Let Me Be Your POSSLQ!

There is still lots of material in the archives. Lowrie sent this a couple of years ago. It’s an old classic that is long overdue.

The trouble with not sleeping well is the totally random thoughts that intrude. This morning at 5 am, here came POSSLQ, unbidden, from the memory vaults. All I could recall was that it stood for Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters, and had been used in the Census. Wikipedia revealed that it was the title of a poem by Charles Edwards, twenty years or more ago, which is where I heard it.

The term itself seems extraordinarily useful. We still lack a convenient term for this…condition? Estate? “Room mate” misses an essential point rather widely. “Girl/boyfriend” likewise understates the…well, call it “commitment,” opting for a willing suspension of disbelief. “Lover” can be a conversation stopper–as Miss Manners wrote, “Some things simply cry out not to be commented on.” I briefly considered “sinmate,” but that carries with it a whiff of judgmentalism, the only true sin left in post-Christian America; and also might be misheard as “inmate,” and thus possibly mistaken by older listeners as a synonym for “marriage”.

All in all, I think POSSLQ has the edge, and I recommend its widespread adoption. Maybe I’ll sleep better tonight. Unless Diane reads this…


Come live with me and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands and crystal brooks
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
If you would be my POSSLQ.

You live with me, and I with you,
And you will be my POSSLQ.
I’ll be your friend and so much more;
That’s what a POSSLQ is for.

And everything we will confess;
Yes, even to the IRS.
Some day on what we both may earn,
Perhaps we’ll file a joint return.
You’ll share my pad, my taxes, joint;
You’ll share my life – up to a point!
And that you’ll be so glad to do,
Because you’ll be my POSSLQ.

Charles Edwards

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1 Comment

  1. Liz

     /  December 6, 2015

    Just a correction: the poem is by Charles Osgood, not Charles Edwards.

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