After W and I were married, I felt weird about using the word “wife” to describe myself.Wilma Flintstone was a wife. Donna Reed, wife. Carol Brady, wife.
Middle-age Butch? Not so much.
You can read all about my wife angst here.
“How should I refer to you?” W asked.
“I’ll let you know when I figure it out,” I replied.
We joked around with the term “hersband.”
“My hersband will not be attending,” she texted a friend.
But then life went on and we had bigger things to worry about. I never decided what I wanted to be called.
I saved “wife” for certain situations. Like when I made a phone call to get information about local taxes W owed.
“Who is calling?”
“This is her wife.”
Or when I wanted some extra attention at home.
“Geesh, you’d think you’d have some time for your wife.”
“Remember me? Your wife?”
Yeah, I’m that guy.
I find myself using “wife” a lot during our son’s hospital stay. I use the word to explain not only who I am but why I have a reason to be in the emergency room or in the waiting area outside the room where they are performing a procedure on him for the third time.
“That’s my wife.”
“Can you take me to my wife?”
I say the word with authority.
I never really understood the importance of this tiny word. Who cares what we call each other, I used to think. It’s between us. It’s our business.
I was always satisfied with the word “partner.”
I mean, when someone who looks like me drops the word “partner,” everyone knows I’m not talking about my business partner. Trust me.
But “partner” doesn’t carry the same punch.
Now I see the power packed in the word “wife.”
And I wonder why anyone would want to deny another human being the basic right of being a spouse.
So, yeah, I’m good with “wife.”
* * *
What do you call your other half?