Untitled (3 × 5 in)

Apparently, I Don’t Understand the Word Partner

I consider myself a well-versed individual. In fact, I pride myself on it. During a period of my life, I was once known as the Queen of Words. I even used that as my business name when I was handling communications and social media strategy, so to find out there’s a somewhat common word running rampant in the world I no longer know the meaning is quite alarming to this wordsmith.

queen of words

As I referenced, I was at a stretch facility recently, and the person stretching me – who appeared male – was telling me about his partner’s cats. One loves him, one hates him. He went on in a fair amount of detail about these felines and then proceeded to say fortunately he didn’t have to see them super often because his partner lived on the east side and he lived downtown. Strange, I thought. I would have thought you lived together. He continued to share different stories about his partner and at no time did he EVER use this person’s name. He did reference him as a he, but always made the deliberate choice to say partner.

I found this term cold. Withdrawn. Like there’s a line – certain things happen over here and others over there and you may not cross. This isn’t a business deal. It’s a romantic relationship.

Naturally, I couldn’t get my leg off his table (WHERE HE STRAPPED ME DOWN, BY THE WAY, omg .. that was a freak show if I ever saw one. Mostly because I didn’t know that was going to happen … but I digress…) fast enough to seek counsel with someone who is my age, gay and notably more on trend with what the kids are doing today.

Being a married, hetero, with kids in the suburbs sometimes kicks you out of the whole thing, if you know what I mean.

My friend informs me the 25-35 demographic likes to use the term partner to be more inclusive and progressive. It could also be used to describe a husband, wife, or long-term relationship.


My response was “I hate to say it, but I’m gonna say it … I don’t understand these kids today.” Then Never Have I Ever happened to share the most relatable thing in my life and it was also incredibly timely and I was like #samegirl.

Then, today, on this comedian’s podcast I started listening to a couple of months ago, and they started talking about the same issue!! She’s 46. Her guest is of similar age. I’m level 41 now. They too felt as I do! Shocking since we’re all in the same boat in terms of age, family, and sexual identifiers, I guess. But, I swear, if my husband introduced me to someone as his PARTNER, I’d be like, “See ya never, buddy, because this doesn’t fly.”

When did saying boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife become not inclusive? Why are these dirty words? I’m really asking.

I guess, basically, at this point, I’m just going to have to live and let live. You do what you want to do and I’m going to have to live over here in Old Lady Acres where we call the men we signed on the dotted line to have and to hold “husband” and you do something entirely different and it’s not hurting me, so have at it.

Leave a Comment

Heather Chastain

About Heather

(So, my web designer says I needed to include a bio, though I find this task silly because, if you’re here, you know me.)

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s a cathartic mechanism when I need release from my anxiety. I’ve had blogs in the past; I’ve taken them down, but I never stopped writing. I simply can’t. My notes app is forever long as it’s filled with pages and pages of different topics. Sometimes I just write a few sentences. Sometimes I write paragraphs.

Recently, I've been writing long essays. My friends and others I hold dear have coaxed me into sharing my work again.

So that's what I'm doing, you wicked, pushy people. LOL

I have no desire to see my writing be anything more than an opportunity to share what I love doing most. I have no interest in this blog reaching the masses.

I thought it would be fun to call it My Spicy Disaster because that's often how I feel. A complete mess of epic proportion. So join me, if you'd like, and let's pretend we're not sitting amongst the chaos crying, but laughing instead.

Or maybe we do cry sometimes, but then wipe our tears and remember one person’s disaster is another person’s … well, who the hell knows …