When it comes to boys, nicknames happen to help us keep ‘em all straight.
“You know, Connecticut Brian.”
“Oh, but who are you having dinner with?”
“Well who do you like the most right now? Dirty Dave, Captain Jack, or the Bad Greek Boy?”
“It’s a toss up between Zim City and The Italian Job. How about you? Seeing Mile High Man anytime soon?”
“Nah, I’m over him. Onto B-rad.”
You get the idea. Nicknames come from necessity and foster frivolity. Once you really like a guy, all the nicknames are for naught. You no longer need to keep them straight. He gets a name; the nickname disappears and reveals something real.
You can’t pick a nickname; it just has to happen. Spencer likes the name Bunny and insists that’s what he’ll call his next girlfriend. But you can’t do that; you’re breaking some rule. It will mean less. It won’t be unique. “Nah, I’m going to work it in, cause it’s cute.” No! Nicknames evolve. Look at Linus. One day he’s Lebrinus or The Lineman, and sometimes he’s Noodle, Bear, or Roast Beef Sandwich Head depending on my mood.
You’d think someone would have called me Red by now. In high school, I played soccer with another redhead, whom people referred to as Big Red thanks to the popularity of the gum commercials. She was tall and freckled and wore red ribbons in her hair, so being called “big” didn’t faze her. Had someone named me Big Red I would have gone home to cry in my wee little pillow. I already had a fat nickname.
Save for Moose, I’ve never had a nickname. I longed for The Wasband to call me “Red” once I saw The Philadelphia Story. I’d look up at him when Cary Grant referred to Katherine Hepburn as “Red” throughout the movie. I’d squeeze his hand. “Isn’t that the sweetest? I love when he calls her that.” Sure, it’s Cary Grant. He can make dumping a woman sound just darling. You want to go out the next day and find out where you can get a break-up, too.
I have a silver ring from Tiffany’s that Roger brought home for me one day. I hate Tiffany’s. It’s overpriced and uninspiring. In a word, it’s provincial. In a few, it’s safe, chardonnay, and milquetoast. It’s unimaginative. It’s the safety school of jewelry. It’s nothing to get excited about, like making a reservation to eat at Haru. You might as well just order in. He’d had it inscribed, “I adore you, Red. Love RL.” He only did it because of instructions. That’s right, instructions. It wasn’t an item on his to-do list sandwiched between “Tanning Salon” and “Call Grandmother.” But, it was ingrained in his head. Call them hints, but they were instructions. When I heard someone say, “I adore you” in a movie, I’d tell Roger, “See that’s so much nicer than ‘I love you.’” Had he begun his courting with “adore” in lieu of “love,” I’d have created a case for “love.” Grass greener thing.
I wonder if I’m ever happy with the way things are. I believe even when I am, I’m always striving for things to be better… which I suppose can be seen as, well, never happy. But I am happy; I’m just difficult. Roger air-balled “I love you” all the time. I just wanted something new out of his mouth. They’re all just words I suppose. Succinct. Little. Pellets. Of. Heartbreak.
I’d like to think he would have said it on his own. All of it. I adore you. Red. I can’t imagine my life without you. But he didn’t. It was never on his own. I pushed. I asked for it. It’s one thing to communicate what you want; no one is a mind reader. Once you tell someone what you want, as specifically as I did, it means less once you get it. I wanted what I wanted. I craved for him to be creative and head over heels in love with me. The man should always love the woman more.
When you push things and try to control them, they’re never yours. Even if it’s sincere from their end, and you have everything you wanted, you’re left wondering if it’s genuine because of your controlling hand in things. If I’ve learned anything, it’s this. It’s hard, but you will never get what you want by trying to control things. Exhale. Breathe, and let that shite go. If it is meant to be, it will be.