I like monikers, most of the time anyway.  Monikers by definition are informal nicknames of names. That makes them nouns as well. They can be the shortened versions of William to; Will, Bill, Billiam, Billy, Willy, etc.  They are also used a little more loosely than just abbreviating proper names to variants of their original form.  For instance; Smiley for someone who smiles constantly, Tater or Tate for a kid who eats potatoes in any form like they are going out of style, Tiny for a large man.  

I had a few monikers when I was young; Homer the Lion [I would not comb my wild mane of hair as a young kid], Prancer by a handful in high school, Nanny [by my middle sister and brother-in-law], Nanc [by my dad to this day if he is writing my name], Nan [by my other brother-in-law], Aunt Nanny [by most of my grown nieces], Fancy Nancy [by several former bosses because I AM NOT at all fancy], Big Nancy [by my nephew because I am a middle aged white woman who does not rap nor is very big], Big N [by my friend Big D who claims though little I am ginormously big of heart and sass and intimidating].  You catch my drift.  Probably you as well have had a handful of monikers past and present.

There is though a category much looser than even those I've described.  It is the moniker names doled out by virtual strangers.  These monikers usually drive the shit right out of me.  I have though, as of late, taken to making it an internal contest to see whether I can garner a moniker from a stranger daily.  This game of sorts helps me to be more light hearted about it instead of it engaging my anger switch.  

The now third mail carrier we've had at our office in the past 7 months is a greasy messy pony-tailed thin 40-ish year old man.  He is pleasant enough but gets in my personal area a bit more than I like.  Almost daily he takes a buttermint out of the basket on my desk and ends whatever his last sentence of the day to me with, "See you tomorrow sweetheart.  Thanks sweetheart.  You have a nice day sweetheart!  You're making me fat sweetheart!"  As he continues his walking route he has to double back by my office window to get to his vehicle to move onward with his mail route.  He always looks in and waves yet again with a big smile. 

I'm glad he thinks I am a sweetheart, but it seems a bit forward to assume that I like to be called that by the postman who is younger than me!  It's not an acceptable flirtatious move either but it seems he must have missed sexual harassment 101 with the USPS!  Those in my office get a giggle daily over the postman's goony ways with me.  As the door shuts behind him, I hear a duet of, "Hey sweethearts!!" followed by giggles coming out of a couple of offices.

Yesterday, for the second time in recent days, Larry stopped in my office asking if he could do some sweeping for me to earn a bit of money.  Larry is in his late sixties or early seventies with some distinctively clear cognitive disabilities.  He struggles to be sustained in daily life, even at a basic level, with just his very small social security.  He always does a bit of a I-gotta-go-pee-pee dance in my office as he asks for the bathroom - telling me he has to go bad.  As he leaves he says, "Honey, you are so nice to me."  I'm glad to be nice.  I just don't want to be his honey. 

I don't find those monikers offensive if you are older than me, if they are brimmed with genuineness of heart instead of through the guise of attracted-to-you-ness, or if they are from women who are old enough to be my mother.  Short of that, I must say they bug the crap out of me!

Mel Gibson got into some legal trouble during a driving under the influence arrest and booking for his moniker slurs.  Most definitely they can be offensive.  And, in his case, costly!

For whatever reason I get a lot of darlings, sweetie, sweethearts and most recently a babe.  They seem a bit condescending most of the time.  I do suppose though that my open demeanor allows others to falsely think they have that relationship with me.  But, they do not:)  Those monikers are earned with a relationship of respect, love, friendship, and family.

My favorite moniker to bestow on those I deeply love is the word love but used as a name - Love.  Thurston Howell used its variant form "Lovie" as well to refer to his wife Mrs. Howell on "Gilligan's Island". 

1 comment:

  1. I hope you go easy and sensitive with those 2 guys, if you ever feel you must correct their words & behavior. I think you're too harsh. They both like you. But if they knew this side of you, that I think is too harsh, they probably would NOT like you. The words they've used so far are tame compared with several others in existence that would be considerably more improper. They both may be quite lonely, and you might be someone they look forward to interacting regularly - an interaction that means something to their lives. A few months ago I probably crossed a line with some words I emailed to you, and perhaps deserved to be smacked down - but you didn't. Now we are friends who can dare to "speak" frankly to each other - I trust. MI