Treun and I were sitting on the couch, talking, the other night. I don’t remember the context of the conversation but he said something about “spending time with my girlfriend.” I pulled back and looked at him quizzically for a moment, then I burst into the biggest grin I think I’ve ever had on my face. He’d called me his girlfriend! He labeled this, he labeled me. He claimed me! My heart soared.
I snuggled in next to him and then he said, “I don’t like the term ‘girlfriend’ because it sounds so high school, like we’re teenagers. I like to call you my ‘Lady Friend’.” I told him that I didn’t like “boyfriend” for the same reason; it sounds so teenagery. We both agreed that “Man Friend” doesn’t sound right either. I said, “I will call you ‘My Sweetheart’.” He seemed to like that.
I have a big problem with people calling me pet names. I go to work and customers will call in and call me “sweetie,” and “darling,” and “honey,” and countless other pet names. It drives me crazy. I don’t have a personal relationship with them and they think they can call me their little pet names. It is rather condescending and it really bothers me. I love when my kids or my friends call me those names. It makes me feel special to them. It just really bothers me when people in general use those terms of endearment.
Treun calls me “Sweetie” or “Pretty Lady.” I really enjoy it. I think I enjoy it so much because I know he means it. Also, equally important, he calls me, “Hope.” He uses my name. I’m not just a possession to him. I’m not *just* his Sweetie or his Pretty Lady. I’m Hope, fully. I’m me. He celebrates me by calling me those pet names.
This is such a different experience than what I’ve ever had. Treun is everything that Bubba wasn’t. He is a wonderful man who treats me with kindness and care and respect. He sees me as Hope, a woman worthy of love and happiness.
I feel cherished and happy.