Thursday, March 17, 2005

Partner in crime

My patient described how it was that she is taking her father to come and see me. “My partner’s mother is _________, that’s how I’m here.”

Partner. OK then. Is that your business partner or your partner is crime? Is your partner a boy, girl, or cat? I myself have called many things called partner: a cat, a man, a bottle, a dog, and once, when I was a small little kid, so they tell me, an invisible friend named Sam.

Lesbians and gays never liked me when I was in training. I don’t know why. I was never anything other than professional and nice. I’m on the 'homosexual' side on almost all political issues: I favor gay marriage, I favor gays having and adopting kids, I'm liberal. Furthermore, I think trying to limit the rights of gays is wrong, and usually done so with religious and evil intentions dressed up in reasonable sounding arguments.

I don’t know what it was. Perhaps I was just too young, even though by that time already I’d seen too much. Gays didn’t like me. And it’s not like you can address it very well in the exam room. “Excuse me, but I’ve noticed that you are giving me the evil lesbo eye. I just wanted to let you know that although I’m wearing a tie and slacks and I’m not gay, I’m very cool with you being gay. In fact, I LOVE lesbians on certain videos and very much want to marry one and barring that, become romantically involved with one.” It should be noted that I fell short on this youthful dream.

But now I’m cool, they are cool, we are cool. Even though I’m a bit clueless about this partner nonsense – can’t we devise a better word? I suggest picking boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband. This is how one of my friends introduced his boyfriend at a wedding to an Indian guy who looked like he’d just seen a gay ghost. "This is my boyfriend, _______." It made me wish I was gay so I could go about proudly introducing my handsome boyfriend and registering the shock.

But I'm married. To a woman. And I call her Mrs. NOS, my wife.


Blogger Ern said...

People get so freaked out so easily. That really would be a fun way to shock people, except that there are probably times you just want to be, without being a source of shock.

I had a friend in high school and we would pretend to be lesbians in public and see what people's reactions were.

4:54 PM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

I'm sorry gay folk don't cotton to ya, Mister.

I don't like the word partner either. I had a co-worker who worked very closely w/me. She called me her "partner" and it made my stomach lurch. She was....icky, for lack of a better word.

I once tried to fulfull my boyfriend's fantasy which was something along the lines of your youthfull fantasy. I couldn't go through with it. "Am I like, totally uncool?" Seems like every "girlgonewild" college co-ed gets drunk and tongues the nearest female these days.

I'd actually respect it if they were REAL lesbians instead of trying to impress a bunch of drunken idiots. But, I digress....

I have a husband. His name is "Flirb" I call him, Flirb.

(note: Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

1:19 PM  
Blogger marybishop said...

Whatever happened to significant other? That used to be the *in* way to describe anyone's long term't think of another word to put in there.

My gay friends use partner but they hate it too - it sounds more like a business relationship than a love relationship.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Everyone seems to hate partner, but everyone uses it. I've even heard (a very annoying) medical student use it to describe what turned out to be her boyfriend. She probably wanted that shock as well.

They require a better word. I suggest better half.

6:16 PM  

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