Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Katie (or Katy) is a young girl's name..."

The odd thing about romantic relationships - first names go by the wayside.

The BF and I were talking about this the other day. We never say each other's name. I've taken to calling him baby, babe, my love, sweetheart and a slew of sugary sweet terms of endearment (pardon the infantilizing).

He lavishes me with similar terms of love. It's adorable.

It struck me odd the other day when I heard him calling for me from the shower. Who is the man saying my name? The BF was asking for a towel, but the synapses in my brain were hung up on the fact he was using the name everyone else calls me.

I might be wrong, but I think I've heard him say my name only a handful of times.

Some of my married friends rarely use each other's names when they're together. One couple in particular regularly calls each other sweetie. Sometimes it's sweetie with a smile. Sometimes it's sweetie with an inflection of correction and a raised eyebrow.

I guess this dynamic is common amongst the coupled set.

It was not, however, common in Hollywood's current divorce-of-the-moment.

Tom Cruise emphatically, insistently, forcefully referred to his now ex-wife as Kate, despite a long history of family and friends calling her the more cheery and youthful Katie.

From Yahoo! News:

"During an interview with All Headline News, he explained, "Katie is a young girl’s name. Her name is Kate now – she’s a child-bearing woman." 

I read that line last week and grew rather bent out of shape.

Prior to this whole online blogging thing, I'd always been called Katy (save for two exceptions, my father, and this guy).

My mom has a whole explanation on why she chose Katy-with-a-Y as opposed to Katie-with-an-IE, but I will spare you the lesson in semantics and birthing room philosophy.

 "What's in a name?" Shakespeare asked.

In April, the NYT featured a fascinating piece on the the deception of aliases, the meaning behind names, and other critical thought around Shakespeare's question. The piece quotes Thomas Hobbes' philosophy that, “A Name is a word taken at pleasure to serve for a mark, which may raise in our mind a thought like to some thought we had before, and which being pronounced to others, may be to them a sign of what thought the speaker had before in his mind.”

I don't know if my mother delighted in any pleasure at the thought of calling me Katy, but these days, I love it when I hear my sweetheart say my name.

But even better when he calls me Love.

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