Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My search for a new word trailed off

Image from
Yesterday, Diplopundit linked to my Trailer Trash post, sending a flurry of new folks my way (hello new folks!). It made me realize how hard it is to find a new word for something when the current one is in wide use.  I fall back on "trailing spouse" so often, just because I know people will know what I'm talking about.  And I'll admit I knew that if I stopped using "trailing spouse" altogether, no one new to these discussions would ever find this website.  So am I perpetuating it?

I wish the word "caboose" didn't sound silly when not used in reference to a train.  Because that's what we are, right?  Not the front end, but not dragging either. Attached, carrying half the weight, and pushing when needed.

Trailing makes me think of being a little sister and my older sister getting mad when I followed her around.  Or grades in school getting gradually lower, and falling behind.  Or following someone when they don't know it (like a private detective?).  The only positive thing I can think of is the trail left behind a comet:
Comet dust trails are the collections of large (greater than 0.1 mm) particles that closely follow a comet's orbit like the boxcars of a freight train (although trails are not physically bound together). Dust trails are the youngest meteoroid streams, and when they intersect the orbit of a planet they can create meteor showers. Some asteroids have been dynamically linked to meteor showers. However, dust trails have only been observed around comets. -
Hrm. Actually, that doesn't sound great either.  Though it does bring my train analogy into play.  Things that trail seem light or superfluous, without great consequence or presence:
An email from a colleague of my husband referred to his Trailing Spouse; you can imagine my reaction. When I told a friend about this, she asked if I were planning to wear Laura Ashley dresses and waft about, chiffon scarves floating in my wake. - La Douce Vie Suisse
I should change the name of my blog, completely.  I just need to leave bread crumbs so other women (like me, when I started this journey) can find there way here, and to other helpful places.


  1. My secondary status has highlighted at a wedding reception this weekend. J and I were there to see a mutual friend, but when introduced he was J, and I was "J's wife". I knew it wasn't on purpose, but it really kind of stung. I knew him before my husband did. And it erased the relationship we had between us. For all those people knew, I'd never even met the friend before that day.


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