My grandmother was possibly the nicest person in the world. She was certainly the nicest person in the Clause family. And I’m about to make a decision that would make Grandma scowl and shake her head at me like she did the one time she thought I pushed my nephew. (For the record: he fell. And he’s only five years younger than me, and we were kids, so that’s not quite as creepy as it sounds either way.)
I’ve always hated the word boyfriend, so what’s a young, pretentious post–English major, post-MFA type to do when she gets into a relationship with a person of the male variety? She calls him her “young man,” perhaps as a nod to her beloved Grandma. But what does an older post–English major, post-MFA type, who has turned her pretensions into jokes—or maybe they were jokes all along—do after she has married said young man? Husband is a weighty term, and one that makes him sound staid and middle aged. So for a while I continued to call him my young man. But then he turned 40. In desperation, I ran a contest so he could be renamed on this blog.
(In person, I had long given up calling him the young man, and call him my husband, or sometimes, *shocking* I call him by his real name and/or a timeworn nickname.)
This contest unleashed a scandal of huge proportions. OK, of minor proportions. The only ones who really cared was Cougar Clause and myself. But we howled with laughter over it. Cub Clause asked Cougar whether she was in trouble. (No way, Cubby, that was hilarious.)
Without further ramblings, I would like to present my young man with a new name:
He has approved the name change and has promised to put the winner’s name in his next story. Of course he doesn’t know that the winner’s name is Downith, much less how to spell her real name. But that’s his problem.
I’d like to add a special honorable mention to Sarah W., who suggested I call him “Predicate Nomative” because “it officially has the same value as the subject, but we all know the PN is only a mere reflection of the subject’s glory.” Thank you, my friend, I might have to write you a poem for being so clever to think that up. I would also like to send out a special thanks to the person who sent me “Naan Fiction,” which would have surely worked, except that I am the bread- and non-fiction maker of the family. It made me laugh, and Grandma might have liked it a lot better.
What offends your grandma?