She’s got this thing about nicknames. She can never remember anybody’s name so she nicknames them after artists and bands. She calls her dog groomers The Pet Shop Boys, the guy at the fish market Leftover Salmon and her plumber Olivia Newton-John. Yeah, it gets old after awhile.

But what really bothers me about her is the nickname she gave me. You see, she’s a big Bruce Springsteen fan, and when I first started going out with her, she told me that she always nicknamed her boyfriends after the members of the E Street Band. For instance, she used to date a Queens Of The Stone Age roadie who she always called “The Phantom” after Springsteen’s organist, Dan “The Phantom” Federici. She called him that because he was always vanishing whenever she needed a favor, like scraping the mold out of her shower or pumping out her septic tank.

Of course, there were other boyfriends. There was this brainy guy she called “The Professor” after “Professor” Roy Bittan, Springsteen’s pianist. She remembers him as a die-hard 2 Skinnee J’s fan, but she hasn’t heard from him in ages. Not since that one day he called from his job as an accountant with Arthur Andersen and said that something had come up and that he had to “leave town right away.”

So, with this E Street nickname fetish, I thought my moniker would be fairly obvious. After all, I’m six feet, seven inches tall and weigh 285 pounds. And to top it off, my first name is even Clarence. I mean, what else could she call me but “The Big Man?”

I even fantasized about it. I imagined her out with her girlfriends, maybe at a Red Hot Chili Peppers show, telling them that “When it comes to love, my Big Man is the only man who can please me.” Or maybe she’d be hanging with her sister at a Coldplay concert, talking like sisters do, and saying to her, “Only my Big Man can satisfy me.” Yeah, I thought I had it made. She’d call me “The Big Man,” and all her friends would think I was the greatest stud alive. Everything would be “Big Man” this, and “Big Man” that. You can’t buy a reputation like that.

But does she call me “The Big Man?” heck, no.

She calls me “Little Stevie,” instead. Cripe, it’s embarrassing. And all her friends look at me like they’re in on some secret joke that only women know.

I guess that’s what I get for dating a Springsteen fan with a thing for nicknames. But it could be worse, I suppose.

After all, she could have been a Tiny Tim fan.