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Just Outside the Couple Cult. 

Its odd to me that people can so often make reference to their boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, in the midst of conversation to me and they never mention the person’s name. Just their title. And then one day in the midst of conversation the name slips in so casually, not in addition to but in absence of the title, and then I either make the connection and go along or confess to them that I have no bloody idea who they are talking about.

I mean, its nice when that eventually happens, as such a slip may imply some intimacy between you and the person has been achieved. They have ranked you among an inner circle of sorts, at least to a degree sufficient enough that they now feel that you are close enough to them that by default you should know the names of their closest as well as they do.

What I do not entirely understand is why people default to the referencing the roles of their significant other rather than by name to begin with. Category emphasized rather than character name. The roles are the primary importance in conversations with us, as that is the default, right?

Is this title-dropping the verbal equivalent of a territorial marker — such as piss? Is this the SOLD sign on the front lawn, the No Trespassing sign most explicitly marking territory. Hickeys would fall into this category, too, as do wedding rings.

Even when talking to a member of the relevant “unattractive sex” (if applicable), a person will title-drop, however. In this case, I take it to be the equivalent of flashing your membership ID card for the Couple Club. Just admit it: its a club. Your graduation into another social game. New roles, new relationships, new responsibilities.

It’s like listening to two people talking about cars or sports, sports, mother-fucking sports when I’m around. They even have their own secret language. It’s like listening to two gamers talk: they speak of their group stories just as they would if they were events in the real world, and walking into a conversation like that can certainly leave you feeling like a stranger in a strange land.

A stranger only occasionally qualifying for the couple cult.


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