On changing names - about as OT as you can get

johanna johanna at nobrandheroine.net
Wed Mar 12 09:20:23 EST 2003

OK... I'm gonna try & address all the comments on the "partner" issue so
far in one e-mail, so I don't drive myself (& all of you!) crazy sending
10 in a row. ^_~

> My problem with this is that I *am* young (college age) and so is my
> boyfriend (10 days older) and partners implies living together, long
> relationship.

Hm... I can see your point, but I don't really see it myself as implying
either. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic (how can you get it away from
implying that if you don't use it, that sort of thing).

Re: the business partner thing--it's true, I joke that sometimes when I
use it, I feel like I'm a detective or something. But the more I use it,
the less that happens. I would thing, about the woman with two men (one
being her business partner & one her SO), that the woman could say
something like "so & so is my business partner" & "so & so is my life
partner" or something like that. Yeah, maybe it sounds a little silly, but
nothing too bad. Actually it could be turned into kind of a joke (in a
good way).

Let's see, what else? (Hazards of reading & writing e-mail when one is not
quite awake) Oh--about using "husband" for yourself--fair enough, but I
still think for other people, particularly if you don't know them well
enough to know their own preference yet, "partner" is safer, to avoid
stepping on toes.

I am legally married, although really only for health insurance, as
neither he nor I are into marriage as an institution. And like Denise
said, I REALLY didn't want to get married until I could marry a girl if I
wanted (if then), but my employment situation changed & I have a couple
chronic health problems--after long thought, we decided to just go do it.
We don't tend to tell many people though (to the hilarity of our gay
friends, who love to refer to us as "not being out of the closet about
being married"--that's about it, really), & we refer to each other as

Incidentally, a few weeks ago I had to bring my SO (that's another one I
use, though mostly online, because it seems no one offline knows it) to
the emergency room, & while he was seeing the triage nurse I was
registering him. And the receptionist really gave me such a hard time for
having a different last name than him, & asked literally 5 times, "Are you
married? LEGALLY married?" before she'd let me finish signing him in.

I'm trying to imagine myself meeting someone & not knowing them well
enough to call them by their first name... somehow that doesn't happen
much to me. Is that a generational or geographical thing or something? :)
Most people I've met are pretty easygoing about being called by their
first name. Although I suppose if I had to call a woman I didn't feel
comfortable addressing by her first name, I would say "Ms. Lastname." Or
simply ask for her with both her first & last names. That's happened a few
times in the course of jobs I've had where I've had to call intimidating
people I didn't know (but my boss did). :)

Oh, & I agree overall with the crappiness of "girlfriend" & "boyfriend."
Doesn't it just make you feel 13?


What, after all, is a halo? It’s only one more thing to keep clean.
--Christopher Fry, The Lady's Not For Burning


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