Hey, reader. How are you doing? I’ve been thinking about what we call each other. Wow–I’ve been thinking about that for a long time.
You know my mom called me Marie. It was the only thing it made sense for her to call me, real name wise. If she called me Laura, I was in trouble.
My mom called me punk also, short for pumpkin. And pud, which was short for pudding. She called me baby, honey baby, and sweet baby.
She called me honey baby a lot. And once we had cell phones, she would text me bee emojis.
What is a honey baby? I thought I was a baby made of honey. Or maybe I was a bee. Or possibly I was so sweet, I resembled honey in baby form. Definitely I had not been a literal baby in quite a while, but I was the most precious thing in the world to her, like a baby, so lovable, and vulnerable to all the projection!
I’m trying to think if she called me anything weird. Maybe pud is weird.
When I was little, she called me mija. That was really sweet. When she had a grandchild and called the grandchild mija, I was jealous. Like–hey, that’s not your baby girl! I’m your baby girl!
Ming and I have been together for 12 years, and what we call each other has always been an important question. At the beginning, we called each other Ming and Laura-Marie. I would get off on him using my actual name, and I still do.
Ming never wanted me to call him baby because he thought it was infantilizing. I’m guessing he was like–why would I want to be a weak and defenseless little pooper, when of course I’m a powerful adult person? It seemed like a personal growth concept. We need to respect each other as full adults.
I carried a tiny wound about that for years. But in the night, when Ming was asleep, I would pat him and call him “sweet baby.” It was a special night thing. If he’s asleep or half-asleep, I get away with it.
But Ming would never call me baby. That’s part of why I enjoyed the girlfriend I recently had the pleasure of knowing, here in Kalapuya land. The girlfriend called me baby. I felt safe, treasured, honored. Ooops–I will cry now.
Yes, a baby is the most treasured possible person, to care for and love. And I could pretend the girlfriend loved me like that, when she called me baby.
But who really loves me like that? My family member, caring for me every day of my life in disabled interdependence and deep respect. Loving me how I want to be loved, with freedom, in collaboration, willing to meet me more than halfway.
Ming is the one who treats me with deep honor in real life. But the pretend life can be so blissful.
what we call each other
These days I most often call Ming pumps. Pumps is short for pumpkin. Also I will call Ming pumpy a lot. Pumpy is the more playful version of pumps.
Ming will often call me back whatever I call him. So if I call him pumps, he will call me pumps. And if I call him pumpy, he will call me pumpy. Then we can together drift off into a silly location emotionally. It’s echolalia at its finest.
I call Ming dear a lot. And I call Ming pumpkin cat at times. Pumpkin cat is nice for when I need a few more syllabus to put my love into. Sweetheart and cutie pie are nice. Cutie pie is sort of obnoxious, but sometimes obnoxious is right.
Ming calls me Laura-Marie mostly when he’s approaching me after we have been apart for a little time. Like if he finds me in the kitchen after he’s been on the phone or doing some things away from me, he might say, “Laura-Marie, I need to tell you…” And then once we’re deeper in the conversation, I would not be Laura-Marie as much.
What we call each other can be about power. What’s your real name, and can fae get you? Who’s allowed to call you what?
When I was in the hospital and phlebotomists would call me baby girl before driving a piece of metal into my body for blood, that was moving to me. I felt way more loved than they ever knew. They drew blood four times a day. Thank you, midnight phlebotomists who were kind to me as they took their sanguine sample, then moved onto the next sleeper.
This witch bird post is about blood draws, written from the hospital. It’s chilling to reread. Continuing to blog daily was one of the things that got me through those days in ICU and then regular hospital.
Lately I’ve been trying out Strawberry. I like that very much, but I can’t tell if it will last.
As for sexually intimate moments, Ming and I have a few more names I won’t mention. What we call each other in bed is another question, better answered another time and place.
A lot is going on here. The sun came out for a little while yesterday. I was downtown by the library and took off all the clothes I could safely remove at the transit station.
Also yesterday I danced, had a panic attack, bought Hanukkah candles, and cleaned my altar, dusting and remaking the whole thing, putting fresh rosemary. Ming and I moved one of our enchanted nails to a better location.
I’m betting that yesterday you didn’t move an enchanted nail with great intention, after thinking about it for some time. I’m glad we’re different and do different things. Thank you for caring what we’re up to.