By any other name
You would think that names are a simple thing. Your parents spend much time contemplating the names that are designated for their progeny - given that they are going to be saying that name for their rest of their lives: they had better like the sound of it. My mother had originally thought to call be "Deanne", which may I say, although a nice enough name I am sure, it is just not me. One name that she had ruled out from a very early stage was "Megan" - I think she had a very long plane flight once with a mother who was constantly calling out "Meeeeeegan" repeatedly that it etched a painful neural pathway for my mother. Eventually my mother decided to name me after herself (well a variation on the theme anyway) and always uses the full name to refer to me. Of course, this means that whenever my name is said in its entirety - I immediately infer a parental calling.
As is the Australian way, all names must be shortened to become socially acceptable. Thankfully, I have one of those names that is shortened quite easily and acceptably so. So there is a heirarchy of name calling that I have found in my life.
Stage 1: Cathryn - Parental term only. When uttered from the mouths of the parental units it feels perfectly natural. From anyone else, it can seem a little pretentious.
Stage 2: Cathy - Socially acceptable and the fall-back position for introductions. This proves to be the most common name that I am referred to.
Stage 3: Cath - This is the pinnacle. Reserved for intimate partners and the very best of friends. If someone leaps to this level too early - I can be violent. This presumes a level of intimacy that cannot be faked or circumvented.
Stage 4: Any other names - whether they be within the confines of a relationship or from friends, these names generally remain private. Although my ex-husband used to call me "Muff" - can I tell you that it was a little disconcerting - perhaps he should have just called me "Labia" and just got all pretext out of the way.
Alain de Botton (the demi-God) discusses the issue of name calling in "On Love" and nails on the head when he declares that the use of intimate names really does suggest a level of knowlege that the rest of the world does not possess.
So what I am wondering is why B insists on calling me by my full proper name. My mother loves it - she thinks it is great that someone is using my proper name. But I can tell you it feels a little wrong at a moment of passion to hear my "parent's" name being used. I suppose I should be thankful that it is still MY name I am hearing and not someone else's.