My husband rarely calls me by my given name — a boy’s name my mother decided upon after she heard a woman in a grocery store call her dog. A big dog. I’ve always thought it would be a great name for a dog since they’re more like people than animals anyway. It was going to be Deborah, like so many of the girls born then. Deborah Ruth, I think, after my mother’s mother.
No, my husband has instead come up with quite a few other loving endearments over the years I’ve been happily attached to him, but none of them come close to sounding like Kelly. I’ve tried to remember the first one, but getting caught up in the order of it all misses the point: that I’m deserving of these little jewels of lovey-doveyness from him.
I could have a completely different attitude about them, mind you. Someone who looked a gift horse in the mouth instead of considering the lovely source that my husband is.
These little somethings usually come with a smile or tone that suggests nothing too important will follow. He’s just getting my attention. Sometimes they appear on the cards he gives me instead of the giant heart with a capital “K” filling the inside. Other times, they appear as greetings in occasional emails sent, reminding me of something I said I’d take care of because he knows that I’m easily lost in my day on most days, so might never quite get around to doing whatever it is I said I’d do.
Sweets. Can you look around for my checkbook? It’s not in my car. You know, because doesn’t everyone keep it there?
Or arriving home at the end of a long day, he’ll ask, How was your day, Pear? Yes, he always asks, and then when I forget to ask about his, he continues to tell me what it was like. I need better manners.
More recently, I have been Pear Petunia when he’s lounging in his chair on the weekend and caught up in a football-soccer-basketball-hockey game or two on television. He absent-mindedly extends a hand for me to grasp in passing and squeeze once or twice. I seize the opportunity to remind him that Petunia was a pig and that being shaped like a pear isn’t exactly ideal, but being a pear-shaped cartoon pig is a bit much. We laugh.
He’ll disagree, but I think it all started with Pie. Yes, he called me Pie all those years ago, and I know I’m in good company when it comes to this because pie is always good, isn’t it? Especially when the crust is oh, so flaky and the filling a perfect combination of tart and sweet.
And so I made him little fruit pies the other day with blueberries and sugar plums I’d frozen.
He liked them with or without the powdered sugar, but you decide.
Perfect as Pie.