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So, my coworker S was telling me about this huge argument she was having with another coworker, B. Long and short of it was that B had a big honkin' screaming fight over the phone with her boyfriend, and apparently lost. While on the phone with him, she began essentially grovelling, and all of her responses were either "yes, sir" or "no, sir." S claims this is not uncommon for this couple - B claims it's simply a sign of respect. The boyfriend does not, to my knowledge, return that respect - there's no "yes, ma'am" or "no, ma'am."

For some reason, the "yes, sir" seemed to bother me a lot. The only time I've ever called gamethyme "sir" has been while being a smart ass, and I don't feel that I respect him any less than anyone I would call 'sir'. Truth of the matter is, gamethyme and I don't usually call each other by our given names. He calls me 'beautiful' or 'gorgeous' (evidence of his blindness, no doubt), and I call him 'handsome' or 'sweetie' (the latter being one I distinctly remember my parents using with each other). The more I think about it, the mroe I realize that I don't really use given names very often. There are exceptions, of course - my coworker C is notoriously engrossed in whatever's playing on her headphones, so getting her attention usually requires three rounds of "C. C. C!!" followed by a paperclip tossed at her back before she responds. In general, I'll use my coworker's given names more often than my friends and family. It seems that the closer someone is to me, the less likely I am to use his or her name.

What do you all think?

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fireballof3
Sep. 27th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
My response: *twitch*

I've known some folks in that f'ed up of a relationship, and it's usually the guy browbeating and shoving the girl into accepting whatever dumbass thing he did most recently.
fireballof3
Sep. 27th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, and as for calling people by name or nickname, I suppose it is a sign of closeness that you have a "special" way of referring to someone close you to that others get to use. Anyone can call you by your name, only those close to you can call you "snugglebottoms" or something equally ... retarded and get away with it. (admit it, it was a bad example of an endearing term)
theonlymegumegu
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
"It seems that the closer someone is to me, the less likely I am to use his or her name."

I don't think that's too uncommon. It's the reason that close circles of friends often give many members nicknames, kind of their name that signifies them in that group, and then sometimes it spills outside of that group. Like me. My nickname "Megu" was born from my more anime circle of friends, but people outside of that group have started calling me that, even though they weren't part of the group the name comes from. But I digress. I think the use of a different reference title than a person's given name may be part of "branding" for smaller spheres of inter-relationships.
dianthus
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
Sounds like either abuse or kink to me.
aladriana
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
Funny, that's what I said...
smallbearcub
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
I only tend to call people "sir" or "ma'am" when I'm in the South and it's general politeness. I couldn't fathom doing that in a relationship unless I 'm being a smartass or there's some sort of play involved. I certainly can't fathom doing that over the phone, in an office setting, as if I was taking orders from a drill sergeant.

Generally speaking, I tend not to call people I'm close to by their names, and as mentioned above, that's pretty common.
jonsonite
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
That relationships sounds rocky to begin with, what with the grovelling over the phone. If she calls him Sir all the time, they probably have a relationship where he's the dominant one or seen as older and wiser, while she's submissive or takes on a "younger" role. The "sir" thing doesn't squick me near as much as the groveling over the phone.
banalapercu
Sep. 27th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC)
The "sir" while fighting is fucked up. Unless it's a permanent aspect of their relationship (which should, in theory, avoid fights like that on the phone), that sort of thing should not occure outside of a play situation. To have it come up in a fight seems like a really bad indication of the health of the relationship.

Unless I'm completely misreading things, which is always a possibility. But the "sir" aspect set off my kinkdar.
aladriana
Sep. 28th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
I would never call Rick sir, unless I was being funny. However, they could have a very different relationship. If they had a BDSM relationship, and he was the Top, she might say Sir, without him ever saying Ma'am (things that aren't always known by co-workers).

On the other hand, he could be an abusive ass. It's hard to say.

As for you being beautiful, and gamethyme being handsome, both of those are true. I'm family, I can say that *grins*
(Deleted comment)
pict_shrink
Sep. 28th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Co-worker's phone grovelling: sounds abusive, just given sheer force of probability.

Given names: I'm really bad with names (faces are ok, names not so much), so I tend not to use them even with people with whom I am less familiar. Which is not to say I call the doctors at the hospital "honey" (though I do sometimes call the patients "sweetie" if they look sad), but I find ways to address them without using names. This means I've had to find non-verbal ways to get someone's attention. On the other hand, Chef and I rarely use each other's names, either, but we do often say "honey", "monkey", etc.
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