What did you do this weekend? I watched 12 hours of "Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami". I hate myself. For most of it I was the intellectual equivalent of a headless chicken farmed strictly for fast food. I hovered softly above consciousness as the sisters lounged on L shaped sofas in 7 inch booties and entire plot-lines revolved around one or both having a hangover during an important diet supplement modeling shoot. It was like a body babysitter while my left and right brain sides took that romantic date the couples therapist advised.
So I was particularly attune, when around the 9th hour, brain came home and spoke up with this opinion: I hate the pet name 'Doll'. (It's used profusely in the above episode)
"I want to make it up to you, Doll", "I love you, Doll", 80's style villain Scott Disick cooed and texted to his child's mom, Kourtney, after punching a mirror. Then he kept saying it, Doll this, Doll that. At that point I yelled at the TV: "Leave him, Kourtney!" Then in the next scene, I realized she calls her employees at her clothing shop "Dash Dolls" so I guess they're perfect together.
Still I identified the pet name as gag-worthy. I almost turned off the TV, but didn't because it was on. And I had to make it to the season finale, where Kourtney leaves Miami without Scott! Yay! And then in previews, and according to reports, gets back with him for a new season in New York. Yay!.
The series does its fair share of showing why this guy is a jerk--he drinks too much, he drapes sweaters over his shoulders, he punches mirrors, and he's thinks he's funny when he's not. But it's the word doll that really threw me over the edge.
It's not just a bad pet name, it's a selfish one. The kind that's more about the fact you used it, than anything else. Beyond the fact that comparing a grown woman to a dead-eyed kid's toy is not actually flattering, it's too self-aware. Pet names shouldn't be over-analyzed. Call me "baby", "pumpkin", "pumpkin-baby", "fish", "hedgehog", "pickle" whatever comes to mind. I love it all. But "Doll" is just all wrong, especially if you were born after 1965.
It belongs to the Rat Pack generation, or even the era of "Mad Men" when guys were 25 years older than the women they loved and "the bottle" was a fickle lover, not a kind of table service. It's a pet name that becomes more about the pet name than the person it's directed towards. Pet Names should feel a little off the cuff and organic. They should never seem forced, self-impressed, or practiced. When Scott texts (texts!!) his girlfriend I'm sorry, Doll, in an effort to keep her from leaving with his child, all it sounds like is
a weapon from his dating arsenal. At some point, someone must have told him "girls love being called doll". This girl don't. Also, confiscate my TV please.
Here are some other pet names that don't work for me:
-Sweetie (It's been co-opted by frenemies looking to undermine each other: "Oh Sweetie, you'll find true love like I have with my fiance, just wear a little more makeup"
-Babe (Too slick. If you don't have time to add another syllable to the word, don't bother using it)
-Hon (a combination of the aforementioned names: "Hey hon, how you doing with the whole STD thing? Yikes, that must suck for you!")
-Love (British nannies patented this pet name a long time ago, it's off limits to the rest of us, except maybe Paul McCartney)
Share time: what pet names make you cringe?
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