What creeps you out? Are there any behaviours that just make your skin crawl? Sometimes a long time between creepy behaviour can occur and you forget that it bothers you until someone decides to leave the house with their creepiest hat on, and make you super uncomfortable. This happened to me last night.
I work in a pub, I love my job, it’s social and upbeat and gives me time to feel like a grown up person and not just mummy to my lovely dribble face for a few hours a day (as well as helpfully enabling me to pay bills and feed my family). There are always some things that bother you with every job. Bar problems are usually, someone ordering a ten drink round one drink at a time, forcing you to walk a half marathon just to serve them, not putting the money in your hand but on the counter so you have to chase coins around (and are made to feel like an untouchable, your change will always go on the bar and not in your outstretched hand, how do you like it?), vomit, drunk people are generally stupid and prone to emotional outbursts (surprise crying, punching, kissing), ordering Guiness last (ARGHHHHHHH I thought everyone knew that was an unforgivable crime by now!!)
If you have ever worked on a bar then I expect this has happened to you, lots of times. I am talking about the over familiar flirty guy, that makes too much eye contact, tries to hold your hand every time he gives you money and calls you a pet name that makes you want to throw up on him every time he does it. Last night I was “honey”.
I enjoy pet names, I have loads for lovely boyfriend and my mega chinned mini man, I use them with my friends frequently, I even use honey myself. I only use them on people that I know and love though. I take offence to someone that doesn’t know me calling me princess, darling, sweetheart, babe, sugar, honey etc… I keep these terms for people that are special to me. I once had a big argument with an ex when I heard him calling a customer at work one of the pet names he used for me, I was really upset as I thought that was special for me, not just a general term for any woman in his vicinity. He looked at me as if I was totally mental for having an issue with it.
When I met lovely boyfriend, I noticed that he was one of those people, everyone was “my dear” or “my love”, it really put me off him at first. I now know that he is terrible at remembering names, he is the head chef in a kitchen and due to his name blindness he has renamed most of his kitchen team with names that he will remember (Roger, Rupert etc…), luckily they all seem to view gaining a kitchen name as a sign of inclusion into the team, it does make me feel a bit bad when I refer to the people he works with by their made up names instead of their real ones, but if it works for them then fair enough.
I am aware that these people don’t know my name and they are trying to be nice/take me home and keep me in a dungeon (never entirely sure as I find them super creepy), when I was a novice bar tender I made the terrible mistake of telling some creepy people my name so that they stopped using the annoying pet name, this does not work and you should NEVER do it. Then it changes to over use of your name followed by a pet name “Aimee sweetie, when do you finish?” “Aimee babe, can I have another drink, one for yourself? Are you married?” “Aimee honey, I have a sex swing at home would you like to come and see it?” and other such annoying/scary conversations.
I know that lots of people use pet names as a default setting, when the lady at Tesco serves me and says “Bye pet” I quite like it. There is another one that calls me “babes” and I don’t mind that either. After last night I realised that it is not just the pet name by itself that bothers me. It is the combination of pet name/flirty/creepy that I don’t like. I thought that I had gotten over my issue with pet name using after such a long time with lovely boyfriend over using them on every person we come across, he even has man pet names (Pal, my mate, buddy) but I now realise that I don’t mind when lovely boyfriend does it, as when he does it he doesn’t look as if he might have secret plans to kidnap people or steal something of theirs to take home and lick.
It is a huge revelation for me. I do like pet names, I don’t have an issue with being called them or strangers using them, just so long as they are not flirting with me. It does ruffle my feminist feathers a bit especially when they are gorgeous, cutie, sexy style ones that seem to be about my appearance, but on the whole it’s ok.
So my advice to you, if you have taken a shine to the person that gives you beer, is don’t be creepy, don’t try to hold/kiss their hand as they serve you, whilst trying to hold their gaze with your drunky, wonky stare and calling them a pet name in a sugary voice. They will be scared that you are going to do something weird. It’s gross. Stop it.