Random Quirk #1: “My Dear” Versus “Dear”… And Pet (?) Names in General

I have a lot of odd little quirks about myself that amuse me. I have no idea if this is worth publishing, but I dunno. For some odd reason, I want it published. Maybe this is the same kind of feeling most teenagers get when they want to post a selfie.

Forgive me, but I’ll follow the trend of the me-generation, just this once (or maybe not. I’m actually considering turning this into a series, hence the serial number included in the title).

I feel uncomfortable calling people and being called “dear.” And yet somehow I love calling people and being called “my dear.”

I dunno. I’ve always just associated “dear” with grandmothers and old people in general (but mostly grandmothers). And whenever someone my age calls me dear, I’m like, “Why are you trying to imitate my grandma?” Not that she actually ever called me “dear.” Actually, I can’t recall if she had any particular nickname for me. I think she just called me Kim. Or maybe she also called me “my dear.” LOL, now I feel guilty for not remembering.

Anyway, so there’s that association. And then there’s also this weird question that pops into my head, “Is this person actually calling me a dear? Am I truly dear?”

I dunno, dude, I guess I am, in the sense that all people are dears, technically. All life is precious, all humans were created equal. We’re all here for a reason, we’re all special. Most importantly, Someone holds each and every single one of us very dearly. And so therefore, we’re all technically “dears.”

But then, why call me a dear? What did I do to make that part of my identity? Aren’t dears supposed to be sweet, helpful, loving, gentle, innocent? Don’t tell me you actually think I’m like that. Don’t I always mess up? Am I not constantly too cold, too cruel? I know the truth of it. I’m not much of a “dear,” really.

But I love being called “my dear.” Because it’s not about me being a dear, which I’m not, but it’s about you thinking I’m that way. It’s about me being your dear. You hold me dear, even if I might not deserve it. And I don’t know, that’s when I feel the endearment of the term. That’s when I feel the weight of the love in it.

Aside from that, “my dear” is just so much more personal. If I call someone that, it’s not just me being  nice, it’s me being personal. It’s me saying this is how I think of you. It’s me saying, yeah, I actually do value you. I really don’t use pet names without meaning them, obviously.

However, I’m more lenient with the use of “my sweet.” I simply find you sweet, cute, awww-worthy. Doesn’t mean that I exactly cherish you yet.

The only pet name I throw around is “dude.” And that’s technically not a pet name, but for me it means camaraderie. Actually, to a vague degree, it reminds me of the three values of the French revolution – egalite, liberte, fraternite. Equality because I call both males and females that, people I’m close to and people I’m not close to, and everyone and anyone regardless of their background (except people older than me, of course, and people who have authority over me who I’m not close to yet). Brotherhood – or, well, in this case I’ll use the term camaraderie –  because when I use it, I intend it to mean that I’m on their side, and they are on mine. We are on friendly terms. Freedom because “dude” is a very informal term, and I consider it an invitation for people to relax and let loose around me. You are free to be yourself around me.

“Bro” pretty much means the same thing to me, except, of course, heavier. When I use it on you, that most probably means I’m trying to be understanding, and this is especially true in times when I don’t understand you. I usually only use it when I feel like one of us is being emotional, and I need to keep the situation cool. It’s not so much as to remind you that you are my “bro” rather than me reminding myself. “Keep calm, Kim. This is your brother/sister. May your words and actions be seasoned with grace and love.”

I also really like pet names that are sort of like nick names. Let’s use Kimberly, in my case. It’s not really my name, and I formerly hated it because I felt like it was too girly for me. But I dunno, it’s sort of grown on me. And now I actually like having people call me Kimberly. Or Kimmy. Or Kim Cam. Or Kimmy Cub. Or anything like that. I actually like it WAY more than being called “dear” (lol at my constant aversion of “dear”), because it feels so much more personalized. Like you’re not forgetting that there’s a me that you’re calling. I don’t feel like an object that a statement is being directed at (which is an exaggeration of the feeling I get when people use general pet names on me, i.e. dear), rather I feel like my identity is recognized, and then playfully manipulated to reflect the “softness” of how another person sees me. It is the marriage of the objective reality that is Kim and the subjective perspective of how another sees me.

Okay. I realize that I might have over-read the meaning of things. But sometimes even the smallest things have such huge weight, you know?


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