Friday, September 16, 2011

Bougie Bachelorette Chronicles - Episode 14: "I am not eye candy!"


After a certain age, it just sounds weird to refer to someone as your Boyfriend or Girlfriend. I'm not sure why except maybe the fact we are no longer boys and girls? I don't know. It sounds silly. If you are not engaged or married but in a committed relationship, what do you call your s/o?

Partner sounds like more of a domestic or business relationship. Calling someone your lover is way too Parisian for me. Referring to them as a significant other is fine in print but sounds pretentious in person. I've never been one for the "this is my man" "this is my lady" flow... for some reason that sounds very 1970s boom-chica to me. Special friend sounds like either payment took place or one of you broke out of the psych ward. I tend to either say "friend" or just use the first name and let people draw their own damned conclusions.

At 3N's family reunion, the issue came up a lot. (More than was necessary)
"Uncle Joe, this is my... Michele."
"Your Michele?"
"You know what I mean"
"Nah son - you got say things plain."
"Hey cuz have you met my friend, Michele?"
"Sure nuff, heard ya'll was more than friends."
"Yeah, well..." 
"Hi, we haven't met. I'm Michele."
"Um-hmm. You ain't kin."
"No ma'am. I'm a friend of 3N's."
"Friend, huh? Is that what youngsters call it these days?"
And then the unfortunate incident at breakfast last week when we ran into a nosy interfering woman I used to work with.
"Hey girl, how have you been?"
"Hey Ann, I'm great. And you?"
She sits uninvited and begins to eye up 3N like he is a platter of bacon at the breakfast buffet. "Who's the eye candy?"
He shoots me a look. I jump in. "This is 3N. 3N, Ann."
"Hey 3N, do you date white girls?"
He points at me. "I date her."
"Really. Wow. You're not her usual type. She didn't give you a title so I just assumed."
Me irritated, "Good seeing you Ann.."
"I can sit for awhile and chat."
I feign regret, "We're expecting other people. Maybe some other time?"
"You two don't be strangers!"
Let the record reflect here that 3N rarely gets angry or loses his temper. He tends to get a moment of irritation and then he's over it. But when he does wind up to full angry - it's something to behold. First he goes silent and the face goes stony. A vein on his left temple visibly pulses. He'll try to talk, think about what he was going to say and then go silent. This goes on for a while with muttering under the breath, pacing and tapping whatever is in his hand against a solid surface repeatedly. Finally when he has his thoughts together he'll make a definitive opening salvo, "I am not eye candy, dammit!"

I beg to differ but I know arguing that point which is not his main point would just be irksome to him. "Of course not."
"I need a title!"
"I beg pardon?"
"I'm not your friend."
"Ummm..."
"Don't start. You know what I mean."
"Well what do you want your title to be?"
"Do you want to have that discussion right now?"
"Never mind. How about boo thang?"
"Sure if I can start referring to you as my baby boo."
"You could be Big Daddy."
"You could be Hot Mama."
"Okay, I'll work on it."
"Please do."
BougieLand... what do you call the person who is too old to be your boy/girl-friend but not your betrothed or your spouse? Who has suggestions? Anyone? Anyone?

118 comments:

diamond life said...

How much do I love that HE is the one trying not to be eye candy!!!! Bwahaha
Chele, please let that man put a ring on it

maureen said...

This is from my co-worker(she is 60), "man friend". Dunno how I feel about that.... I have always introduced my s.0 by names. Grown folks should be able to asses stuff. But your co-worker though.... way over the top.

GrownAzzMan said...

"Hey 3N, do you date white girls?"  BAHWAWAWAWAWAWA!
You would think by now I would have learned not to eat or drink anything while reading these posts. Chele you owe me a keyboard. 

Moving on to the topic at hand. I am in the exact same situation when it comes to titles. And so is everyone else I know. I do have to share that my gay EVP at work insists that we should refer to the GAM-S/O as my lover. #FAIL.

I hope someone in Bougieland has an acceptable title for grown folks to use but I got nothin'.

derek love said...

I made the mistake of referring to the s/o as "my woman" - I'm still begging forgiveness. 

tiffanyinhouston said...

I was a 36 almost 37 year old woman with a boyfriend. It was just easier.

It's OK, Chele. We all know 3N is your boyfriend. We won't judge.  At least I won't.

Jubilance said...

So many comments on this one...

1. Your coworker is super bold. And RUDE! Even though you didn't specifically say to her that yall were a couple, she should have erred on the side of caution.

2. It is really weird to find a term that works. I recently met someone who referred to her BF as her partner & everyone at the table assumed she was in a same-sex relationship. Whoops! I'm with you - "lover" is too much but "boyfriend" doesn't really fit either. "Man friend" or just "friend"...ehhh. I'd probably stick with "significant other".

3. Hey 3N, since you're looking for titles...I hear "fiance" is a great one #IJS *walks away whistling*

Grace said...

First of all, sorry David - now that I've met you IRL - you are eye candy. Sorry sir.
Second, I still roll with boyfriend. It is what it is.

michaeldavis said...

Could Ann be any EXTRA? 

I used to say this is my lady, (....).   If it was good enough for a hit by D'Angelo, it's good enough for me. You're my lady-yyyyy *cue organ riff*

tishatweets said...

Yeah so......I usually just say "this is (insert the name of the person I'm seeing here)." Two things happen here--a) I've been talking of him to you so you know who he is/his place in my life, or b) You don't and you're left to assume or pick up on context clues---and I really don't care which.

CaliGirlED said...

 LOL @ #3!

tishatweets said...

That used to be my cut! Lol!

GuessImJay said...

There is so much I want to say here. But I'm not trying to get banned, beat down or berated.
It's hard out here for a Bougie Bruh.

GrownAzzMan said...

That is the same thing I do but...

MsJamie14 said...

Lawd, black folks. Let's just do better. You had them 60 year old chicks on Sex and the City calling their man their "boyfriend" before they got hitched.

It may sound juvenile, but it is what it is. If you don't want "just" a significant other, get hitched or remain single. Please dont' get all hung up on a title just because you don't like the way it sounds. It's comes across even more juvenile stammering amongst other grown ass people.

If the person is your boyfriend/girlfriend OWN IT! You'll save time, give people clarity and can keep the party going.

Those convos were pretty funny though. LOL

Nicole said...

I see you, Jubilance, dropping that bomb!!! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

Crazy I was just thinking about this the other day! I think boy/girlfriend is a bit young, but the alternatives are, well...*waitsfor Chele or bougienistas/bruhs to come up with something*

thinklikeRiley said...

Riley don't do titles. If she ain't Mrs. Riley, she is who she be. Nan explanation needed.

LaNouvelleFemme said...

I am leaning towards: "This is my beau". It takes out the ambiguity, sounds more mature than boyfriend and it has a good dash of bouge sprinkled in there.

sol_dier said...

Lover - That's what I use, but only amongst friends (sounds tawdry anywhere else)

I'm uncomfortable with everything else, I have used the word 'partner' before, but most people tend to presume its  a euphemism for 'same sex relationship'.man friend, boyfriend, S/O, boo, 'baby' 'baby daddy' e.t.c.  make my skin crawl.
But here's what I do, when I introduce anyone other than a lover, I tend to identify who they are i.e.
this is Dwayne - an old friend from school e.t.c.

When I introduce a lover, my body language changes, I tend to lean in or reach out an touch and then say ..'hey this is X'. Everyone seems to get it and those who don't can kick rocks. :P

Pure Choco said...

You know you need to put Ann in check, right?

OneChele said...

If I put every chick who hits on 3N in check, I'd have zero time for the rest of my life. :-/

MsJamie14 said...

Good idea in theory til your at a dinner party and your boss asks "is this your girlfriend."

People, everything in life has titles..."co-worker," "neighbor," "sister,"" father"... don't overthink it.

Jason P said...

Sometime after 30 it did seem iffy to use boyfriend/girlfriend. Like you, I fell back on a name with body language indicating more than casual friendship. That's all I got.

CaliGirlED said...

That damn Ann! Chele you are waaaay too nice! But that's good though. When we're both in heaven don't forget to turn around and wave to me; I'll be sliding through the gates on a prayer, seated in the back area. LOL!!!

David Chase said...

Falsehood and deflection, ma'am. Or should we start in on all the folks still trying to holla in your direction?

David Chase said...

Sir.

David Chase said...

Then I would have to call her my belle? No.

SingLikeSassy said...

I say boyfriend and keep it moving.

Earthangel172 said...

Ann would've got "da business" from me...IJS!

Now on to more important things....I know it seems antiquated to say boyfriend/girlfriend but to me having a title is important because it conveys to world that we're "together" and not just cocoa buddies. Since I'm from Louisiana, the older folks prefer that we say "friend" when introducing the person that you're exclusively dating. They know what it means...LOL.  At a professional function, I would introduce my "friend" by their first and last name. It is steady boo to everyone else.

David Chase said...

I can always count on GAM for some good sense and solidarity.
*fist bump*

Earthangel172 said...

Seriously cosigning on #3!

ShawnSoze said...

The two of you should have a competition. I'll film it and sell it to VH1 at the next competitive reality show. #winning

ShawnSoze said...

If you are wondering about the #3 hold up look towards Wonder Woman. Not Batman.
*sprints for the airport*

ShawnSoze said...

I ain't scurred.

tishatweets said...

Buuuuuuut.....didn't work for ya? LOL

La said...

I am generally not in the business of checking women who hit on my SO; I trust them to handle that. That being said tho... I woulda got with Ann something serious. She gotta chill. lol

That out of the way, it's never really bothered me to call my man my boyfriend. Granted, I am still fairly young, but I've never thought to feel any kinda way about it. Especially because if I am bringing him around other people in my life, then they fall into 2 catagories; #1- they know who he is to me, so the title is unnecessary or #2- they don't matter.

I will say tho as I've gotten older I've grown more fond of "partner". I know it generally skews towards a LGBTQ audience, but I've come to realize it's more indicative of what I want in my life; an equal, a teammate, not just a friend or a lover and certainly not a "head of the house".

MsJamie14 said...

LMAO!

I think men can get away with calling their s/o "my girl" doesn't work for the reverse tho.

Mina B. said...

How about:  Hi, This is XXX ...we're dating. <-- just add that in casually w/the introduction to avoid confusion b/c people are really good at NOT picking up on clues.

If it's a situation where it would be inappropriate/really awkward to slide it in then bite the bullet and go w/ boyfriend/girlfriend & make YOUR lives easier.

Bonus: To get used to this rolling off your tongue just start referring to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend AT ALL TIMES. "Boyfriend, can you get me a glass of water?"  "Yes, girlfriend". Just for kicks!! ;D  kthanks

blackprofessor said...

You so wrong for #3 but I love it!!

MelaninEnriched said...

Thanks for this! I haven't read ANY comments yet, but I just wanted to say thank you! I've been wondering the same thing. Off to read comments! I don't like  "Friend", because it's too vague and has the potential to lead to misunderstandings and assumptions.

blackprofessor said...

Ann is hella bold! I might have had to check her for general principle cause she was way out of line.

I say my man or boyfriend.  I am kind of old school so if it ain't fiance or husband, it's pretty simple to me.

 

CaliGirlED said...

Me thinks you better stay for a minute! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

LOL!!!

GrownAzzMan said...

*fist bump back*

CaliGirlED said...

You are hilarious! Thought you jumped on a plane! LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

Maybe to some but I hate calling a grown woman 'girl'...

Trey Charles said...

I think girlfriend is good until I'm in grey-haired Grandpa status and then I'm going old school "lady-friend"

GrownAzzMan said...

I bet and from the story wouldn't get it...IJS

Jubilance said...

Hey Shawn, you got any other info you wanna share with the rest of BougieLand? I got $5 on your bail when Chele puts you on Bougie Time Out.

GrownAzzMan said...

Not if I start talking...LOL

BlackButterfly said...

After I turned 25 I never really felt the need to give titles to a relationship at introductions or otherwise because as long as we knew who we were to each other I was fine with it.  Relationship labels really seem to be just a quick way for others to know where lines are drawn.  I like the way 3N handled the Ann situation,  just plain and direct.  We live in a society of labels so I am always fine with offering yes, we are dating if the question is asked.  But that is all I've got.

JaymeC said...

First of all, you two are a mess. You invent reasons for beef.

Second, what does she mean he's not your type? She doesn't know you very well at all. Plus she could use a chin check.

Third  - Your his girl, he's your guy. That's it. No drama.

JaymeC said...

You better sprint. Tacky!

JaymeC said...

Tell her you could have said worse...

Bonita Applebum said...

I guess I'm old school. Exclusive relationship? Boyfriend.  But this title struggle is real on the streets.  I was telling my aunt about an actually male friend of mine and she asked me to define what "friend" is...because a friend of hers calls everyone she dates "friends" SMH

I personally cringe when I hear people say "that's my man/woman". 

Finally, I don't like it when folks act like having a title puts other stress or adds expectations onto a relationship.  It's just putting a name to the feelings that are already there. *shrugs*

MsJamie14 said...

LMAO. Love it. Let's hope you'll have a wife in those golden years. LOL

C Nelson said...

I say "partner" more often than I say "fiance" -- we've been together years longer than the engagement, and it'll probably be "partner" more often than "husband", too. But if you rule out "partner", then he's "my guy". He calls me "his lady"; while that can get a little silly when we're in the right mood, it is clear enough.

C Nelson said...

I will say tho as I've gotten older I've grown more fond of "partner". I
know it generally skews towards a LGBTQ audience, but I've come to
realize it's more indicative of what I want in my life; an equal, a
teammate, not just a friend or a lover and certainly not a "head of the
house".


Yes, yes, yes, and AMEN.

rozb said...

How about just calling each other by their given name, but with a twist. Like immediately pulling him/her in and doing a serious liplock and butt squeeze. Then release and smile. Nothing will be misconstrued.

Other than Baby, Boo, or Baby Boo Thang, I got nothin'...

C Nelson said...

Lots of grown women would prefer if men didn't call us girls, though. I'm living my best years, right at the age I am; I don't need to be returned to my child self every time I'm referenced. (My childhood was an awkward stage I had to live through to get to where I am; I might have looked cute but other people ran my life and didn't ask me what I thought about it, and nothing I said carried much weight. Give me adulthood -- I earned every single bit of it.)

Angel Blanca said...

Dude and Dudette? How about, "This is 3N, we're dating."  "This is Michele, we're dating."  Why label each other anything other than your names, and include an acknowledgment of your dating status? 

You two don't follow trends or conformity, so ... just kiss and make up.

Angela said...

Hmmm...I'm thinking that Ann is probably on meds since nothing I've heard about 3N suggests that he would appreciate being addressed that way.

As for title...no idea.

MidWestDominicana said...

But it would be sooooo cute. Michele, my belle.  *snickers*

sol_dier said...

She is 'X' x = her name. will silence any adult with some form of manners or etiquette immediately.

Everything has a title until it doesn't. It really is that simple and involves absolutely no over thinking.
She/He is James or Jamie - simples. 

TNDRHRT said...

I'm 40.  If I'm dating someone casually, I introduce him as my friend.  If we're in a committed relationship, he's my boyfriend.  I don't think it's immature and it cuts out a lot of guesswork about the relationship from outsiders.  Simple and easy.

sol_dier said...

Sir, this is E V E R Y T H I N G.

Bravo.

Andrea M said...

I just ran into a couple last week and the guy referred to the girl as his "soulmate" - This is my soulmate, Jennifer.

We all blinked and were like - pleased to meet you. Mind you two months ago, he introduced me to some other girl who was his "woman" so...

sol_dier said...

seconded. 

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I vote for beau. If you want to stay with French, you can call her your petite amie, or "mon coeur" (my heart).

MidWestDominicana said...

I thought the term was "gentleman friend". That somehow sounds better than "man friend".

MsJamie14 said...

But as you can see from the convo above it's never that simple.

Call the person what they are and keep it moving. You wouldn't introduce your mom by just her name would you? And if by chance you did, and someone asked "is that your mom?" you wouldn't break into a cold sweat trying to come up with an answer either.

MsJamie14 said...

Uh okay it was just a suggestion. Remember I'm on team "boyfriend/girlfriend" it's just simply easier. I'm not gonna spend my time coming up with alternatives. LOL

CaliGirlED said...

And she clearly needs to kick rocks, OR get kicked! Evah-way she prefers!

CaliGirlED said...

Whatchu talbout Willis???

sol_dier said...

A name is sufficient to keep things moving. 
If I introduce someone by a name to you, without the intimate details of the relationship, then it means you don't need to know and I don't want you to.

No one owes anyone else an explanation or details. Accept what is offered and leave it at that.

J B said...

I think boyfriend/girlfriend transcends any child-like implications.  It doesn't bother me at all and I'm 46.   "Friend" is too ambiguous for me.

And how is 3N going to state he needs a title, but not want to discuss it right then?  #cmonnow

sol_dier said...

lol.  Ann = kick Rocks.
In my head, MsChele smiles sweetly saying: 'oh Ann, dear.. you are being a little bit too hmmm.... could you excuse us please', at which point D Chase takes turns to her fully and begins to talk quietly, effectively dismissing Ann. 
 
jungle fever is real and seriously some white chicks seem to believe the 'black men can't resist us' myth a little too much

sol_dier said...

seconded again.

sol_dier said...

lol. Rozb ... you give life! a butt squeeze with every intro?. 
Hey, thats one way to work the gluteus and get a decent workout

MariSol said...

Wooo - soulmate is putting a lot of pressure on that relationship.

OneChele said...

See now...

Deb B said...

I'm 47, I'm too old for boyfriends. I go with "This is Mr. X, we're in a relationship." That's it.

Cheryl Lindsey said...

I call him "my honey"

Sarah said...

Honey Bear? Sweetheart? Baby? It sounds like a nice problem to have. I guess I've never had a problem with boyfriend/girlfriend. 

What's up with the forwardness of your former coworker. Sheesh.

MsJamie14 said...

Again...it's all so easy in theory. You spend more time arguing the point then just saying "yes, we're in a relationship."

Not everything has to be a battle.

MsJamie14 said...

For those who don't do the boyfriend/girlfriend title thing... I like it.

TheProdiva said...

Hmmm....good question. I think the only name that doesn't draw too many questions is boyfriend/girlfriend. It may seem a bit antiquated, but at least these terms covey the actual message....that the person is who you are dating and who you are with and off limits to everyone else. Any other word(s) can leave too much room for interpretation!

Dr. Lisa C. Jenkins said...

One thing is certain: I don't want to be introduced to anyone as a "GIRLfriend" anymore. I'm 42 years old and the terms BOYfriend and GIRLfriend just don't sit right with me anymore. Besides, I my heart's desire is a HUSBAND ... no more BOYfriends period. And if you're just a friend, I will not act or treat you any more than that, and NO I'm not taking you to SC to meet my family & close friends b/c we are not engaged or married.

Dr. Lisa C. Jenkins said...

I concur. :^)

CaliGirlED said...

#TeamChinCheck

AndreaPlaid said...

::puts black turtleneck, black leggings, black ballet flats, black beret::

The Current One is "my lover." That way, you know, and I know you know. Oui oui!

CaliGirlED said...

*falls out the chair* You are a nut!

Ann's delusional ass probably would have said, "Oooh can I get some of that!"

CaliGirlED said...

Let's keep track of him! In two, four, six more months from now, we could probably find a title we are pleased with! LOL! (Playa Playa from the Himalayas!!! - in my Jerome voice)

Singlelif said...

He's my Honey..my sweetheart or my friend - body language usually will tell the tale.  No one's ever complained about how I introduced him.   I am whoever he introduces me as...how we interact with each other at the time, usually clarifies any confusion.  Plus, I'm comfortable in my skin, and I know what position I hold.  If anybody ever gets confused...I set'em straight.

Marioned said...

I was just struggling with this myself.  When I am referring to him to others when he is not around I say "my Dude" and laugh.  When I introduce him I say this is my friend (with a strong emphasis on MY) and his name with a sly smile!  ...........................Folk get it!.............................(all ages and sexes)

FreeBlackMan said...

Cute post.
*scans comments*
Some folks will debate any thing!

Angel Blanca said...

So, this seems to be a trend today.  I came across this article on dating nicknames: http://www.xojane.com/sex/dentist-old-guy-and-cucumber-dating-nicknames-and-what-theyre-good?utm_medium=twitter#.TnOixc_nTyU.twitter

How about, "This is 3N, my companion" as an alternative?

Jazzy Jazz said...

What about "special friend" ? 

Earthangel172 said...

"If I introduce someone by a name to you, without the intimate details of
the relationship, then it means you don't need to know and I don't want
you to.

No one owes anyone else an explanation or details. Accept what is offered and leave it at that."

^^This ish right here!! Especially at work functions. Don't need my co-irkers all up in my business.

CaliGirlED said...

 Personally that's what I would call a friend I was just sexual with. I don't do that anymore, I's a good girl now! *straightens halo*

GammasWorld said...

Well if Sofia's 80-year old butt can have a boyfriend on on Golden Girls LOL ... anywho.   The last serious relationship I was in, we kind of naturally feel into "my sweetie".     It wasn't something we discussed it kind of happened and everyone knew our status.   That was before he lost his mind and got ratched and then ... oh I digress.    

 I never will forget having an allergic reaction to a medication and ending up in the hospital trying to breathe.   I asked the guy I was with then to call my Bougier-than-Chele boss and heard him say "this is Gamma's lover, and I wanted to let you know she's in the hospital".   I.died. 

CaliGirlED said...

LMAO!!!

GammasWorld said...

Just read my post on email and noticed all the typos and what not.   You would think I've had a bottle of wine instead of a glass.  LOL

Caramel Jones said...

Boyfriend sounds junior high-ish to me too. My 60 year old aunt has a "dear friend" she's been with for fifteen years. My older sister has a "companion".
We know what they mean.

Jazzy Jazz said...

I thought a friend you are just sexual w/  was known as an 'effing buddy ( fill in the blank please ) ? 

sol_dier said...

You still don't get it. 

So lets just agree to disagree :) . Interesting point of view though 

sol_dier said...

This is what I do at work. No family discussions, no partner discussions. 
Works for me.

keishabrown said...

/ends thread.

keishabrown said...

so many things sound better in french
(says the bilingual canadian) ;)

Tonda Williams said...

I am extraordinarily private about my romantic relationships so I don't typically introduce him to anyone unless they are VERY important to me. The people I introduce him to (by his first name) already know exactly who he is and he introduces me as his "Angel" or HIS "T".  N 

Jazzy Jazz said...

no , you have a point.  Some things  sound better in french or italian. :)

Sangali said...

AND she forgot to take them that morning....

Mina B. said...

ooooh I kinda like "companion"

CorettaJG said...

Ruh roh!

CreoleSoul said...

I'm TOTALLY on-board with calling my lady "my Lady" or "The Lady".  As I usually do.  

The end.

Pretty Primadonna said...

He's my beau.  I'm his lady.  :-)

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One Chele said...

He is your beau. The End.

And, D-, er, 3N, if you are as good looking as some messy bougienistas have said on twitter, then yes, sir, you are eye candy.  More than that, I'm sure *suppresses giggle*, but don't try to be the model turned physicist who expect people to forget what they look like.

As for your title, Ms. Michele, I am stumped.  You don't like lady, I think you wouldn't like belle much either, and you've ruled out most titles automatically either by your state of bourgeoise or flat out shooting them down in the post. I say suck it up and go with lady.  The lady and her beau. Me likey :-)

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