Mere Male

03/Feb/2005

There's some big issues to consider with all this marriage palaver. Like what do you call the husband when writing about him?

Some blogging types refer to theirs as "DH", as in Dear Husband. I first saw this term in the mid-90s in sentences like, "Took DH to Safeway and we argued about papayas" or "My DH is fine with it as long as I wear the crotchless undies".

For two whole years I thought that DH actually stood for Dick Head. A lot of people heap shit on their spouses online, so Dick Head seemed a reasonable translation. Plus my grandfather used to call my grandmother DH. He claimed it was coz her name was Daphne Hazel, but the evil grin every time he said it suggested otherwise.

The DH abbreviation always reminded me of "MM", as in "Mere Male" – Australians may be familiar this infuriating column in New Idea magazine. You could win $10 by writing in about some wacky thing your MM – husband, partner, casual shag – has done, usually relating to a toilet seat or DIY. Ten bucks for a dull, patronising little paragraph like, "I sent MM to the shops for skim milk and he came back with WHOLE! Oh how we laughed!". Or, "On Sunday MM was laying carpet and he accidentally stapled the cat's tail to the floor! Oh how we laughed!". And the women reading the column all sit back with a knowing chuckle, safe and smug in the knowledge that they are the superior species.

Why don't they just call it, My Husband, He's Such A Dick! I shouldn't scoff though, I might get desperate for cash and have to write in. "Last month MM couldn't find the ironing board so he ironed his shirt on the floor and it stuck to the carpet. MM now has a shirt-shaped burn on his bedroom floor! Oh how we laughed!". True story.