General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

How to gently correct - GLBT phrasing

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RebeccainGA:
Since moving into a big office, with lots of people, boy have I found the etiquette dilemmas!

In my old office, there were eleven of us at most in my department. By the time I moved to Georgia, there were four of us. We were a tight group, and everyone knew everyone's spouses, children, pets, etc. and discussed them regularly.

As many of you know, my DP has had quite a medical journey the last two years, and many of my coworkers know *something* about it, as things come up in conversation, asking what I did on my weekend, asking how my family is adjusting to the move, etc. I'm totally fine with them knowing, and am touched that they ask.

The problem that keeps coming up is that nearly everyone asks me "So how's your 'friend' doing?"

She's not my "friend", she's my spouse! I know getting them to use the term we prefer is totally impossible (I call her my husbutch, she calls me her wife), but would correcting them to "partner" or "spouse" be ok? Should I just keep saying "<DP's name> is doing well, thanks for asking!" I know it's a minor point, and I should be grateful they haven't gotten out the torches and holy water after me or anything, but still.... it bugs me.

Suggestions?

NyaChan:
"Oh my partner is doing fine, thank you for asking!"  Just refer to her as you would like them to refer - if they at all care about your preference and aren't saying "friend" deliberately, they should pick it up over time.

Diane AKA Traska:
SnarkyTraska wants you to say "Oh, she's great.  And how's YOUR friend?"

Personally, I like "My wife's doing great!" (Husbutch, while cute, a) ain't gonna catch on, and b) is just going to make people think it's not a serious thing... it lies in the realm of nickname it does.  Get them to accept wife, then you can hit them with the custom terms of endearment.  You may call your spouse "Snookums", but you wouldn't refer to her as that in conversation with others, would you?)

RebeccainGA:

--- Quote from: Traska on September 21, 2012, 11:08:12 AM ---SnarkyTraska wants you to say "Oh, she's great.  And how's YOUR friend?"

Personally, I like "My wife's doing great!" (Husbutch, while cute, a) ain't gonna catch on, and b) is just going to make people think it's not a serious thing... it lies in the realm of nickname it does.  Get them to accept wife, then you can hit them with the custom terms of endearment.  You may call your spouse "Snookums", but you wouldn't refer to her as that in conversation with others, would you?)

--- End quote ---

I know husbutch isn't even an option - but for us, wife would be just as weird (really!). My problem is that there's not a good 'traditional' term, and so I'm stuck with the generic 'partner'. Blech.

I will start saying, "My partner's doing well, thanks" - I know that in general it's not preferred to correct someone, but....

Slartibartfast:
I'd emphasize "my wife is doing much better, thank you!" the first few times, then finally call them on it: "She's not just a friend.  If you're not comfortable calling her my wife, call her my partner.  But please don't pretend she's just a casual friend because it's demeaning to the both of us and you do know better."

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