My boyfriend constantly uses pet names when we’re
together, and he always insists on kissing me in public. He’s so great,
but this overload of affection is really getting to me. What should I
do to let him know it’s getting on my nerves?
—Sick of the Suffocation
shnookums, let’s address the pet name issue first. To be blunt: I find
them insufferable. It should be said, however, that there’s a big
difference between a fond greeting and maudlin appellations.
one way to figure out where you draw the line: let’s play the name
game. If your complaint is that he occasionally greets you with a
“Hello, Adorable” or a “How are you, Beautiful?” I would grin and bear
it. You might just have issues taking a compliment, and that’s your
fault, not his.
A more frequent “Hi, Angel,” however, might
begin to cross the line of acceptability. I mean, who really wants to
be an angel anyway? I would also say that regular usage of the jockish
and chauvinistic “Babe” is grounds for a gasp, especially if he is
comparing you to the cinematic pig. And even the charmingly
anachronistic “Dear,” justifies a (quick) eyeroll.
these names are all annoying, your problem hasn’t reached dangerous
levels until he uses one of the following: Bambi, Poochie, Boo Boo, Bun
Buns, Cutie Patootie, or Sugar Muffin. The biggest gaffe of all, of
course, would be if he took heed of the President’s daughters’
revelation at this year’s Republican Convention that their parents call
each other “Bushy.” Although this name may endearingly refer to their
famous last name, I would go out on a limb and say it’s not the most
flattering adjective your boyfriend could use.
If he does cross
that sacred boundary line of decency, one potential remedy is to shoot
the names right back at him. But they must be properly chosen so as to
peeve him sufficiently. If he is the bookish type, try calling him
“Hunk” or perhaps “Tarzan.” If he prides himself on his gruff and buff
exterior, try “Twinkle Toes.”
If your pet name reciprocity is
not effective, simply let him know how you feel. You want to be able to
communicate (and not in baby talk) your concerns to your babbling beau.
He may be a little embarrassed, but he’ll ultimately appreciate the
fact that you don’t cringe every time he addresses you. Maybe he’ll
even learn an important lesson: a woman should be respected.
issue: the notorious “public display of affection,” commonly referred
to as PDA. Though we can’t hold a candle to Western Europeans, there is
sufficient public canoodling in Cambridge to force even us lapsed
Puritans to go running in the opposite direction.
thing to consider is why you’re so uncomfortable with public kissing.
If it’s merely that you value your privacy, fine. But is it because
you’re embarrassed? Or that it’s a public display of commitment (PDC)
and you’re not cool with that?
If you think he’s really just
taking the “publicity” too far, better to let him know. Though the
occasional public lip-locking is okay, it is not okay for him to simply
tout his “prize,” as if to say, “Hey!!! I’m making out with someone!!!”
If this describes your boyfriend, talk to him. Say, perhaps, “Tarzan,
I’m not swinging for open-air smooching.”
Ton petit chou,
Nikki, who prefers foreign pet names