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Happy Anniversary to Us.

February 3, 2011

Last night, WD and I went out to celebrate our anniversary.  It was our 4th wedding anniversary.  We went to a fabulous restaurant and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal.  I swear, I would go back there today, if I could afford to (I can’t).

When we went to New Orleans, we ate in restaurants as good as this one, maybe better.  They were all definitely more famous.  One of Emeril’s restaurants, another that is – I don’t know – 500 years old or something?  In the Garden District.   And because we were in the south, all of those meals were almost a full $100 less than last night’s.

But, it was our anniversary, and we budgeted for it, and we deserved it.

[We had steak.  It was delicious.]

[I had oysters.  Again, delicious.]

[I also had a fantastic cocktail with my oysters.]

[and two fantastic glasses of wine with my steak & salad.]

[and while we chose not to have dessert, WD hadn’t yet finished nursing his drink, so I ordered myself some Grand Marnier.  I love that stuff.  It is so amazing.]

________________________

For the past few years, I’ve been irritated when people ask how long WD and I have been married.  Not irritated with people for asking, but irritated with what I have to answer.

This was our 4th wedding anniversary.  We got married in 2007, on Groundhog Day, in Provincetown, MA, in front of a Justice of the Peace, and no one other than Mouse and Lemon in attendance.

We weren’t going to get married.  When we first started dating, we both talked about our disapproval of the institution.   We both had failures in our past (his more distant than mine), and weren’t really all that convinced that “marriage” was so important.   Our relationship progressed, and our minds didn’t change.

We aren’t members of a church – or even of a faith.  So that wasn’t pushing us toward marriage.  We lived in Berkeley, CA, and several of our peers were in long-standing relationships, children & all, that did not have a marriage certificate to go along with. Looked good to us.

But when we moved to New England, it felt different.

Now, if we believed in marriage at the time – if we thought “marriage is the final expression of our love for one another, proof of the commitment we are making to each other” – I believe we would have done it before moving to New England together.  Because of the girls, that step was not taken lightly.  It was the first time WD lived with the girls, that he became a part of the family.  We wouldn’t have done that on a whim, and without having taken many smaller, building steps before hand.

But we didn’t.

So as we acclimated to our new town, our new community, I found myself struggling.  “How do I introduce him?”  I started with “this is my partner,” which was fine, but seemed overly formal (and led more than a few people to assume that my “partner” was a woman … not sure why, come to think of it.  I live in one of those awesome states where gay and straight people are allowed to marry …)

And “Boyfriend” sounded so … unclassy.   I *hated* to hear the girls say, “well, my mom’s boyfriend lives with us.”  It just didn’t adequately represent how we felt.

The girls both expressed their desire that we get married.

And so, after many conversations and discussions, we did it.

We made it low-key, and we didn’t really feel like it was the start of anything.  It was just the formalization of something that had been in place for years.

But still, this was my fourth wedding anniversary.  Even though we’ve been a family for 6 1/2 years.

And that was bothering me.  I was almost resentful of it.

For some reason, starting this year, it doesn’t bother me anymore.  I’m okay with it.  We’ve been married for 4 years.  We’ve been a family for 7.  He and I have been together for 9.

And that’s fine.

 

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