Monday, August 03, 2009

The Anniversary

Spouse & I were invited to a 15th anniversary party for our friends (a gay couple) last Sat. It was held at a small restaurant.

The couple thanked everyone for coming and for their friendship and support over the years before turning the microphone over to 4 people who had prepared 'a few words'. The stories, the laughter, and the love were just overflowing. A few times I got a little teary-eyed.

A friend and musician performed a few songs carefully chosen by the couple for their lyrics and special meaning. The couple thanked everyone again, and invited everyone to the buffet. After eating everyone mixed and mingled. It was a lovely anniversary party and we had a great time. We were treated to hearty hugs by our hosts as we prepared to leave.

This got me to thinking.

Some might feel that gay couples don't really have good reason for celebrating an 'anniversary' since they can't legally wed in most states. Others wonder why gays want to emulate the traditions of hetero couples (like weddings and anniversaries) since we're not heteros.

But here's what I think.

About 50% of hetero marriages end in divorce, most within the first 10 years, and most with a great deal of effort. Divorce can be an expensive financial burden as well as psychologically traumatic for children, so some hetero couples stay together longer than they desire to in order to avoid, or at least postpone, those unpleasant circumstances.

Contrast them to gay couples, who do not need divorce because they aren't legally married, and do not have children most of the time. Gay couples have a much easier time terminating a relationship than their hetero counterparts. With little if any cost or effort, they can simply break up.

But many do not. They stay together because they want to be together. Not because its expensive to split up. Not because of the affect splitting up will have on the children. They stay together through thick and thin because they want to be together. Despite all the societal pressures added to the regular pressures of being in a relationship. They stay together because they want to be together.

So I was happy and honored to be a part of our friends' 15th anniversary celebration, and I encourage all of you to celebrate your anniversaries as well. Have a party. Go on a trip. Have a commitment ceremony; whatever makes you happy.

We deserve to recognize the work and the love that enable these relationships to endure and flourish. Not because we want to be like heteros, but because its the right thing to do.

Crush du Jour: Dax Griffin


12 comments:

Bob said...

"because they want to be together."

That's so true.
It's not "have to" it's "want to."
it's like, we don't "have to" get married, but maybe we "want to."

Kevin said...

We celebrate every anniversary (whether a big number or not) This year will be #12.

Well it also happens our Anniversarium is on New Years Eve so we took it upon ourselves so many years ago (this going to be the 10th) to start the tradition of the party being at our place!

behrmark said...

A most excellent post.

Stephen said...

Great observations. We celebrate the day that we told each other that we were in love with the other... October 9th. We will celebrate our 30th this year. We got married in Vancouver BC on our 25th anniversary...
sounds romantic, huh? Well, we came very close to breaking up around the time of our 27th & I think we skipped the celebration that year.

Java said...

Very well said! Thank you. This is beautiful.

Larry Ohio said...

Wonderful post, Mark. It's all so true.

wcs said...

Great sentiments. Me and mine celebrated 26 years in June. Perhaps one day we'll be able to get married.

Howard said...

Nicely said, Mark!

Steve said...

Our 9th this year... wow, time flies ! Nice words Mark. See you tomorrow

RAD said...

Because WE want to be together!! That right folks so suck it! We are going on 13 years! WOW WEE! I want to have a big anniversary or get married at 15...

Berry Blog said...

I put in twenty with a guy before he died. We had plenty of reasons we thought we should break up and even tried. It never worked. We were like powerful magnets and if one ran a hundred miles to get away, damned if we didn't show up in the same restaurant or bookstore, or social event within days. We really wanted to be together no matter what the perceived offense or slight of the other or the influences of others.

Jeff said...

Hear, hear! 19 years for Brad and me in November!