. In which case, play on my friend.
Personally, I can't refer to a fancyman as "baby" because it doesn't feel like my words coming out of my mouth.
It feels like I'm in a TV show and I'm going out with someone called Ryan who never lets me come hang out with his friends and then shags my mate Sadie after a boozy party in the back of a crap pub and I walk in and discover them and am devastated and throw a shoe but get over it in two episodes because any longer would be bad television. And I'm inexplicably wearing the shoe in the next episode, despite having never gone back to retrieve it.
Also, I'm a feminist and occasionally wonder whether I should be troubled by the semantics of many of the above names. Suddenly I'm concerned I should feel patronised. Suddenly I remember my cool intelligent feminist friend saying it was derogatory once, and a way of putting women in their place, and she made a really good argument.
However, I don't feel patronised or, y'know, derogged if it's a nice fancyman (whereas I would if it was, say, Geoff the co-worker) so it's all about context.
Mainly it's just the cringey romantic earnestness that I have a problem with. So much so that I've now gone completely the other way. My appropriate nicknames for fancypeople (in order of preference- 1 being most preferable):
2. <Insert name of fancy person> 1. Mate
Maybe this is a symptom of my inability to connect with other humans on a romantic level, or maybe it's just that I like irony, I like silliness and I really dislike cheesy sexual earnestness/Kanye West.
For example, when I get married, I want to have joke wedding photos taken by a professional photographer. One idea is a picture of my future spouse looking worried in a forest, gazing around as if trying to find something, and you can just make out that I'm up a tree behind him.
Therefore it's only fitting that ironic, stupid names would make me feel the most comfortable. I feel any of these would work just fine.
List of acceptable names I wouldn't mind being called (1 being the most preferable):
10. M'lady 9. Dudette 8. Empowered Woman Of The 21st Century 9. Morgan Freeman 8. Streethawk 7. Sir 6. Tuppence 5. The Steve 4. Wenchface (ironic) 3. Fitbiscuit 2. Steven 1. My actual name
Maybe that's too far. Why should "baby" be any different to "streethawk", provided it's said in the same tone of voice and not suffixed by them punching you in the mouth?
Basically, I'm railing against the fact my current fancyman occasionally slips a "baby" in there so much that I've started vehemently calling him "mate".
I also made a list of my favourite nicknames and got him to choose the one he would like to refer to me as, thereby discouraging any future "baby"'s being bandied about. This is also because I'm a very laidback person and a joy to go out with.
The chosen nickname is not on the above list, for all you Stevie fans out there (mum), but I can assure you it's a cracker.
Is this just me? What do you/have you called your fancyperson? Do you not find them all a bit sick-makingly generic and have you ever attempted to go the other way by suggesting your significant other refer to you as "Fitbiscuit"?