Friday, January 15, 2010

Please don't call me Pookie

For as long as I can remember my nickname has been T-bird. All my family calls me T-bird and I think once my brother-in-law has but we both agreed it was awkward and he hasn't done it since. When I was a baby, or so I have been told, my paternal grandfather used to call me Smyler cause I was a very happy smile-y baby. Smyler never caught on but I still get T-bird all the time, mostly from my dad (he also class me just Bird sometimes for short).

When I went to High School I wanted to "reinvent" myself so instead of going by Tyler I decided to make the big, bad choice and go with just "Ty". My family made fun of me for months, friends would call and ask for Ty and my parents would jokingly start saying "Oh Ty, you have a phone call" and such. Eventually someone in my Musical Theatre class started calling me My-Ty (Mauy-Thai yah like the drink) and then that caught on with all my close friends. Throughout High School though I stopped introducing myself as Ty and just went back to Tyler, but with most of my friend Ty and My-Ty stuck. By the time I got to college I had completely dropped Ty and most of my college friends just called me Tyler, once I got closer with people though they'd take it upon themselves to nickname me Ty. Today I always get a little giddy or excited when someone calls me Ty cause it reminds me of high school. The secretaries in the office sometime make fun of me and call me Ty-Ty but Ty still makes me feel safe and at home. My brother-in-law and his best friend call me Ty a lot they don't usually call me Tyler, I guess they think Ty is more informal so they chose that. I don't really have a preference I've always really liked my name but Ty will always have a fun, sweet emotional reaction.

I call everyone "hun" or "honey" or "darlin" or "pretty girl" or "sweets". Those are just my general nicknames. I call my sister Hail (not spelled like her name mind you) and I am very possessive about this nickname. You have to earn Haley's nickname to be able to use it and I am totally the judge. I even call guys hun it's just kinda second nature. Every time I accidentally call one of the secretaries hun and then I remember that I probably shouldn't.

Now nicknames with guys are completely different. Not even with guys I'm dating but people like my brother-in-law and guys I've known forever I'm always "sweetie" or "love". If my brother-in-law isn't calling me Ty then it's sweetie. My birth-stepfather always calls me sweetie and one of my best guy friend's from high school calls me love. Strangers, bartenders, waiters all tend to call me sweetie (but that's probably just a female thing that they always do as the go-to nickname).

Boyfriend nicknames are still another issue. Babe. Baby. Love. My love. My darling. Simple straight and to the point. Nothing cutesy about it. I don't like pet names that are too overdone, that aren't just simple and to the point. I can understand sometimes when they're person specific or they hold certain memories, but maybe i've just never been in a relationship where those organically come about...which is actually fine with me.

What I find the most interesting is how few people actually call me Tyler. The students and my coworkers yes call me Tyler, but my friends, family and loved one rarely just say "hey Tyler". I tend to notice when people close to me call me Tyler, because it totally throws me for a loop. I'm like oh-wait that's me. Because I'm just not used to people using my name.


  1. Hmmm... I had to look back at e-mails and texts to find that I generically call you "Sweetie". I think I also call both you and Grace "Pretty Girl" which I totally got from your Mom.

    I also think it's interesting that you use "hon" (or "hun") because that was my Dad's generic nickname, primarily for women but for some men as well. He also used "Hoss" for many different men, although he named William "Slick" almost immediately.

    He and Momma always called me "Baby" and referred to me as "the Baby". I was sort of displaced by Casey until Momma started referring to her as "my Angel" but Daddy would still call us both Baby.

    Willy and I call each other "Darlin" and I have been known to refer to "my Darlin" in a context where most others would say "my husband".

  2. I don't know where my recent obsession with nicknames came from but I've been thinking about it a lot. I just noticed mom, dad, Hail and Greg never call me Tyler and I just thought that was different. You call your kids by their names so much but you rarely call me Tyler too. So I just thought it was kinda cool. Thanks for being my first commenter Deirdre :)