I know my husband’s family never uses terms of endearment, but the other day I discovered that he actively dislikes them. I was talking to Sarah on the phone and called her “Honey.” He was sitting by me, and when I said it, he made a face and a finger down his throat gesture. I asked him about it later and he apologized and said it was OK with him whatever I wanted to call anybody. I was skeptical. So I’ve been trying to remember not to call him Honey. I don’t know why he doesn’t like it, even though he tried to explain it to me. It comes so naturally to me that I’m having a hard time. My experience is that when anyone is hopelessly fond of somebody, it’s natural to use such terms.
He never calls me Honey. In fact, he almost never says my name, although once in a while he calls me by my sister’s name. I wish I’d known sooner that he didn’t like being called Honey. I guess the fact that I didn’t know sooner is a testament to his forbearance. (In my own newly found forbearance, this afternoon when I told him I was so grumpy I couldn’t stand to be around myself, he said he hadn’t realized I was grumpy. Wow. Yay.)
So, thanks, Jim, for putting up with things I do that you don’t like. Thank you for loving me even when I can’t stand myself. Thank you for overlooking my weaknesses, of which there are many, and for enduring my foolish rants, bouts of anger, and periodic meltdowns. I love you.