Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Little Things

I referred to Sweetie as "my partner" during a conversation with a client the other day. It felt weird but easy all at once. They might not have understood the context but I didn't leave the conversation feeling like I'd crept into the closet again - which is what I usually do. When it comes to work, I'm just not sure how to navigate conversations that steer into my personal life. Something as simple as discussing a popular television  show can become a mental obstacle to overcome.

Client: "Did you watch Dancing With The Stars last night? I don't know who got voted off yet and it's bugging me."

Me: "I don't know because I don't watch it regularly, but my partner does, and she always votes for that geeky looking guy with blonde hair and glasses. I don't know his name but I hope he's not the one that got voted off because she seems to like him."

My normal reaction: "I don't know. I don't watch it really."

Which is more engaging?

Sometimes I'll just refer to her as "a friend" which is heart breaking and feels like a lie: "I don't watch it regularly but a friend of mine does (heart sinking), and she always votes for [...]".

It's not a lie, of course. She is a friend. She's my best friend. She's also much more than that and it feels wrong to imply otherwise.

I have referred to her as my fiancee before but that just muddies the waters further, because then they want to ask about all the details of the man in my life.

I think I've even referred to her as my girlfriend a few times - which seems silly after 11 years, LOL. 

Plenty of people have suggested I just call her my wife even though we aren't married. Those same people tell us that we're "basically already like a married couple" even if it didn't happen through a ceremony - legal or not. Call me a stickler for details, but we aren't married. I'm not calling her my wife until we are. In my perspective, it's like addressing someone with the title Doctor just because they've been going to med school for four years. We haven't taken the oath yet. There is no legal binding, there is no financial binding, there is no religious binding. We will eventually take those vows and, ideally, they will be taken in the state we live in AND be honored by the law of our state and nation.

I've never, until this recent conversation, referred to her as my partner. We don't like the term. It sounds like a business deal or a sporting duo. However, it seems as though that's the only term that really works for now.

So often, I find myself clamming up on conversations with clients when they turn outside of business matters because I'm not sure how to talk about my life without referring to Sweetie's involvement in it. Sometimes I manage to come up with responses, most times I refer to her as a friend, sometime I just use the "we" and "our" pronouns without explanation, and sometimes I just start talking about her by name without explaining her relationship to me - and no one ever asks. The other day I referred to her as my partner. I look forward with great anticipation for the day I can refer to her as my wife (in the sense of a federally honored and legal wife) and just be done with all of this label and pronoun nonsense.

Side Note:
I'm pretty sure my mom reads this blog. I feel a little contradictory admitting what I have in this post because within the last year or so, my mother and I had a heart-to-heart about how much it hurt my feelings when Sweetie was introduced at family functions as my friend or roommate. Here I am, struggling to do the same thing but in a job setting as opposed to a family setting. My mom has started introducing Sweetie at family functions as my partner. I know this is a huge thing for her and it never goes unnoticed by me, always makes my heart swell up to my eyeballs, even though I try to be cool and natural about it. My mother is pretty awesome, yeah?

Anyway, if she can do it - I can too. 

1 comment:

  1. Don't know if you are still on this site - but well done. The more people are open and everyday about things, the more it does become the everyday normal...