The First Wedding Anniversary

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Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary and we celebrated via text because Luisa is currently in South Africa and I am here at home:

Vikki: Happy wedding anniversary!

Luisa: Isn’t it tomorrow, the 27th?

Vikki: No. Today.

Luisa: Or was it the 26th?

Vikki: Today, the 26th.

Luisa: Well, happy anniversary to you too.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned our upcoming anniversary and she said, “We’re not going to celebrate that one though.” It was a statement not a question and I agreed that a celebration wasn’t necessary but that the anniversary was noteworthy. We then engaged in a little game of Rank the Anniversary by Importance though our lists differ. We agree on the number one spot because we both want credit for all our years together (21 years on April 17, 2015) but we are split on the second spot. For me, the legal wedding takes that spot but for her, our commitment ceremony that took place in 2000 gets it. There is, of course, no right or wrong answer but I was surprised that the legal recognition of our relationship was at the bottom of her list.

In a way, it’s fitting that we have different views on this because I concluded last year that the wedding meant everything and nothing at all.

Regardless, I look back at our wedding–a word that I am only becoming comfortable using as time passes–as a great time. I still can’t completely articulate what it meant to me so it shouldn’t surprise me that Luisa’s feelings about it are equally complex. Our kids’ view of that day is clear–their parents got married. For them, it remains an iconic moment in our lives and one that should be celebrated. Or they simply want cake. As they listened to us rank our anniversaries, we had to explain that the wedding was important but it was only one of all the moments that have made our lives together what they are.

We can mark our family life by the big ones…

April 17, 1993 (the date our relationship began)

October 7, 2000 (the date of our commitment ceremony)

July 4, 2001 (the birth of our first child)

March 4, 2005 (the birth of our second child)

October 26, 2013 (the date of our legally recognized marriage)

Each date is like a foothold in the climb. The next milestone will be our 25th anniversary and maybe after that it will be Vikki’s First Hip Replacement. I don’t know what lies ahead but I plan to keep on taking note and celebrating the passage of time, even if it’s simply texts with emoticons: a heart (mine) and two beer mugs clinking (hers).

Happy belated third ranked anniversary Luisa! I’d do it all over again if I could. Actually, can we? I do so love a good party.

 

 

5 Random Facts about Me

I am going old school here on the blog today because my friend Schmutzie tagged me to write five random facts about myself. Please note that there was no requirement that they be five interesting facts about myself.

1. I have a recurring dream in which I am driving up a very high mountain on a winding road with no guard rails and my car misses a curve, goes off the road and begins to fall. This dream absolutely terrified me for years but I can now control the emotional response of Dream Vikki as she falls.  My dream self now says to herself, “This is a dream. Be calm and breathe.”

2. I can snort a cooked spaghetti noodle up my nose and then pull it out of my mouth. I first did this in college with my friend Anthony and have done it a few times since then. I was doing this trick at the very moment Luisa walked into the party where we would later exchange phone numbers.

3. When I was about five years old, I would go outside after rainstorms and put a handful of colorful marbles into a puddle and stare at them. I pretended the marbles were tiny fish and I loved their splashes of color against the gray cement.

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I have a rich inner life.

4. My two greatest fears growing up were getting pregnant and going to prison. I grew up working class and knew that those two things would ruin my dreams of getting into college and having a better life. My fear of pregnancy is the only reason I’m a gold star lesbian.

The Duck Shirt circa 1986

Pregnancy is no joke.

5. I can and do pinch people with my toes. Hard. I try to use my monkey toes only for good (like picking up objects from the floor to entertain the children) but I do give in to the darker forces from time to time and go for a good pinch. For the record, I only pinch adults. I’m not completely evil.

Now, I have to tag five people and even though I doubt anyone will do it, I am a follower of rules (Bonus fact!) so I am tagging Deborah, Tracy, Galit, Alexandra and Laurie ! C’mon – let’s blog like it’s 2006!

We Are in This Together

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Recently, Luisa was out of town for work and I was preoccupied with everything that had to be done that evening. I needed to supervise homework and reading and make sure the kids took showers and then needed to find time to do my own work. But before I could get to all that, I had to get dinner on the table and then do the dishes.

I was stressed out and feeling impatient with my kids who seemed to be floating through the house without a care in the world and at that very moment, both kids drifted into my path and I said, “You did more to help around the house when you were toddlers.”

It was a fact.

The Unexpected

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Bite that lip, girl… (Me, back in the day)

Several weeks ago, my friend Nancy of Midlife Mixtape asked me to write a post for “Still in Rotation,” a series in which writers talk about albums from their past that they still listen to today, and one album came to mind immediately, “Steady On” by Shawn Colvin.

My story went up on her blog today and here’s an excerpt:

My friend had a friend in from out of town and, after we finished playing a song, my friend leaned in and kissed her visitor, and I tensed, a physical reaction that came with no accompanying thought. I sat staring at them for a moment and then packed up my guitar and music, made an excuse and bolted.

In the story, I mention a friend and her girlfriend, my first girlfriend and Luisa and it is striking that the post went live today when I spent last night having drinks with those very women. The two unnamed lovers in my coming out story are still together today and remain two of my closest friends, so close in fact that we got married with them last October. My first girlfriend is a nearly daily part of my life as well, part of my chosen family. And Luisa, well, she’s stuck with me for nearly 21 years. If you’d asked me 24 years ago what my life would look like, if I thought the players in my coming out story would still be part of almost all of my stories today, I would have never imagined it would turn out that way. But here we are – the connections shifting and growing stronger over the years.

Life is full of the unexpected. You see two people kiss and your life changes forever. You find friendship in the ruins of a romantic relationship. You meet a young woman at a concert and end up building a life together. Doesn’t it make you wonder what is happening now that you might someday look back on and think, “That’s when everything changed…”

Head over to Nancy’s and read the full post.