A cell phone picture of Jed and me on our first date.  Of course my roommates made him karaoke when he brought me home.  Of course.


Manfriend’s name is Jed.

Jed is short for Jedediah Grant B-something, which is as heroic and 19th-century sounding as any name I know.  When Reija first heard I was dating Jed, she said, “Jedediah and Sarah.  You sound like pioneers.”

I think this is an analogy we like.  Jed is one of the only men I know who’s read the Little House on the Prairie book series.  And—here’s the hot kicker—he enjoyed it.  He even occasionally alludes to it.  “Eating that much food makes me think of Farmer Boy, where all Almanzo does is eat and eat and eat.”  Or “that’s pretty much all I know about plowing, and I’m pretty sure I learned it all from Little House.”  (Not that plowing comes up much in our conversations.  It’s possible I imagined that conversation.)

Topic change.  At the beginningish of our fourth date, as Jed was driving us to a schmancy Italian restaurant, he turned to me and said, “So.  B.  Not the best last initial for you.”  It was our fourth date.  “Actually,” I said,” “it’s pretty much the worst last initial for me.”

Sarah Louise Olson B-something.  S.L.O.B.  Or, because four names is really sort of unmanageable, S.O.B.

Not my best last initial.

This is a tension we have not yet resolved.

Jed and I knew that at some point I would reveal his name on the Apron Stage.  We were just waiting for the right moment.  In the mean time, I kept slipping.  Did any of you catch that?  I’d write a post about Manfriend, but then half way through I’d say, “Jed bing bong bing,” without realizing I’d done it.  One day I wrote about Jed and how much I like him, and that afternoon I asked him what he thought about it.  I was hoping he’d say something tender or sweet or, I don’t know, about how much he loved me for writing such nice things about us/him.  What he said was this: “In the post you called me Jed.  Weren’t you thinking you’d make a bigger deal about it when you revealed it?”  He looked disappointedish.  I apologized.  Then laughed.  And I went back and did what I always did—I changed the “Jed” back to “Manfriend.”

(Note/confession: When AS readers who know Jed would comment using his name, I would change those too.  But in those cases, I would change the “Jed” to “that guy.”  I laughed every single time I did it.)

I’m writing this post about Jed aka Manfriend aka My Little Juice Glass (we are accruing an idiosyncratic and semi-ironic set of pet names for each other; how do people become “babe” and “hon” type people?) because yesterday was Jed’s birthday.  And in addition to the other things I gave him—those tickets, that private pilates tutorial, that gmail account (turns out email addresses are a free and totally awesome gift, very 21st century), and that 34-oz steak—I wanted to give back what has always been his: his name.

Manfriend, thy name is Jed.  Happy birthday, you two.