Thursday, October 20

What do you call that guy that lives with that other guy?

There is this gay couple with whom my wife and I (and our dog, Spike) are quite friendly. I'm pretty sure they're gay, anyway, although I don't have a good track record on this subject.

We are always encountering one or the other of them in the grocery store or in the park or in a local restaurant. We always have some interesting news for each other or observation about the theater or the weather or the Yankees or just life in general.

The other day I ran into one of our neighbors while shopping for vitamins at the local Vitamin Emporiumme. I started taking vitamins when I went on one of those low carbohydrate diets. I thought it would be a good idea to replace all the vitamins I would be missing by avoiding bread, potatoes, and Frosted Flakes. I miss the Frosted Flakes the most, but just for the vitamins you understand.

We spoke briefly about vitamins and dieting and then parted ways. I had just turned a corner when I ran into the other half of the couple. "Hi", he said. "Hey," I replied, "I just saw your..." I suddenly realized that I didn't know what to say. "Your roommate" sounds too clinical and "Your Lover" is way too familiar. "Your life partner" is something a lawyer might say, and "Your Significant Other" -- what the heck does that mean, anyway?

I mean, what do you call that guy that lives with that other guy?

Totally flummoxed, I could feel my mouth moving but nothing coming out. A real Ralph Kramden moment.

Finally my neighbor took mercy on me. "You mean Charles?"

"Yes", I enthused with relief. "I just saw your Charles...I mean Charles."

"Well, what a coincidence", he smiled, "I just saw the other half of your spousal union walking your animal companion."

I smiled. "Was my adolescent progeny with her, too?"

"The entire familial triumvirate was there", he said and we both started laughing.

Just them Charles walked up. "What's going on, Danny?"

Danny! I mentally smacked my forehead with the palm of my hand. Charles and Danny! I will never forget that again.

"Oh, not much", said Danny. "Just reviewing the nomenclature of relationship."

"Okay," Charles said slowly. "Great. Hey," he said to me, "I just saw your Sweetie Pie over at the park."

"You did?" I asked.

"Yeah. And she was walking that little fuzz-bucket Spike."

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