Do you know what a “POSSLQ” is? I didn’t until one week ago when my neighbor and her new housemate came over to read poetry. The census bureau created this category in the 1970s when they realized that many were leading a life that didn’t fit into the “single or married” categories. This new category stood for “Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters.” Since Deb and Sharon are of the same sex, they modified the acronym to stand for, “Persons of Similar Sensibilities Sharing Living Quarters.” This living arrangement indeed appears to be mutually beneficial – both individuals enjoy sharing their housing and resources and, most importantly, care about one another.
Charles Osgood, a CBS radio program host in the 1970s and 1980s, write a poem about POSSSLQ and read it on the air when he retired:
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!