“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish it’s source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”—Anais Nin (via 24ribs)
I never introduce myself as anything but Gloria. This is a conscious choice.
I have a first name that lends itself to both nicknames and song. The people I am close to rarely call me just Gloria. Eventually, those close to me find a nickname for me, and even if I don’t particularly like it, I live with it. I usually just fall into it, never actually knowing when it started, but noticing it weeks, or possibly months, after it first was used. It’s a sign of familiarity. To me that sign means something, and I am uncomfortable when that familiarity is assumed without the history to back it.
I have been called Gloria Jean, Glow-bug, Glow, Glor, Morning Glory, G, Goria, Gorrilla (by toddler cousins), and Golria. (The last few, I’m not particularly fond of, but when it’s an inside joke, I let it slide.) These are just a few that are, or are based on, my name. When they come from someone I am close to, I take it as an understanding that that person feels he or she has the right to address me in familiar way because he or she is certain we share a close relationship. I never assume familiarity, and I expect the same from others.
I’ve been having trouble with how particular people address me as of late. One person assumed familiarity upon meeting me, and one person just deeply disturbs me by continuing familiarity in how he chooses to address me. The first person I just find rather creepy and a bit reminiscent of a Stepford wife in the making. I find her annoying, but the issue is nothing I would ever lose sleep over. Glow is a family nickname that has been easily adopted by friends throughout my life. It’s a reminder of my childhood. It’s lighthearted, cute, and it’s a nickname that I don’t think deeply about. I let Stepford wife to be slide when she calls me Glow because I really don’t want to have a conversation with her. I find her creepy. For some reason, being addressed as Glor is an entirely different matter.
When I first noticed he addressed me as Glor, I took a mental note. Very few people outside of my family address me as Glor, and although I had no problem with it, I still took note. I thought about it, and I liked it. I liked that he, out of the all the names he could address me by, had chosen to call me Glor. No one else at school did, and no one at school does. It felt like there was a level of respect in addressing me by that name that was not present in calling me by any of the others. It was a nice change. I enjoyed it.
Basically, that friendship ended. It blew up about 5 different ways and always directly in my face. Despite what everyone may think, I was not just getting over being “dumped” from a relationship that never was. I was mourning friendship that, after the events of the past semester, I was certain never existed in the first place. I was fighting tooth and nail for nothing. Needless to say, it took me a bit too long to see the truth and come to that conclusion, but when I did, I couldn’t look the other way any longer. I stopped speaking to him for my own sanity, but still had to see him nearly everyday. It was bad. It was painful. I only spoke to him when he spoke to me directly, but in those direct statements, he called me Glor. It disturbed me then, and it continues to disturb me now.
It’s amazing how much stock I put in names. In reality, it’s just a variation of my name, but with that name comes a heightened value in a personal relationship between myself and another. As I grew older, Glor was the name that my mother, father, uncles, and aunts chose to address me by. I guess on some level I associate that nickname with unquestionable love and support along with the respect a young woman (no longer deserving of being called an insect) deserves.
When I think of this former friendship, these former associations do not apply adequately. Needless to say, I get thrown for a loop by the use of that one name. It makes me wonder if he does it consciously. It makes me wonder if he still has stock in our former friendship. It makes me wonder if I was wrong about dropping everything and walking. I know I did the right thing for myself. I know friendship means nothing if you do not feel respected, but by addressing me in familiar terms, by stating with certainty that he and I share a close relationship…
I will always be bewildered.
Don’t worry. I’m not sad or angry. I’m dissecting. This is merely a reflection on the power of names. Who would ever have thought the difference between formality and familiarity could cause such confusion?
“But most of all, stop thinking that what people so loathingly refer to as the “friendzone” is some sort of purgatory women put “nice guys” into. My friendship is not a crappy consolation prize that you’re left with if I deny you a sexual relationship– and my body is not your reward for good behavior.”—Taylor Callobre, The “Good Guy” Myth (via liamdryden)