If you’ll remember, I accidentally acquired a most awesome fella a while back. He’s tall and sweet and smart and strangely always exactly the right degree of warm. Which is important in a person you spend time up close to, I think.
Everything is awesome, except for one tiny itty bitty conundrum – what to call him.
I mean – when I talk TO him I call him John or Sweety or Hey You. He calls me Kristen or Baby or, if I do something particularly questionable, Honey. I know I am doing something overtly stupid if he breaks out the Honey card.
How cute is it that even when he’s concerned about my sanity he’s calling me something endearing?
Anyway, the issue isn’t what to call him TO him, but what to call him to other people.
He’s my boyfriend.
But he’s not a boy and that makes me feel like I’m 14 and we go out for sodas after school. Or like a raging cougar who’s hanging out with a boy. And no.
But there are NO reasonable alternatives.
Man friend. Creepy.
Gentleman friend. Implies he’s my gay BFF. He is not.
Lover. Good lord that’s just TMI. I have children and parents and just no.
He lives with me and my kids. So we could go with roommate. Cohabitant. No. And no.
We once attempted to Google alternatives (because Google knows what to do) and one of the legitimately suggested alternatives was POSSLQ. Pronounced “possle queue”. This means “person of the opposite sex sharing living quarters.”
And just an extra ridiculous way of saying roommate. And no.
I usually refer to him as my fella. Which makes me seem vaguely Southern and possibly slightly uneducated. But it least he doesn’t sound too young or too old or too inappropriate. But sometimes it seems not quite right to say “This here is my fella.”
At which point we fall back on “boyfriend” and I make a mental note to find a better word.
For some reason “girlfriend,” while not ideal or comprehensive, doesn’t feel as wrong. He calls me his girlfriend with no qualms. Probably because I am so youthful.
Or because he’s got other stuff to do with his brain cells.