A Modern Conundrum

It’s Christmas card writing time again and this year we updated addressing protocol with one unforeseen issue.

In the past we had a two tier system for addresses on the envelope. Family and acquaintances would be addressed formally e.g. Mr and Mrs P. Dunderhead. The older generation used to get caned into next week being forced to learn all the in and outs of the English language so who were we to slack off on the one time of the year we post anything more than bill payments.

Closer friends would be addressed informally e.g. Dave and Helen. The friendly, devil may care face of Christmas. Everybody was generally happy apart from the odd discussion about when an acquaintance got promoted to friend or a friend drifted away into acquaintanceship league division one.

This year in an attempt to streamline the process into ninja-like shape we decided to ditch the informal style for the envelopes. Nicknames, jokes and other frivolity would be consigned to the card itself.

Then we stumbled upon the “Adam and Steve” issue. Now English may be my first, and if I’m honest my only language, but that doesn’t mean I’m great at it. However I distinctly remember a lack coverage in GCSE English on how exactly your formally address a letter to a gay couple.

“Mr Trifle and Mr Bauble” makes them sound like Victorian serial killers. It might also tip off the postman that two men live in a house together but only get one set of cards. I’m not the sort of man who outs a couple to the local postal service.

“Mr and Mr Trifle” involves me having to do one of the following

  • An embarrassing conversation where I try to grill them over which one “wears the trousers” or
  • Having to mentally visualise both of them in sexual positions and try and work out which looks best in the dominant position
  • Tossing a coin

None of which seemed ideal.

“Mr and Mrs Trifle” also seemed like a no-no.

“To the occupier” is a sure way to get a card binned and even if it is opened it’s hardly saying “Happy Christmas friends” more “You too could be in with a chance of winning a squillion quid with Reader’s Digest.”

In the end I gave my wife the envelope and made some excuse about needing to get on with licking stamps. The lack of taste buds for a few days seemed a small price to pay.

Thank God we don’t know any lesbians. Oh sure the idea sounds great when watching dodgy videos but spare a thought for the poor cameraman who is going to have to send Christmas cards to a whole frottage of lesbians. I don’t know what the collective term is for a group of lesbians but frottage seemed apt.

Merry Christmas everyone!