This is probably going to come off as the most unromantic love note ever. That’s OK. That’s us! …We have been together for close to 8 years now. We lived together before we “got together.” We met as housemates, which was kinda an interesting way to get to know someone (if you’re considering asking them out) in terms of feeling out potential compatibility. A more detailed version of how we got together is here, if you’re interested: Happy Randomtimes, today.
Last fall, we got legally married, which I had a lot of mixed feelings about. It boils down to: We got married for health insurance purposes (and other legal reasons that seem unclear at this time, but may be super important at later times). We did not get married out of love. Every day we are together, it is out of love. Marriage has absolutely nothing to do with whether we are together or not. It does not mean we are any more or less likely to stay together now. It doesn’t mean that anything about how we operate our relationship has changed. Marriage is meaningless. So I guess I’m attempting to bring some meaning into it, because next Saturday, we are celebrating the fact that we got married.
I haven’t been in the best place, emotionally, the past few weeks, and that’s been making it feel like a struggle, to plan for this celebration. Which is OK. This party will happen. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and nervous when planning something so big. Everything does not need to fall into place exactly how we want it to for it to be a good day. It’s going to be a good day because we are connecting with people and with each other. And not because the sound system worked without a hitch and no plates or glasses got broken.
But there’s kinda more to it than that. We are celebrating marriage, and I’m struggling to understand what marriage is. (Marriage is what you make it.) Almost anything that is traditionally romantic, anything that is a traditional ritual for a wedding day, the roles we play… I don’t get it. It’s not because I’m a contrarian or I’m “too cool for school.” It just does not resonate. I don’t wanna play those games. In general, we won’t be. We’re having a “ceremony,” (er, 2 actually, an opening and a closing ceremony) but it will be fairly aberrant, bent, queer, variant, deviant. We have no gift registry. Our photo album is full of pictures of our friends and families. Scrap the scrap book, and the guest book while you’re at it. I could go on…
We’re discussing the idea of slow dancing to “Everyday is Halloween,” (Not because we wanna stir shit up, but just because that has been our wake-up alarm song every morning for about 5 years now.) I love all of these ideas, but I’m still not comfortable playing the role of the person who is getting married (or already got married, and is now on display.) In a way, it feels like the party was just an idea a while back, and now has a life of its own. I think collecting some of these thoughts is really going to help me out.
So a note, to my partner:
Hey, you! I like you a lot. I trust you as much as one person can trust another person. As time goes on, I just keep finding that we are super highly compatible. You give me huge amounts of space and leeway to be myself, to figure out what I want/need, to experiment. I couldn’t be in a relationship any other way. I know that I often hold myself back, so I cannot be having someone else also doing that.
It feels like we’re generally in-tune, in-synch, we communicate about what is going on, regularly. And if we aren’t, we will be again soon – I don’t feel left in the dark for long. And if I do, it is not worrisome. We’ll catch up with each other soon enough. I know I’m a difficult person, sometimes. I can be moody, and I generally need a shit-ton of alone time, in order to feel like a person. I make things complicated when they are simple. That’s not easy to live with. You just roll with it.
I think that you are so super cool. You are a strong person with values I really admire. You stand up for yourself and for what you think is right. You’re not afraid of confrontation. You mold your life into what you want. We’re molding our lives together, continuously.
PS- At my most recent therapy appointment, I just kept crying and crying (that I couldn’t do this marriage party thing, basically). She suggested I write on my blog, where I’m comfortable, about it, before I’m in this less-than-comfortable situation. That perked me up. I said, “That’s a pretty good idea.” She replied, “That might be it for me – I might not have any more of those; I’ll take it.” I reiterated it was a really good idea. Also, at the end of the appointment, she told me it was a freebie – a therapist’s version of a wedding gift. Haha.
I know that pride month is long over, and it would appear I’m quite a bit behind, but this actually is when Pride happens in our city. I’d been having a glum summer so far, and this day really helped lift my spirits. My partner and I marched in the parade with the local gay alliance (the one I’ve been doing office volunteer work with, since January).
I woke up early to help create 8 balloon “backpacks” to be worn at the parade. I didn’t end up claiming one to wear, so my partner and I decided to create our own balloon backpacks, you know, so we would fit in better.
As we marched, I seriously could feet the pride sinking in, for real. The parade followed a new route this year, and it was a definite improvement. Lots of people cheering, protesters much less prominent (for whatever reason.) My partner and I held hands for a while! I said hi to and hugged other people I knew from the alliance. It feels super great to know I’m starting to become more connected to this community, a little bit.
This was not my first time marching in the parade, not by a long shot. But it was my first time marching with a group, legit. For about 7 years straight, I would merge in with the parade to do my own thing, sometimes with my partner and friends, sometimes just with my drag buddy. In my own way, I was protesting the fact that groups have to pay for a spot. I strongly felt that, even though I didn’t belong to a group, I belonged in the parade. It was always kinda chaotic. Frenzied, manic energy (sort of forced, sometimes).
We walked with boomboxes playing our fave song (not the club hits.) We rode our bikes. We handed out flyers for radical queer reading groups, for performance nights, for the anarchist community space. We gave away candy and hugs. We hoola-hooped, danced, ALWAYS created huge gaps between ourselves and those in front of us (accidentally) because we were interacting with the crowds so much which caused us to delay walking forward, haha. At some point, it started to feel exhausting, but I kept thinking I had to keep doing it – it was a tradition. Last year, I let myself off the hook, didn’t even attend. This year, we’re figuring out different ways to do it. It felt pretty great.
I read some reflections on Pride this past month – that it’s corporate, that it’s not inclusive, that it’s not worthwhile or necessary any longer. If, by chance you do feel this way, next year, consider making Pride your own by merging into the thick of it, or streaking through the middle of it, and giving voice to whatever it is you feel you want to say. Be the people you feel you’re not seeing!