Monday, 10 September 2012

Grant's husband and his boyfriend

Grant's husband and his boyfriend
10 September 2012

I don’t know what the thing is with Grant, but most of his friends seem to have the same name.  How odd is that?  Given a whole wide spectrum of people to befriend, his requirements seem pretty basic – friends have to be called Mark or Jacques. 

But his two besties by far, are both called Mark.  The one has been his best friend since they were 15 year old teenage delinquents and got up to no good together.  Actually, not much has changed.  They have a very long history.  And when I married Grant, I did not simply get one set of In-Laws, but two.  Luckily I happen to like both sets.  Grant and Mark are like brothers.  They speak on the phone a few times a week and Skype all of the time too.  Then there’s also sms’ and the odd e-mail as well.  What makes it quite difficult, is the fact that Mark lives in Beijing, in China.  And has done so for the last 22 years.  However this has not dented or deterred their friendship one little bit.  So, see – long distance relationships are possible and indeed very viable. 

Grant and I, visit Mark’s parents every so often.  On Mother’s Day, Grant takes flowers for Mark’s mother.  When Mark’s folks need help with something, they call Grant – their South Africa son.  He helps them tune in their TV and fetches them from the airport if they’ve been away on a trip.  He even does trips to the Hospital or doctor should the need arise.  Any other odd little thing that needs to be done, Grant is there for them.  He calls them and they call him.  It is really extremely sweet.  My Grantie is a thoughtful and kind man.  And I bagged a goodie the day I married him.

Mark comes out to SA every so often and when he does we see lots and lots of him.  Grant has gone to Beijing to visit Mark on about five occasions already.  Each and every time a remarkable and unforgettable experience for him.  And in 2007, I even went along, and had the most incredible time as well.  Men are not an ‘island’ onto themselves.  Women are seen as the social creatures, but clearly men also have social needs.  A best friend is a must.  And few are as lucky as Grant and Mark to have each other.

And then about a year and a half ago, through his work, my Grantie made another awesome friend.  Yip, you guessed it – his name is also Mark.  They get along really well.  They get together a few times a week for a “working” breakfast, lunch or coffee.  They chat on the phone all the time, ostensibly under the pretext of work, but I’m onto them.

I kept on getting so confused, because Grant would say “I spoke to Mark today” and I would go “which Mark?”.  He did it time and time and time again.  It was always “Mark this” and “Mark that”, so that eventually in sheer desperation, I renamed them.  The first Mark, is now referred to as Grant’s husband – he has been in the picture for longer after all and is Grant’s first love.  And the second Mark is his boyfriend – the newbie on the block.  And to be honest, my classification system is an unparalleled success.  I never have to ask who Grant is referring to anymore. 

Sentences now start with “Mark, my husband” or “the husband” or “my boyfriend” or “the boyfriend”.  It is actually quite funny.  Now please, don’t get me wrong.  My Grantie is about as heterosexual as they come and is in fact quite homophobic, so for him it’s quite a big leap, referring to another man as his boyfriend or his husband.  I think he’s just given in and has accepted my naming system.  The process of clarifying was clearly getting tedious, even for him.

It does however sound quite funny when one of the kids say “Did you speak to your husband today, Daddy?”.  But I’m not too worried about my place in the pecking order.  I’ve checked out the competition – both the husband and the boyfriend.  And I think I’m safe – I’m still the only one with breasts, so I don’t think I’ll be replaced just yet.

My husband and his husband - back in the day.


  1. Histerical!! You are a genius. No really. Ooooh..I'm going to have SO much fun with this next time I speak to YOUR husband!!

  2. Jinne Helene!
    How wonderful that you can see the humour in every situation! This is very funny, and very clever!
    He is a wonderful son-in-law too I would like to add!

  3. shoe, nou't ek lekker ge-giggel!