By Guest Blogger Shelia M. Goss
Never thought almost 20 years later, I would be singing lyrics to an old Janet Jackson song, "No, my first name ain't baby," but I am.
Why do men take it upon themselves to call women, "baby" during the course of a conversation?
Is it used as a term of endearment or does it go deeper than that?
Several years ago, a male friend, who we'll call "John," did something that surprised me. I observed him speak with several women over a span of a few hours. Each time they called, instead of saying their name, his initial greeting was "Hi Baby."
After the umpteenth call, I decided to ask him, "Why do you call those women Baby instead of using their names?"
His response surprised me. "It gives me time to either pick up on their voice or have them tell me who they are," he responded.
All I could say was, "Oh I see."
John taught me that evening to pay close attention to when a man uses the word "baby."
When I hear it now, I don't take the man too seriously. I find myself crinkling up whenever I hear it.
Does the word "baby" irritate you like it irritates me? Some men use the term so much that it becomes a habit. I've heard so many men use it out of habit that they probably aren't aware of how annoying it can be.
I tried to get over the annoyance when I met this new guy and he used it. Well that is, until I heard him use it when talking to a cashier, a mutual stranger, at the store. Afterwards, hearing him call me "baby" didn't hold that same warm fuzzy feeling it once did.
Men, please beware and don't use the word to every Sue, Jill, and Jane you come across. And women the next time a man says it to you, why not let him know that, "No my first name ain't baby, it's…"
It could be worse; they could be calling us another B word.
Shelia M Goss is a freelance writer and the Essence Bestselling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Violets are True and My Three Beaus.