Here is this week's free read. Check out the original post and the other responses here.
What’s in a Name?
“Do you know what I just realized?”
I look up from my dinner plate, full of steaming steak, fluffy mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked honey-glazed carrots, to stare at my boyfriend. His thin fingers are playing with his fork, pushing his mashed potatoes into some sort of mountain. Light blue eyes are staring at me from across the table, waiting for me to respond.
“What’s that, babe?”
“Right there. You call me babe, hon, sweetie and all kinds of other things.”
“Do you want me to stop? I mean, I’ll admit it will be a little weird calling you Kevin, but I’ll try.”
“No, that’s not what I meant. You call me all kinds of pet names and I love it, but I just call you Johnny. Don’t you want me to call you something different?”
I stare at my love from across the table in mild surprise. Leave it to Kevin to find something like this to keep him from eating dinner. He’s always so worried about the little things.
“No, babe. It doesn’t bother me. Should it?”
“I don’t know. You always make me feel so good when you call me ‘babe’ and I want that for you.”
“Babe, have you ever thought that maybe you don’t need to call me ‘babe’ to make me feel good?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, no one else calls me Johnny. Most of the guys at the hospital call me either John or Doctor. My friends and family all call me John or Jonathan. So the nickname that you gave me is like a pet name, because you’re the only one who calls me that.”
A spark of understanding flashing in those blue eyes. “Oh. So I guess that you don’t want me to start call you honey-pie.”
I burst out laughing at the absurdity of his statement. “Of course not.”
“Hey! I think honey-pie is a good pet name.”
“You’re the only one.”
Kevin sticks his tongue out at me, which of course, causes me to retaliate. We try to mock glare at each other, but soon we’re laughing over the whole thing.
“Feel better,” I ask as our laughter dies down.
“Yeah,” he says wiping a happy tear from the corner of his eye. “I just wanted to know how much I love you.”
“Babe, I already know that. I don’t need you to start calling me honey-pie or snookums or anything else your mind can come out with. Johnny is fine.”
“Ok, if you’re sure.”
“I’m sure,” I say with finality. “After all, what’s really in a name anyway?”