'Himself' has told me he no longer wants to be known as such
In all the years I've been married I've only called my other half, 'husband' twice.
Once when I tried to get an upgrade in a posh hotel by pretending to be on honeymoon, (we were five years married by then) and another time when I was trying to get a loan from the Credit Union! Both times required that I had 'spousal support' in one form or another, hence the 'my husband' bit.
But it didn't feel right. I just felt a bit stupid saying it, like I was playing Mammies and Daddies.
It was the same when we were engaged. I never once referred to him as my fiancé. To me it always sounded a bit anal and smug, like, 'look at me! I'm not being left on the shelf. I have a man!' It was the kind of thing that couples who visited garden centres on a Sunday called each other. We never visited garden centres on a Sunday. We were usually too hungover.
Likewise when he was my boyfriend, I never called him my boyfriend. I either called him by his name, referred to him as a b****x if I was giving out about him or used the term 'Himself.'
I never once heard him call me his girlfriend either. He usually called me by my first name when I was in the good books or my surname when I was under the influence and I was driving him a bit mad.
Obviously I don't call him Himself when I'm at home, shouting at him to put the bins out or asking him to get rid of the spider in the bathroom. But in terms of writing this column and talking about him when he's not there Himself has kind of stuck.
But 20 years later he has decided he has had enough. He doesn't want to be referred to as Himself anymore. He says he's fed up of people of coming up to him when we're out, laughing and saying 'Oh so YOU'RE Himself! God help you!'
I told him they'd be laughing no matter what he's called because of half the things I write about him (thankfully he's oblivious to most of it as he doesn't read the paper!) but he's still insisting I don't call him Himself anymore.
'Well, what will I call you then? What about...Mister Big?' I say. He shoots me a dirty look.
'I know, I know, what about The Boss, because you are always bossing us about?'
Another dirty look comes my way.
'How about I just use your initials?'
'No. That makes me sound like a tosser.'
I was starting to lose patience. 'Well what do you bloody want me to call you then?'
'How about you just don't mention me at all?' he asks hopefully.
'But then I'd have nothing to write about.'
From now on he will be known as 'He who shall remain nameless.' Let's see how long that lasts!