What is it about pet names that causes virtual strangers think they can use them in their sad, desperate attempt at closing a girl? The word “baby” does not carry the magical weight of abracadabra, yet I’ve seen men use in a manner that suggests they are hoping to make the beautiful assistant’s clothes instantly disappear. Maybe this works on girls lacking brain cells and self worth, but I can’t imagine the average girl would be swept away the moment a guy whispers sweet nothings into her ear. This is especially irritating in cases where the individual attempts to invoke the power of a pet name when they barely know my given name.
Recently, a gorgeous, sandy-haired gentleman caught my eye at a local tequila bar. Being the stunning, confident woman I am, I sent my friend over to strike up a conversation. After I awkwardly worked my way into the tepid water my friend’s ice breaking efforts had produced, I discovered my handsome stranger was actually fairly charming and interesting. He was from the area, but his pursuits as an actor led him to Los Angeles nine years ago. I was surprised to find that actor was, in fact, not a euphemism for waiter—he claims he just wrapped up filming of an episode of Castle—but given the fate of our encounter it was all fairly irrelevant.
Our chemistry and mad dancing skills made quite the impression on the other dancers at the bar (this wasn’t a difficult feat given the sheer lack of bodies on the non-existent dance floor) and we seemed to connect on some level. I was well aware our connection wouldn’t go anywhere beyond this particular evening given the fact that he was flying back to California on Monday morning, but I didn’t care, we were having fun. What surprised me is that he knew, possibly even more so than I did, that our encounter wouldn’t go much farther than bar close, yet he insisted on referring to me as baby and baby girl.
I don’t even particularly care for these references when I’m actually dating someone so to get it from someone whose last name would forever remain a mystery to me was actually a bit grating. The gratuitous use of these affectionate names transformed him from an enchanting stranger to your standard creeper who will say anything to get into a girl’s pants. I immediately laughed and told him that he didn’t need to call me baby because I would not be sleeping with him. He was a bit taken aback but ended the use of all insincere terms of endearment for the rest of the night.
Perhaps I overreacted. Maybe he wasn’t after what I thought he was after (though his other behavior would also prove my theory to be accurate), but I can’t imagine any instance in which a man would call a girl “baby” or “baby girl” so flippantly unless he was trying to create the illusion of familiarity that would allow the girl to more readily hook up with a complete stranger. That and he probably doesn’t remember her real name. So my advice to those who wish to use sugary terms to refer to members of the opposite sex, is please refrain from doing so at least until you know their last name, any other usage is completely transparent and more than a little crude.