Pet Sounds

Watching some early Sex and the City, I am reminded of my decision that my grandchildren should call me Bunny. No Nana, Granny or Grandma Something. Just Bunny. I think of a sweet, elegant friend from university who used to call everyone that, and I am reminded of all the pet names I have been fond of because they made me feel like the inventors were fond of me. Honey, Bunny, Baby, Half-pint, Squidge, Munchkin, Noggin, Kitten, Pooch, Bushbaby, Banana, Red, Snuggles, Dimples, Pidgeon, Poodle, Bear, Malenky, Cheeks, Rosie, Vimto, Vertically-challenged, Environmentally-friendly.

I remember my charming friend who always did something different every time I saw him; suddenly turned into a zombie walking down the stairs, put on weird voices at random intervals, called me weird names. “You’ve got to mix things up a bit”, he told me.

I’m looking down at my arm, which is covered in such a shameful amount of ice cream from work that it makes for a convincing beaten-wife costume. My memory being what is is, my body often shocks me before I happen to scratch off what I thought was a disturbing bruise.

I think about the times I have wanted to re-invent myself. Decided I hate my name because it’s too common, and has too much associated with it. I have wanted fresh starts. I have tried and failed at this at work, and in relationships. I request or suggest some new name I like the sound of, and know it will never arise in conversation again. I tend to be laughed at by boyfriends because they don’t take me seriously, ignored by close friends because they have their own habits already established, and I set worry in the minds of those who don’t know better than to think they could possibly offend me while their intentions are good.

I think the trick is – you do not get to control how people identify you. You decide so far how you classify yourself. Others do what they like from there.

I feel grateful that I read into things, because I have felt wanted, blessed and adored in little words, and there is nothing wrong with that. I also love the fact that, no matter what anybody else has ever thought, I am in this little world completely my own, and my suspicions, inklings, hopes, beliefs, are all the gospel truth.

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