July 20, 2024
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July 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

While doing some pre-spring spring cleaning, I came across a bevy of letters and cards that I had sent husband #1 during our courtship. I wonder if the new generation still woos each other with words that aren’t on a phone. This particular poem caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you because this column is particularly sensitive. It is the end of husband #1.

July 1995

Today its been a year, since our official start.

When I ate a lot in front of you

when you first won my heart

You showed up at the Concord

with a smile on your face

you arrived on time-1o’clock

and met me in the right place

We spent the day together

and sat out by the pool

we didn’t go in the water

now that’s become a rule

I never knew on that day

how happy I would be-

For 7 more weeks it’s you and I

and then, forever, it’s we.

For the past almost four years, I have been referring to my spouse as husband #1. This became his title because before the Link, I had a blog titled, “Holycrapimgonnabe40,” and whenever I would speak of him, instead of writing his name, he became husband #1. Never thought anything of it. Refer to my boys, as my readers know, as sons #1, 2 and 3… that’s just the way it has always been. A while back, someone brought to my attention that people thought that because I call him husband #1, there must be a husband #2—or at least the dream of a husband #2. Others thought I call him husband #1 because he is the best husband ever (ok, just his best friend from childhood and perhaps his mother thinks that). And then, apparently, there is a group of people that finds it generally offensive. They say it is insulting and condescending. Some of these people have stopped reading my column, some have complained to my editors. Yes, even though this is my column and it’s all about me, I am no longer able to use the term “husband #1.” But, I have been granted permission to write about it. Because, truthfully, and much to my surprise, my column has taken on a life of its own. I love that people read it and that some of you even like it. And I felt it would be irresponsible of me to just kill off husband #1 without a proper explanation.

So here is the deal. This will be the last column where I refer to the man that I married 21 years ago as “husband #1.” But the important question remains—what will I be calling him now? I cannot call him by his first name, I need to protect his privacy. It needs to be clever and something that doesn’t offend anyone.

Last weekend I was at a bar mitzvah, and someone suggested I call him “Mr. Banji.” Clever, but it isn’t true. So now I am asking you, my loyal readers, to come up with what I should now be calling my spouse. It needs to be catchy, clever and approved by my editors. And it is a contest. The prize, unfortunately, is only a mention in my column, unless I can think of something better. You can contact me through the paper or feel free to email me at [email protected]. And now I will conclude with a poem.

Ode to Husband #1

Each week I yearn to entertain

to make you laugh or smile.

I call him husband number one

because we’ve been married for a while.

You never know what people think

or what, to others, they say

But since enough folks aren’t happy

the phrase must now go away.

So goodbye to husband number one

its been fun being your wife

I can’t wait to see what you will now be called

though I am sure it will cause someone some strife!

Looking forward to your suggestions!

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

 Banji Ganchrow apologizes for anyone she has offended. It wasn’t meant to offend, just to entertain.


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