I was writing an e-mail last night, and for some reason the way I had started it made me stop and think about the words we use when we are blathering on the page to our close friends and loved ones.
For example, I have a very bad habit of giving people strange nicknames, which they then for the life of them can't shake (enter the Panda and Dread P). Someone I think even described me as a 'nickname virus', which sounds vaguely unhealthy, but I hope was intended to say that when I give someone a nickname, that's it - they have no hope of ever getting rid of it.
Great. I am the equivalent of an STD for pseudonyms.
Seriously though, the language of like and love is something that I feel very grateful for. I like expressing how I feel in words about those who matter to me. I like very much the fact that they express the way they feel in return - but I don't expect the return. For a reason.
It's as simple as writing to someone 'you are gorgeous', because they are. Using affectionate expressions is something many of us seem to be afraid of, because there is a chance we will be rebuffed in the return of call. But unless you express, you'll never know.
If you think someone looked beautiful, tell them. If someone made you happy, tell them that. If someone needs to know you care, for goodness' sake tell them. And don't go into it with expectation of acknowledgement, or because you think you should be saying something for the sake of it; if you do, then you are doing it for self gratification, not because you truly want to make someone happy.
I am massively grateful every time someone I love takes the time to write a word or two of sincere and expressive emotion. It's not gush or guff; it means they simply had to get onto the page - or the screen - that they were thinking of me at that moment in time.
Terms of endearment. They may not be conventional ones, like 'darling' or 'sweetheart'. They don't have to be between lovers. They are simply words that need to be put on a page because not to would be a disservice.
If anyone ever calls me 'nice' however...
That I would not be grateful for. And terms of abuse may become de rigueur instead...