Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nicknames and Multi-tasking



I’ve been called many different things  in my lifetime. It’s par for the course with a surname like Goggin. The amount of post that used to come through at work addressed to Miss Doggin became embarrassing (ah the joy when I discovered the NATO phonetic alphabet could be used by mere mortals in real life, not just on The Bill). Or Miss Goggins. “Like Postman Pat without the s” I used to say. Which, with hindsight, sounded like I was just a little too desperate for them to get it right. And let’s be fair, if they weren’t of a certain age, they’d just think I was slightly mental.  I’m not sure why everyone always likes whacking on an ‘s’ at the end, but there we go. Goggins has become a nickname of sorts. And there were and still are, many others: 

Jim Jam. Goglet – sounds a little too like a piglet admittedly, but I take it as a term of endearment. Goggles – a gift from friends when my boyfriend at the time, suddenly and mysteriously lost all power of aim, and got me in the eye, rather than on my boobs. Ah those heady days of young love and misplaced semen. 
I could go on...

But I thought I’d heard them all. Until I got together with my chap. Who is called Mark, but whom I call Bob. And he calls me Gog. But we don’t just have one. We have lots. In Paris, we spotted a stop called Bobigny. So when in France, he becomes Bobigny and I, Goginy. In Italy, we came Bobbalino and Goggalino. We’ve recently become Goggabubba and Bobbabubba, and I’m sure there will be more to come.

I find nicknames interesting, because they grow out of nothing almost, and yet, they become part of you, and they represent different parts of you. BUT, and it is a big but, they don’t cross all spheres. I am unlikely to call him Bobbalino in a moment of anger, or at the moment of climax. I think we would both burst out laughing. It’s as if nicknames form part of a personal little dialogue that takes place 90% of the time, but doesn’t quite cross the border into the highly emotional states. So why is that? Is that because we step out of ourselves when we’re highly emotive so the nickname feels too personal, too real, or because we step into ourselves so much that at that subconscious moment of choice, that the nickname feels too puerile?

And why is that some nicknames can transcend more barriers that others? I’ve called him Bob when I’ve been annoyed, but never in the throes of passion. I think there’s a wider discussion which I hope to explore more in the coming months, to do with all those different facets of ourselves that we utilise or drop at a moment’s notice. How we sweep from role to another without a thought, and if we as women, do that more easily than men? And if we do, how are men affected by that? By the woman who tells them to clean the dishes one moment, and emerges from the bedroom in a negligee five minutes later. Because to me, to us (if I may be so bold as to group all women together!), it’s seamless, natural, part of who we are – multi-tasking goddesses, no?? J And for men, I just don’t think it’s the same, and I sometimes think you can see the wash of confusion as the man tries to interpret the shift in gears that has just taken place before his very own eyes. Sexist as ever, I know. But, to be continued......

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