What are the rules when you are in a relationship? Can a man look at another woman? When is it crossing the line?
Shana cringed whenever I chewed on a pen –-which was pretty much every time I had one nearby. I told her that I heard her, was trying my best to remember not to do it around her, and that it wasn’t personal. After the 23rd time of being yelled at –yelled at—while I was concentrating on a crossword, I told her I felt nagged. She replied, "I nag because I love." I nag because I love is one of those phrases thoughtlessly tossed out of convenience to excuse bad behavior, but if you put any thought into, you’d realize doesn’t hold up. Think "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" or "The surge is working."
I call my significant other, "my girlfriend." One of them anyway. The other one I call, "my husband." This language allows me to get away with a certain amount of ambiguity, to "pass" if you will. Once I say husband, it's assumed that, when I say "girlfriend," I'm using the Southern version of "friend who's a girl," no romance implied. But that's not what I mean. Nor do I mean anything dismissive or fleeting when I use that term. And so, I wonder, do I need a new word? If I do, what would it be? If not, what happens to a relationship that's not properly named?
Communication response times have come far from the days of smoke signals. We can send and receive messages in the blink of an eye via text, phone, e-mail, Facebook, MySpace, instant message, the list goes on. This is a good thing. Except when it's not. For example, on the occasions when you really need to return a bad blind date's or your mother-in-law's phone call. It would be rude not to, but it's late, your throat is bone dry from talking all day and there's a Scrubs rerun on TV. A text might come off as too curt, an e-mail as inviting of further dialogue. Wouldn't it be nice to just leave a voicemail, thereby putting the ball back into your recipient's court?
This weekend, Frank and I were invited to spend the fourth at friend’s family’s house in Vermont. We’d gone for the holiday last year, too, and knew that it was going to be awesome—the property is huge and beautiful and wooded, the house is old and charming, there’s tons of stuff to do and games to play and the couple who host always procure plenty of delicious food and booze. So in short, we knew going in that we were going to have a good time. Last year, the group that went up was fairly small and made up of disparate parts: us, the hosts, a couple of friends from Neal (the male host)’s law school and a couple of ladies from Caroline (the female host)’s business school. Yes, by the way, all my friends are accomplished except for me.
Words have power, no doubt. But why does the word 'wife' in particular conjure up so many connotations good and bad? To one woman it feels like too much of a destination and possibly too comfortable, whereas 'girlfriend' leaves a little mystery. With a little thoughtfulness, you can be both his wife and girlfriend. Also, you can find out what peezed means.