The Most Dramatic Things I’ve Said Just to Use the Word “Husband”

When I truly take stock of my life, I have precious few things tethering me to adulthood. I own no real estate. I don’t have a car. I don’t yet have any children. I freed myself of student loan and credit card debt a few years ago, so that’s a plus, but years of paying those down means my savings account is not where it should be, nor is my 401k. I have a great job and I’m really good at it, so there is that — but that’s only one small tick in the adult column against the aforementioned, shall we say — non-positives. Oh also, I am going prematurely gray and have been since the age of 27. There is also that.

So this is what I’m working with when I look in the mirror, as I had to do on my most recent birthday, and say “Self, you are 36 years old now. You are officially a “Real Adult Woman.” It’s a weird realization to know intuitively that the stating of your age will no longer elicit clucks of “just a baby” or “you’ve got time to figure it out.” Nope — 36 means in the thick of things. Having certain shit together. Feeling secure pieces of life are on the right track. I feel those things sometimes. Not as often as I’d like though.

Which is why I got such a high when I was able to use the word husband for the first time.

I was at a rest stop Starbucks and the barista had a question. My answer was something along the lines of “My husband is in the bathroom. Better make it a double.” Despite the fact that this statement is neither inspirational nor aspirational, I received a jolt from it nonetheless. My husband. I analyzed and after several hours it came to me — this is something a Real Adult Woman can say. I immediately began searching for additional opportunities to use the word, seeking levels of adulthood I thought I’d never achieve.

I quickly discovered that in the Real Adult World, there are precious few opportunities to use the word husband. Far fewer than I thought so like any enterprising adult — I created my own opportunities.

Finding a way to force the word husband into a conversation feels ridiculous and insane, so I began recording them the instant I started. The sad net is as follows:

  • “I need to ask my husband what topping he would like on this bratwurst.”
  • (5 mins later) My husband would not like any toppings on his bratwurst.
  • (To a front desk clerk after perusing the hotel store) Do you have any Tylenol? My husband is allergic to ibuprofen. Or aspirin. I can actually never remember which one he’s allergic to — but the point is my husband will die if I ever give him anything other than Tylenol. Please. This is an emergency.”
  • (30 seconds later to a kind female stranger who fished a Tylenol packet out of her purse when the hotel clerk could not produce) “I’m aware I should know this. It’s highly likely I accidentally kill my husband one of these days. Thank you for this Tylenol.”
  • “My husband and I are on a juice cleanse and we can’t eat your pizza right now.”
  • “Oh! My husband I went to that haunted house.”
  • “You know who else has a huge crush on The Rock? My husband. He loves him. Perhaps more than he loves me.”
  • “My husband loves sweaters with patches on the elbows. But he also loves fashionable sweatpants.”
  • “I have been married for three months now. I am married to my husband.”

Keeping a list of all the times you use the word husband is totally a Real Adult Woman thing to do, no?

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