Labels: “The Girlfriend”

I often wonder how people view us when we go out as a group. I’m sure most don’t care, but there’s gotta be a few who wonder what’s going on between us.

For example, a while ago, the four of us gals went out to dinner with Catie’s parents. We went out for trivia night, and fun was had by all. (Well, except for T who had to put her phone away and she was, therefore, soooo bored.) We enjoyed it, though. I hope her parents did, too.

But the funny bit is that Catie and I look like a lesbian couple with two kids. Not that that’s bad, or that anyone says anything about it. Thankfully, our corner of the world is very open and accepting. But I do wonder if they jump to conclusions, especially when we take the nieces. I remember going to a restaurant once, when the kids were younger. Catie and I, plus:  Ri, Bina, T, and the three nieces. And they all look alike. Dark hair, dark eyes, same skin tone.

Often though, people mistake us for siblings. “Sisters?”

Nope. Not even close.

Hi there, Catie here! Sisters? Us? Not even close. I have a couple sisters and they rock. Seriously, total package, both of them (no idea where I came from, but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, right mom & dad?) Also, sorry boys and girls, both sisters are already happily taken.

Yes, Catie’s sisters do rock.

Following the sibling’s question, there is usually an expectation for clarification, at which point, I hesitate. I hate to say, “No, we’re just close friends,” because this is a lie. But I’m not fond of trying to explain our relationship, either. Especially to someone we met–once–in passing. Besides, why would I need to?

More and more frequently, though, I’m losing patience and I don’t bother to clarify. Or if the situation calls for it, like with the mattress salesperson, then we just say it and leave it. They can take the information as they will. Like it? Great. Don’t like it? Great. Whatever.

The part that bothers me most is our society’s need for labels. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that label’s are needed; they help keep things neat and orderly. But my family is more than a label.

When I look at Catie, I don’t see “The Girlfriend.” She’s so much more than that. She’s an integral part of our family. Even if we don’t agree. Or maybe it’s because we don’t agree. Everyone should have someone who challenges their thoughts and beliefs. That’s how we grow.

As I write this, I realize that I like labels, too. They also add connections and depth. I get it. It’s not easy to shrug off the need to give people identification tags. Maybe we shouldn’t? I don’t know. I just hate when those labels lead to separation and discrimination.

Okay… That’s enough reflection for one day.

Keep it light, my friends.


Catie here, after reading what Lena’s written I find myself thinking “wow, she really thinks about labels…”  Like in almost every other situation I find that Lena and I have opposite reactions. Maybe it’s because of how we were raised, in my world marriage was always mentioned as an option not an eventuality. I have no problem with being called “The Girlfriend.” Honestly it’s how I think of myself. I stopped being the booty call a while ago.  I’m not the wife and it would take some serious medication and several surgeries to make me any kind of husband.  


If it ever comes up (and it rarely does) I’m their girlfriend. I don’t feel like this is a “less than” title. If anything I think it might imply an even deeper commitment. I’m not here because I have to be. There are no legal, cultural or religious ties holding me here. I wake up every day and choose to stay – because they really are worth it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s