Friday, January 19, 2007

The L Word

I have a confession to make; I am leading a secret life. In fact, it’s so secret, I usually don’t even know about it.

It comes from being married to a husband who has a name that is usually reserved for girls.

As an aside, when I asked my mother-in-law why she named him what she did she said that when he was born, the lady across the street had a little girl with the same name and she liked it. Well, I’m certainly glad the little girl across the street wasn’t named Charlene. I almost asked her if she took into consideration that she had a SON but it would have been to no avail.

So, we get phone calls from solicitors trying to sell things to my husband like spa weekends or subscriptions to Martha Stewart Living (or similar magazines). I always seem to be the one that answers the phone when this happens and when they ask for the woman of the house and I tell them that they are talking to her and then they call me by my husband’s name I can’t help but tell them that I am their intended target’s wife. Now, some people get the fact that they made a mistake and my husband was listed as a woman. Other people assume that we are both women.

I LOVE talking to people who make that assumption. I don’t do anything to set them straight and it amuses me to no end to listen to them tap dance around the subject while trying to ferret out information from me. Once you get the telemarketers off their script, the tables are turned and you are now in the driver’s seat. Pop some popcorn and put your feet up, it's the sport of the 21st century.

Another fun activity is when I write checks. My husband’s name is listed first on our check and retailers usually glom onto it and think that it’s my name. If I don’t have to show them an ID, I don’t correct their mistake. It’s when I start to walk away and they do the double take and notice that the second name on the check is definitely a girl’s name that I get the puzzled look.

And so, there are certain retailers around town that think they have me figured out. No wedding ring? No make-up? Sensible shoes? And this charade has even gotten me a couple of proposals from female staff members. Once, before I could explain that a mistake had been made, my son who was four at the time and had been looking at toys, came walking up to me to ask a question. Before I could say anything, I was dropped like a hot potato.

So the life lesson for today my friends? Don’t take your kids with you when you’re trolling at the gay bars. They’ll only hold you back.

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