I have a pet peeve: straight people who are married but nonetheless use the word "partner" rather than "husband," "wife," or "spouse." I'm not talking about the abstract sense, in which one says, "People should support their partners." I appreciate this looser, gender-inspecific term. Nor am I talking about people or couples with whom I am close friends and know that they use "partner" in all circumstances as a symbol of their commitment to marriage and/or gender equality. I'm talking about people I meet at a conference or know through work, and we are merely acquaintances and I'd have no idea if said person and his or her "partner" are legally married.
Reasons this bothers me:
I especially hate when people use "partner" in front of gay people, but "wife" or "husband" when they're with family or straight friends, it bugs me. If you want to adopt the term "partner" full-time, awesome. But you do not, I feel, get to have it both ways: happily traditional at Thanksgiving dinner with grandma but tolerant and sensitive around the lesbo at work.
Yes, it's all a little irrational of me. But when I get to know a straight couple, and they use the term "partner" all the time, and then later I find out that they're actually married, it bugs me. It's as if they were hiding their traditional selves to spare my feelings or pretend to be politically correct.
I feel an asshole for writing this post, because:
I guess "partner" bothers me because it can seem so inauthentic sometimes. Am I the only one who feels this way? What do you think, dear readers?