I don’t do too well with affectionate little labels. I put them right into that box with other cringey offerings from the y-chromosomed; such as smellantine inspired stuffies clutching kitschy “I love you beary much” hearts (blech blech). No, I’m not a romantic. Crazy x said as much once, when I left him crying amongst his scented candles and rose petals.

Call me Sweetie, and like the italian whose mama has been viciously slurred, hell hath no rancour. It’s an endearment I find particularly difficult to mould into a bolus and swallow. I don’t know why exactly, but it’s parallel to someone harshly scraping cutlery against the bottom of a cooking pot: that setting-teeth-on-edge, insides growing legs and crawling, vomity kind of feeling. Not pleasant.

It’s also not the type of endearment that is meant to issue forth from just anyone (in exactly the way that fuchsia taffeta tutus aren’t meant to be worn by grown men inclined to love-handles and a little extra around the ass). The same with doll, if you’re not an extravagant, flamboyant wedding planner, forget it. Put it away. And since Gollum’s monopoly on Precious, sorry mate, that one’s not getting you any tonight either.

Sweetie, Doll, the combination and like thereof are fine when there are years of shared bondage and misery between a couple. It’s expected, along with Darling, Dear and The Mistake.

It’s also acceptable when friends use these terms to engender closeness and camaraderie. Like Bitch: now that one’s certainly come into its own as a verbal hug. I’ve even heard guys kicking it around among themselves like a soccer-ball.

Strangely enough, it’s the odd and comical names I can handle, even appreciate. Squid, Cow, Monkey, even though they sound very much like Chinese Years, are endearing. Purely because there’s history with them, shared feeling, originality, affection. As with funny little monikers like Squash, Biscuit and Squish. Definitely not one-size-fits-all.

Oi, little wonder I’m single hey? I’m one seriously weird squid.