No Wedding Pictures (Again), But Here’s a Picture of a Lovely Deer in the Snow


The wedding road trip to North Carolina has been postponed for a second time due another winter storm. This just makes for better reading in that book I keep saying I’m going to write.

There really is no sense complaining about the weather, so I’m looking on the bright side and hoping for the best. I keep thinking some rich friend will cry, “Enough!” and give us free tickets to California where it’s always warm and sunny.

One good thing I know will to be true: with the repeatedly shifting date of this marriage, no one can expect me to remember my anniversary. That’s just fine with me since I’m terrible at stuff like that anyway.

Gay couples have too many anniversaries. We have to keep up with when we first met, when we first had sex (not always the same date, but if it is I’m not judging), when we tell other people we first met (this is a common occurrence since we’re usually dating someone else at the time. It’s especially important if first date and first sex coincide), when we started seeing each other exclusively, when we broke up, when we got back together, and now, for some of us, when we got married, when and where our marriages are recognized, where they aren’t recognized. Some couples have been married more than once in different states…it’s a wonder we’re able to hold jobs, pay taxes, decorate fabulous homes, set fashion trends and all the other ways we contribute to society in the midst of the chaos that is our personal lives.

Add to that the fact that I’m not your typical gay man, having four children (all adults now) as I do. My three where born almost exactly two years and two weeks apart. How can I be expected to remember their birthdays? I have kept the dates in my wallet for years because official forms often require that I know them.

Oh, and did I mention that my mother and father share the same birthday? In the same month as their anniversary? Isn’t that strange?

And so just for the record, the wedding is now scheduled for March 13. It’s on a Friday. I’m getting married on Friday the 13th.

I’m just gonna leave that right there.

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Hurry Up and Wait

My wedding has been postponed one week due to winter weather. I followed storm reports out of Buncombe County on Twitter through the day yesterday, and it was difficult to know what to do. When the governor of North Carolina declared a state of emergency, we called it. Having finally made the decision to wait was a relief. 

I’ve been in this relationship for almost 15 years. It hasn’t been until recently that I ever thought we’d get married. Now that we can, I’m more and more irritated, even angry, that we cannot perform the ceremony in Tennessee. Because we can’t, a fifteen minute drive to the county court clerk’s office has become a ten hour round trip, overnight stay in another state. I’ll need to take two days off from work to make it happen.

The Supreme Court will likely resolve all of this come June. That’s all well and good. But we need to get married now. It makes no difference why and it’s no one’s business. The fact remains that I am denied a right that people who live in 38 other states are given.

This will all be settled in about a week for us, but I don’t feel right not drawing attention to the injustice of it. Years ago, Tennesseans voted to constitutionally prohibit same sex marriages. More recently, a judge on the sixth circuit court upheld that law when it was tried. I feel like the people who voted for this constitutional ban, the judge who upheld it, or perhaps the State of Tennessee need to reimburse me to cover expenses accrued for this forced destination wedding. I’ll throw in compensation for pain and suffering, too, now that we’ve had to change the date because we could not travel.

As I said, this will be resolved and eventually be a fascinating story I can share with my grandchildren. But I wonder: what other group is suffering because of injustice? How am I blindly contributing to their pain? What am I doing to not only support them, but to work for change?

A Fourteen Year Engagement Is Too Long

kiss

I’m getting married in Janaury after a fourteen year engagement, an arrangement that used to be reserved for royalty. While I’m unquestioningly committed to spending the rest of my life with my lover, partner, and friend, the idea of getting married now, after fourteen years, is weird.

The children we raised are adults. After seeing the youngest off to college this past August, the dynamics of our life together have changed dramatically. We’re two months into being grandfathers. At a time when other couples who share our longevity are either divorcing or renewing their marriage vows, we’ll be taking them for the first time. If not for living in a state where same-sex marriage is illegal, we would be celebrating an anniversary instead. Fourteen years ago marrying my life partner was an impossibility and never entered my mind. Now we talk about it not in terms of if, but when.

When a couple marries near the beginning of their relationship, the event holds within it an abundance of possibilities. What will our house look like? Will we have children? How will holidays play out? What traditions will we create? These open ended options are well lived in now, more likened to memory than to anticipation.

And what of the relationship itself? Most newlyweds are still in love, meaning they really only see the best in one another, they’re cuddling and having sex like twentysomethings (because they probably are). There is also a perception that, even if misplaced, any negative behavior, perceived flaw, or worrisome quirk of the other will change for the better in time. After fourteen years, couples have had time to see the other at his or her worst. They have participated in countless arguments. Their sexual appetites likely have evolved. The ill-founded notion that they can change another person’s behavior should by now be a distant memory because they have learned the hard way that changing even their own behavior takes a herculean effort and hardly ever happens, if it happens at all.

Marrying after fourteen years together throws up a check point in the relationship at a time when the deed should have been done, the decision made, the fate sealed. It brings about a sense of cold feet but on steroids. It imposes a take-stock moment and potentially a second, third, or fourth (it’s silly to try to keep up with what number I’m on at this point) mid-life crises. And it is marvelous.

I love this man gently snoring in the bed beside me, rolled over and sleeping on a cold November morning after having made love to me. As I listen to his breathing, he is as near to me as my next breath because his scent is caught in my moustache. It fills my nose, my lungs, and eventually my entire body. We literally are one. I will marry him and we will continue to live out our ever-changing, imperfectly perfect life until the end of our days. And while it’s weird that I’ll be doing it fourteen years in, I am grateful.

The 6th Circuit Court Can Kiss My Gay-Marrying Tennessee Ass

Doug and Frank Tennessean Interview

Just before we started getting ready for Sister Night last night, Frank and I were video interviewed by a reporter from The Tennessean. The resulting article is the lead story today on the newspaper’s web site. You can watch the video and read the report here:

Tennessee gay couples’ hopes now rest with Supreme Court