You say toma-to, I say toma-toe

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet

Our housekeeper has taken to calling me “Doña Ana”. Every time I hear it, I cringe. I have told her repeatedly that calling me “Ana”‘, my given name, would suffice. Still, as if on a mission to torture me, she continues to call me “Doña” with a smile on her face.

In my culture, being called “Doña” is a sign of respect. A respect usually given to married women. My mother is “Doña”. I, on the other hand, have always been an “Ana”, “Anita”‘ or just “Annush”. Who I am has always been tied up to that tiny name.

Hugh and I have had trouble defining what we are to each other these days.

Back when we first started dating, we were friends. Then, as we became “Facebook official”, we became boyfriend and girlfriend. It was a title I liked. Although in our youth we use those terms to give someone special standing, for us it was a light and fluffy word to define a relationship that though light and fluffy, gave us rights and responsibilities.

When we moved in together it changed. Because if our relationship is light and fluffy, how do you use the word boyfriend/girlfriend to define someone who is so much more than that?

So we have talked about what we are, what we are supposed to be, and what society feels we should be. We acknowledge that even though we look towards the future together and have shared hopes and dreams, at this point we are merely charting the course. And what you call the person who charts the course with you is a partner in crime.

We are each other’s partner in crime. Whatever we do, we are in it together.

This doesn’t make me “Doña Ana”, but the trusty sidekick of my bestest friend.

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3 Responses to You say toma-to, I say toma-toe

  1. I’ve been reading you the last few posts; and I just ADORE your writing, Annush.
    And what’s in a name? You’re talking to the girl that’s named “Toma”, who never just says…”Hi, I’m Toma.”

    It’s always immediately followed with “It’s like ‘Tom’ with an ‘a’.”

    No one ever gets it right, and it’s been nearly 40 years.

    Trust me when I tell you – sit with it. Try it on. It’s yours, Dona Annush. Married, not married, partner, friend, besty, girlfriend, Dona, the one who is adored by Hugh.

    It’s you.


  2. PL Holden says:

    Cool story! I’ve heard that for a guy calling them Don is like master kinda like Don Juan Matus. So being called Dona must mean you’re well respected:)

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