38. Name Calling
XXXVIII. Name Calling
With marriage came many adjustments, Petal found. Sleeping in a bed, for instance. It took much getting used to, and after the first time on their wedding night, she had a hard time falling asleep. So after he did so, she got up and poked about the place, looking for a more comfortable nest. Then she beheld her wedding flower-bunch, stuck in a bottle of water to keep it fresh, and she made herself small and curled up inside one of the roses, which smelled very nice and was soft and cosy.
Another thing was what name to call her husband. She had been calling him by his first name, which she had assumed was the natural thing to do. But before the wedding, she began to notice that other hobbit-women did not do so. They called theirs "dear" or "darling" or sometimes by their last names, preceded by "Mister." Yet when Petal called her husband "Mister Took" he laughed at her, and said she was free to use his first name. Remembering the first Took family she had observed, she called him "Daddy", but he laughed about that too, and said he wasn't a daddy yet.
And so the morning after their wedding night, she fixed him a lovely big breakfast of sweet rolls and bacon and eggs and potatoes and mushrooms, along with hot sweet tea, and set the flower-bunch where she had spent the night in the middle of the table. And as he came in, yawning, yet widening his eyes in appreciation of her beauty and the sight of the table, she gave him a loud kiss on the side of his face and smiled, having come up with a satisfactory other-name for him at last.
Good morning, Lover, she said.