>Alex just called and asked if I wanted to get a quart of (semi) glossy black paint on my way home to paint our front door! I’m quite happy–it’s something we’ve talked about for awhole, that I’ve desired at least since seeing Hugh-Grant-as-Prime-Minister’s glossy black front door in Love Actually, and it will be a spontaneous and concrete change to the house. Not a big one, but enough. (I tell you, that home improvement gets in your blood, and you’ve got to get that high every once in awhile, be it the smell of paint, grout stains on your pants, or flooring glue on–well–everything.)
That reminds me: Alex. I make a conscious effort to refer to my Main Man as “Alex” both in my blog and in person when he’s not around (i.e., at work), even if the people to whom I am speaking don’t know him. I thought that might seem odd to some people–maybe some blog readers are wondering if we’re married or what–so I’ll just take a moment to reflect upon the habit. Yes, we’re married–going on six years. Yes, I love being married–I’m not trying to hide that fact. It’s just that I’ve always hated, in conversations, saying, “My best friend in high school…” or “My pal Rita in Las Vegas…” or “My husband…” There are a few tenuous reasons that suggest why this bothers me.
1) It assumes the person you’re speaking to doesn’t know this person or share this experience, and they may feel excluded (I tend to, when other people talk this way around me).
2) If that person does know to whom you’re referring, or at least knows their name, they might be annoyed or confused that you don’t simply call them by name.
3) It seems really impersonal to me to refer to Alex as “my husband.” There’s a difference between saying, “This is my husband, Alex,” and saying “This weekend, my husband and I went to Home Depot.” There’s no personality in that statement; my husband, for all the audience could know, might have a blank white face and generic build–American Husband, Model #1157. To me, to refer to Alex as, well, Alex, not only gives him a concrete presence as a person, but it connotes the strong friendship that our relationship is based upon. I don’t want to obliquely refer to him as “my husband” to others and give them the sense that I don’t like him well enough to use his name.
Of course, the odd thing about it is that we rarely call each other by our names. Granted, as we both go by our middle names anyway, we’re already not using our given first names. But unless we need to get each other’s attention, it just sounds kinda funny. I don’t call many people by their names anyway, for whatever reason. It’s not as if, after twenty-two years, I’m afraid that I’ve got Amy’s name wrong. It’s just that “Dude” and “Ames” seem more natural.
I hope my pondering hasn’t bored you, or caused you to mutter bitter comments about married people and their starry eyes for each other, or whatever. I’m with you–Smug Marrieds suck, they really do, and I’m trying my darndest not to be one of those annoying chicks–but dang it, I can’t help that I married my best friend. Nor would I want to (help it, that is).
(Yeah, yeah brevity is the soul of wit. I know.)