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Committed Relationships Are What Really Count

J. D. Hulse

June 06, 2002

Happy Anniversary to me (us)! June 3rd, for any who are interested, (no presents, please, just cash to help pay off campaign debts, thanks). One of the reasons I am so happy is that we have survived two years beyond the national average of straight couples. Maybe lending a little credence to the fight for equality. On a more personal level, I'm really, really glad I haven't given him a good trashing!

Oh, let's face it, haven't you every once in a while wanted to just reach out and REALLY touch someone close to you! Reach across the table at a dinner party and shove the words BACK into their mouth? After they've had one cocktail toooo many and done something REALLY stupid?

But you don't. You couldn't. Because you love them, and even though bad things happen to good people (a lot of times at our own doing) we simply laugh it off, blame it on too much drink, or being tired or some other spur of the moment reason.

For a lot of women, they have no choice. The men they end up with just beat them "because". The evening meal was bad, the TV show was not on, something at work went wrong, they themselves are not happy with their lives and they don't know how to express it except with violence and anger.

To these women, I raise my glass in a toast with champagne, to all the good things that my relationship has brought to me over the years.

Being together through a stroke, a heart attack, a marriage, several births, and a bunch of little ordinary everyday nothings that happen to our families and our friends.

Things some women and children are robbed of just because some jerk couldn't keep his hand to himself.

Don't get me wrong, there have been a couple of times when fights escalated into areas where fists where clinched, and a couple of breakables have been smashed to the floor. A hand has never been raised to violence in this household.

I think this may say something to opponents of "gay marriage". In most cases of homosexual relationships, the couples remain together for decades. I know of one male couple who met at the "Y" during WWII and lived happily ever since, until the one recently passed away. At home, surrounded by a diverse community of friends.

I think the main difference is legal protection. Surprise, like the Moral Majority is gonna help rubber stamp that one! Heaven forbid we have stable loving relationships. Where two people love and care for each other, show respect, are committed and value the contributions to the relationship and the community.

I'm really surprised the government hasn't latched onto this one, and fast. Think of the taxes, the legal fees through divorces, the inheritance "fines." The paper work alone in most of these cases could keep a separate branch of the government busy and working well into the next millennium.

I guess my "problems" can't really compare to the countless women who are subjected to their partners' abuse. The ladies who gave birth to the next generations; the "teachers" who show the kids that if they just be quiet all bad things will pass; the often silent victims who never truly celebrate their own anniversary. They only hope to survive one more year, one more month, one more day.

I'm very grateful. I do not have to endure that. The next time I raise my voice and I feel my blood pressure rising, I promise to stop and take a moment to reflect on what my vows truly mean.

I promised to love, honor and support. In sickness and in health until death do we part. For some women the death part (at least a living hell) comes much sooner than they expect.

I do love, although it can be very difficult at times. I do honor (and defend even if I don't agree with him). I do support. (You always need someone in your corner, even if deep down they don't believe the same as you). The whole sickness and health thing goes without saying.

So, I'm done. I'm putting my soap box away, at least for now. I need to prepare for my 7th celebration. I just wish the party could include the women and children of Heartly House; the women who man the abuse hotlines; the police who diffuse "domestic" situations; and those who care and give money to ensure these programs exist and stay in place.

Happy Anniversary to all! Hopefully it will be one of the last, till none have to suffer hatred, violence, bigotry or abuse any more.

(Lights come on, all yell SURPRISE).....!!!!!?????

I remember when the idea first came to us. We where sitting on the balcony of Libby Musser's Church Street apartment building discussing our new home and our new lives together. We both have an appreciation for things British and thought women in hats would be fun for our union ceremony. "Proper millenary required" on the invitation created a hat buying frenzy only parallel to the beanie baby craze.

All the women were lovely, despite the 102 degree temperature in the apartment. The men were dashing as well, minus the ties. I don't think my mom has worn a hat before or since, but I do have a picture to prove it.


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