Sunday, January 28, 2007

Meet my fella

As previously mentioned, I'm happy to be married, but I think I may start boycotting the word "husband." At first I thought I just wasn't used to it yet, but the other day I realized that the real issue is that when you use it, you sound like a Republican "values" voter, or an unreasonably demanding dissatisfied customer in a restaurant. (Which, if you drew a Venn diagram of those two groups, the overlap would be quite significant.)

I had a revelation about this recently because I purposefully evoked the Husband connotation in an angry letter to Verizon demanding that they give me money back. I was totally justified in asking (Verizon DSL is the Iraq War of the internet-service world--they got you into it by telling huge lies about how fast and easy it will be, and once you're in there it doesn't work at all, and it takes years and billions of dollars to extricate yourself), but in order to strengthen my position, I dropped several mentions of how inconvenienced "my husband and I" had been by their crappy service.

Was that really relevant to the point of the letter? No, but it carried the implication that I had really important Married People business to be attending to, and thus that my time was not to be trifled with like that of some slutty, tragic, unlovable single girl who probably doesn't own property or vote, and has nothing better to do with her evenings than eat ice cream and chug vodka while waiting for 15 minutes for Television Without Pity to load. I was portraying myself as a self-righteous suburbanite who expects to be catered to by customer service representatives just as she is by politicians.

Ick. So now I need to find a new title for Mr. T&A. Boyfriend, partner, and spouse are all out--inaccurate, confusing, and clinical, respectively--so for now I think I'm gonna go for "Fella," or, you know, "Mr. T&A." Let me know if you have any better suggestions.


Anonymous said...

beau, gotta be beau

my wife still calls me boyfriend (of course it has only been seven months of marriage, so we'll hopefully come up with something better)

Andrea said...

I was going to say this:

"Yeah, I floundered around with this problem for about 18 months, and then just settled on husband. Sometimes I say, 'Hubs', but never 'spouse'. It just ended up being the word for what he is."

But then I realize that I say "husband" to let people know that I am not a lesbian. I'm not a homophobe; I just don't want lesbianic credit where it isn't due. If I use my husband's name, there's occasionally confusion on that front. I once knew a woman who referred to "my partner Stacey" all the time, and it got her all kinds of authenticity points in the domestic violence services world we worked in, and then I met Stacey and he, actual male, had a very scrawny beard, and Tevos with socks, and she just would have been so much better off with a woman. But I digress.

T&A Lady said...

Yeah, I agree I don't want to create Gay Ambiguity Confusion--mostly because we have gendered pronouns, so it's difficult to say anything about somebody's partner if they have just called them "partner" and haven't identified the person's gender.

Toolstein said...

Knowing Mr. T&A as I do, I'd propose the following choices:

1) Your "Beeotch"
2) Your co-pet owner. That one goes over well around chez Toolstein.
3) Your Man. As in, "My Man and I were really inconvenienced."
4) Your Better Half.
5) The Old Ball n' Chain.

Andrea said...

T&A Lady: Your Man has an unambiguously male name. So how about just "Tom"? It sounds like, maybe it's his name, maybe it's a reference to his former prowling ways.

Mr. T&A said...

Um, Andrea. Hello blogger anonymity?!? Surely there's someone who reads this blog who doesn't know who T&A Lady is. Like, for instance, the blogger who posted links to his/her apocalyptic screed. Unless I have seriously misjudged my friend group, I'm fairly sure that person doesn't know the Lady's public face.

As for what to call... me. My first name--real or imagined--will never work in all circumstances. And I am also not on board with "partner" or "spouse." My favorite phrase, coined (for all I know) by my law school roommate, is "non-sexual life partner," but I'm fairly sure that applied only to a close friend of mine at the time, and not to my, er... damn! Right back where we started.

Toolstein's Co-Pet Owner said...

Apologies if this posts twice...

Toolstein, I don't know if you know this, but I also like to say "domestic partner," although that may violate T&A Lady's rule about accuracy. Apparently, many people think domestic partner = same-sex partner = person who can avail themselves of co-domestic partner's health insurance, yet I cannot, because I am not a same-sex partner. Still, I like "domestic partner" better than most of the alternatives.

Confidential to Toolstein: If I ever catch you calling me your "Beeotch" or "the old ball and chain," I will seriously consider throwing our co-pet at you.

Jackson said...

I know someone on the internet who calls her husband her "flame". It's one of those things that I think is kinda cool when she says it, but I would feel like an enormous dork employing it in reference to my own, uh, dude.

Mu-galto said...

I just used a venn diagram reference in a post - great minds think alike. But, I spelled it wrong, revealing both that I did not copy you (ala a fourth grader) and that I was not a math major.

Jake said...

I suggest Man Lesbian. It's totally postmodern.

Anonymous said...

How about "groom"? Personal Sperm dispenser? Flatmate?