Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweetie, Darling and Other Terms of Endearment

I recently heard a couple teasingly refer to their 3-year old's daycare as “lord of the mini-flies.”  Though their reference to William Golding’s novel seems an accurate description of a daycare’s social atmosphere, I couldn’t help think that technically they should be calling it “lord of the maggots.”

I’m not sure what a mini-fly is, but I guess this seems nicer than referring to your loved ones as garbage-eating larvae.  At least most people feel this way.  There are a few people who see nothing insulting or grotesque about worms, maggots, or even simpler organisms like amoeba, and find all of those fair game for use as sweet, loving terms of endearment.  Some people might call these people biologists.  I call one of them my wife.  Amanda once, with complete seriousness and affection, told me that wrapped in a blanket I looked as cute as a grub.
A cute and adorable grub?

Though we both have fun pet names for Ezra, using terms of endearment for each other is something that has never been very natural for Amanda and me.  She mostly calls me Garry, and I mostly call her Amanda. I think a few circumstances from early in our relationship set this pattern. First, we became a couple after a period of just being close friends so suddenly calling each other “baby” seemed weird.  Second, we were in our early twenties and associated this kind of language with older generations.  Maybe this is why I always notice and am fascinated by other couples dropping a “honey” or “pumpkin” into their conversations. My favorite is when a term of endearment is used strategically to soften requests or criticisms such as, “I asked you to take out the trash an hour ago, honey.” Amanda’s rare expressions of affection may be odd choices drawn from entomological sources, but at least I know they do not have an ulterior motive.  “I asked you to take out the trash an hour ago, maggot,” would not be very motivating.

1 comment:

Aritul said...

That grub is the stuff that nightmares are made of!