When I read the writing prompt for this week, “On the Names I Call You,” I had no idea what to write. I don’t really have any special names for you. Plenty of people have nicknamed you — “Connick,” “Scotty,” “Woddy,” “S. Wod,” and my favorite, “Russian Bear” by the security guard in New York City. Back in college we had our BBS names, but I don’t think I ever called you “Linguine” in person.
My sisters won’t let me forget the one year when I was a wee bit smitten with you when I may or may not have named a Scotch pine we bought for Christmas “Scotty.” (You got lucky with me — my name shows up in songs and Christmas cards. I had to get creative looking for yours in every day life.)
I can’t call you “Babe” — it just doesn’t fit. I mean, the guy didn’t name you “Russian Bear” for no reason. You can’t be a Russian Bear and also be a Babe. Bears are strong and tough and burly and protective, and babes just… aren’t. I suppose “Stud” would fit, but I’ve never liked that word. It implies that all you are to me is a sperm donor. You are so much more than that.
It isn’t that I’m anti-nickname, either. We nicknamed our kids things like “Peanut” and “Bub” and “Sissy” (for sister, not for wimp). I’ve nicknamed friends, and those nicknames have stuck for years.
But I’ve never nicknamed you. Sometimes I throw around words like “Hottie” and “Handsome,” but they aren’t really names for you, just descriptors, ways of saying “I’ve got the hots for you” and “I’ve only got eyes for you.” The gooey schmaltzy names like “Schmootzy Poo” and “Bitsy Pookums” just aren’t my style, or yours.
You get different names when I refer to you with others. You’re “your dad” when I’m talking about you to the kids. You’re Mr. Bennett to the neighbor kids. You’re “my husband, Scott” in introductions, at school, and at work. The closest I get to giving you another name is when I call you “Honey.” But it’s a little silly — nicknames are supposed to be shorter and easier than one’s given name. You don’t get much shorter and easier than “Scott.”
Maybe I just haven’t found the right term of endearment yet. We’ll have to write about this in another 15 years and see what we call each other then.
Thinking about joining us for our weekly marriage letters? Next week’s prompt is “I Trust You Because.” If you wrote a letter this week, don’t forget to add your post to the linky on Amber’s marriage letter. Don’t miss Seth Haines’ and Scott’s letters this week.