May 2, 2010


Once More With Feeling

While it has settled down to maybe once a month, I still get emails and messages berating me for using the term 'The Poor Sod' when referring to the guy who is, at this very moment, upstairs snaking the drain in the bathroom sink.

From the time columnists have been referring to spouses/significant others/etc, they have dug deep for something they can use as shorthand without delivering up the person's actual name. See, we do this for a living; there are often others who still deserve a degree of anonymity; my kids got a say as they came of age - they too had fake names when they were younger.

So, the fact that most of the columnists I dug up for comparison were male wasn't lost on me. 'The Wife', 'The Goddess', 'She Who Must Be Obeyed', 'The Boss', and on and on. You get it. The very first time I ever referred to him as anything, it was an in an auto column. 'The Poor Sod Who Lives With Me'. Where'd it come from? Well, first off, for the legions of you who think I am unaware that the origins of the word are British, and that the origins of the word are less than complimentary, stop. My Mom was a Brit. Her pet name for my father was often Poor Sod. The cat was often called the Silly Sod. Yes, 'sod' descends from sodomites. I get it, I know. But the word has evolved to the point that the standard the Toronto Star uses for usage (Canadian Oxford Dictionary) includes current acceptability of the term. Also, anyone who has to live with me deserves at least a small, sympathetic head shake.

IT WAS A TERM OF ENDEARMENT in my home growing up. I'm sorry if your sensibilities get a little bruised by it, but I'm not sanitizing my work to paint out the crazy-natured basis of my upbringing. There is no derogatory intent at all. None. If a Brit wins a lottery, he'd be referred to as a lucky sod in more than one publication; bet on it.

I stopped answering mail on this subject about a year ago. I got tired. It's been a repeated cycle by people who a)if they read my work, would know my Mom's origins, and should twig that I understand what I'm saying and b)I write from my gut, and it is what it is, to batter a bad term to death.

What I write about my family is cleared with my family. And quite frankly, if they're cool with it, I think everyone else should be.

34 Comments:

Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Henry Ford II used to say, "never explain, never complain." But then,he said that to reporters while paying his fine for drinking and driving.
So, did you blow up any Mercedes engines this week end?

May 02, 2010 2:11 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

TLATO agrees 100%!

May 02, 2010 3:52 PM  
Blogger Webgod Jeff said...

Now explain Webgod Jeff...

May 03, 2010 9:08 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I think Webgod Jeff has totally explained himself over the years.

Yes, honey. It's been YEARS.

And you have to admit, Webgod is the best nickname, evah.

May 03, 2010 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our family, everyone has a nick name. Live with it.

Roz

May 03, 2010 9:37 AM  
Blogger David said...

And Lorraine's would be...???

May 03, 2010 9:44 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

...unrevealed, if Roz knows what's good for her.

May 03, 2010 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it, I'd love to come up with something for my 'poor sod' as at 40 something 'boyfriend' just sounds stupid. He's not my husband, but is a grown man and 'partner' sounds gay. The people berating you for that truly need to get a life.

May 03, 2010 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha...seriously? people complain about that?

must admit, my husband and i get weird glances at loblaws when we refer to each other as bitch and we say boobies for chicken breast..but after a while every married couple develops their own personal language that no one else knows.

go get em lorraine.

btw, i saw this awesome bmw z4 roadster. test drive it for me will you...and post pictures too!

May 03, 2010 11:58 AM  
Blogger David said...

C'mon, Roz. As the senior sister, it behooves you to reveal almost all!

May 03, 2010 1:52 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

No, it behooves her to consider all the childhood names that could come tumbling out of that box...

Maybe we should wait until Gilly gets here.

May 03, 2010 2:05 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Oh, and I don't blow up Mercedes...btw.

May 03, 2010 2:05 PM  
Blogger Camilla said...

I've always smiled when reading "Poor Sod", finding it charmingly self-deprecating... In another blog I read, Quinn Cummings refers to her S.O. as "Consort" which is another unique approach.

May 03, 2010 2:30 PM  
Blogger David said...

Yeah, but Gilly is late to these proceedings... I'm nursing a bitch of a migraine; I need some vicarious relief and this forum is it... today, at least.

I'm also not sure why I'm posting as me and not my vainglorious alter ego, OmemeeOzzie!

May 03, 2010 3:34 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Probably because you know we call you Oziemozie behind your back.

Sorry about the head.

May 03, 2010 3:37 PM  
Blogger David said...

Actually, I heard it was OzzieSchmozzie...

Thanks. BTW, how did you manage to escape?

May 03, 2010 4:32 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Life would be boring without nicknames or funny banter. Lorraine didn't smoke a Mercedes Benz engine. I'm disappointed but also relieved. Truth be told, they're so well built, you'd have to be trying hard to kill one. Or be a true non peroxide blonde. :)

May 03, 2010 5:26 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

You should hear the nickname I just thought up for you, Buzz!

May 03, 2010 5:29 PM  
Blogger David said...

Wow! Sharp as a tack this one, eh Buzz??

Where's Gilly?

Roz... ping her. Without her particpation, we other proverbial Poor Sods (and we are legion) can do nothing... well, almost nothing... sometimes... most of the time... when it suits us... Iv'e just been told to make dinner.. for TLATO, our five cats and beleaguered dog.

May 03, 2010 5:55 PM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

I remember reading Blatchford in the 80's. She always referred to her partner of the time as "The Boy".

May 03, 2010 8:12 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Oh, do tell me.I cringe to think of what Lorraine will call me. I try to be nice, I really do. But sometimes I just can't help but slip a one liner in. How does that old phrase go? "how sharper than a serpent's tongue it is..." ;)

May 03, 2010 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "David", watch it with the senior sister stuff, buddy. Who'd a thunk ozziemozzie would have a name like David. Don't travel incognito, it messes me up. Can't tell Lorraine's nickname either and don't even ask Gilly Gilly. Besides, some of us are busy working...

May 04, 2010 1:24 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hey, in our brood, I'm the elder brother, so say what you like -- sticks and stones... What does Lorraine have on you? Not like you to acquiesce to another sister's veiled threats. Sorry for the delay in responding. Was working on assignment out of town!

May 05, 2010 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorraine outed herself today in her Motherload column with one of her nick names.

Roz

May 10, 2010 11:45 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yes, Roz, I did notice this as I peered through my $5 reading glasses drinking espresso at the kitchen table. This name has, however, appeared before -somewhere. I was hoping and still expect, something new, a revelation...

May 10, 2010 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I outed her in a blog a while ago.

You can do a lot with Rainey if you think about it. Rain, rain, go away

I'll try to think of better ones.

Roz

May 10, 2010 12:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

Entirely up to you; I accept absolutely no responsibility for ANY familial backlash whatsoever.

Do dish...

May 10, 2010 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She scares me. Even if she can't think of an actual nickname, she'll make one up and you'll all believe her so I'm not going there.

Roz
(wait for her eldest son's tell-all book, "The Real Motherload". It'll be a doozy.

May 10, 2010 2:51 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

It's MotherLODE, fer crying out loud. After 6 years you don't know the name of my column???

I am so going to think up some new names for you now.

May 10, 2010 2:53 PM  
Blogger David said...

Perhaps, in fairness to Roz, her spelling is quite deliberate, a play on words? At least in Christopher's tell-all.

Then I scanned this thread...

Roz... you're on your own now, I'm afraid.

May 10, 2010 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you're not careful I'll tell them what your eldest son called you a year or so ago.

your darling sister.

May 10, 2010 3:55 PM  
Blogger David said...

Tickets? Tickets? Who needs tickets...?

May 10, 2010 4:00 PM  
Anonymous elmerj said...

I always thought the old sod or poor old sod referred to the grass. My dad used to use the term you lying sod (a play on words as you lay sod). He is from Ireland and the Irish are famous for their little expressions. BTW, I have read your column for years now but just recently on line. Are you the Loraine that lived in the Wiltshire apts back in '72 or so?

May 11, 2010 3:46 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Nope. Always been in the same house.

I think I might start telling people I'm just call him a clod of grass from now on. Thanks for that, Elmer!

May 11, 2010 3:49 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home