Today marks the 19th anniversary of the day that I met my partner for life - George. Since we're not legally allowed to be married in this land of the free, we have always used the day that we met as our “special day” to celebrate as the anniversary of our relationship.
We were the successful result of a blind date arranged by two well meaning and coupled friends. One of the two was “my ex”. Our relationship had been really more along the line of glorified dating and it had only lasted a handful of youthful months from the very early Spring to very late Summer of 1992. Fortunately, he and I made the mutual decision that we would be better friends than inamoratos. Soon after, he began dating a tall, charismatic brunette chap with big soulful eyes and a keen sense of humor. The three of us became fast friends.
A wagon rolls better with four wheels than three, and it wasn’t long after our merry trio had formed that I could sense my ex was flipping through his mental roll-a-deck searching for my perfect fix-up.
One late afternoon, over a late lunch/early dinner, my ex informed me that they had planned a little cocktail party for the following weekend and they really wanted me to join them. It was to occur on May 16, being that that was the birthday of my ex’s new beau (the third corner of the trio) and it also happened to be the day before my birthday. We could kill two birds with one stone so to speak, and as I had expected, my ex had invited this “really great guy” that he was certain that I “would hit it off with”. Though reluctant, I agreed – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Somehow, perhaps through divine intervention or a damn fine mental roll-a-deck, my ex was right. George and I have been a couple every day since meeting on the evening of May 16, 1993.
We’ve long lost touch with my ex and his beau. They were together for a few years, and for a while, the wagon of our friendship rolled quite well with four wheels. Eventually however, they ended their partnership and they each went their separate way. But George and I stayed together.
When I look back over our immense history as a couple, I am awed. There have been breathtaking highs and teeth gnashing lows – peaks and valleys, successes and failures, births and deaths, departures and returns, tropical breezes and violent storms, magic carpet rides and terrifying free-falls.
My partner and I are not a couple because of a document legally binding us together (though that should be our federally mandated legal right should we decide to do so). We’re not staying together because of children that we are raising (though we should be able to legally adopt like any other legally married couple in every state of the union should we decide to do so). We’re not together because it would be a time consuming, painful journey through a jungle of red tape should we decide to part ways. We stay together because we choose to stay together; we stay together because we are still in love with each other.
So, in closing, as our year long hair-raising, exhilarating roller coaster ride pulls up to the platform today as it has on every May 16 for the last 19 years, I can look my partner straight in the eye and with complete and utter honesty say, “Let’s do it again!”
I love you George.