Maybe Because It's French?
April 15, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a co-worker about my weekend and mentioned spending time with my "almost-in-laws" and after I was done with whatever inane story I was babbling about, this co-worker pointed out that he didn't realize I was engaged because I never refer to the boy-fiance as "my fiance".


But it's 100% true. I usually default to "boyfriend", partly out of habit, but partly because I kind of hate the word "fiance". I don't hate the idea of it or anything. I suppose there should be a word for your significant other that refers to their status inbetween the boyfriend and husband stage. I don't mind typing it so much, but I always pause a little bit if I decide to speak it out loud because it just sounds so goddamn SNOBBY! It has this air of "I'm getting married and you're not! Nyah!". But see, I don't mind when other people say it, in fact I think it's great! You got engaged! You have a fiance! Fabulous! But when I say it? I feel like it makes me sound obnoxious and braggy, which is probably all in my own head, and even after typing that, it still kind of makes me cringe to think about saying it out loud.

But the other day, we were in the shoe section at the local REI (it was for the boy-fiance, not me - I SWEAR), and while he was trying on some shoes I wandered over to the women's shoes to see what they had. An overly friendly clerk came over and noticed my earrings (I'm sporting some big 'ol black spirals right now - not exactly subtle) and started chatting me up about them. He seemed harmless enough until he said, "So what brings you in today?" An innocent question, I know. But there was something about the tone of it. Without hesitation I replied, "My fiance came in to spend his dividend on some shoes...he's over there trying some on right now!"

I have a feeling this guy was just super friendly and I had nothing to worry about, but it's nice to be able to throw out "fiance" to sort of draw that line without really having to say much (and maybe get someone to back off a little). I still don't think I can bring myself to use it all the time, but it sure is coming in handy in certain situations.

I bet "husband" will work even better!



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.