1.03.2010

happy anniversary to us

L-girl + redsock + January 3, 1987 = 23 years of domestic partnership. Hooray!

27 comments:

redsock said...

Yay for us!

L-girl said...

Most of our anniversary wishes are on Facebook. Sign of the times.

Stephanie said...

I'll leave my greetings here! Spread it around a little.

Congratulations on your 23 years. Wishing you many many more in health and happiness.

:)

Amy said...

I will leave mine in both places. Happy anniversary!! I was hoping this might be the day you delivered on the promise you made back in On Becoming A Writer, Part One. If you need me to remind you, I will gladly do so!

redsock said...

Most of our anniversary wishes are on Facebook.

They better watch out tomorrow night.

Tom said...

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the milestone!

L-girl said...

I was hoping this might be the day you delivered on the promise you made back in On Becoming A Writer, Part One. If you need me to remind you, I will gladly do so!

Nope, I remember! I thought I would do that on the anniversary of the day itself: July 20.

Or maybe when I'm in a blogging slump. Right now I've got 3 or 4 posts on deck, so I don't need that one.

L-girl said...

Thanks for the good wishes, all.

Amy said...

July 20---I can wait. Moon landing day as well.

Mike said...

Congratulations on 23 years of non-wedded bliss.

MSEH said...

Congratulations!!!

impudent strumpet said...

Wow, that's a crazy long time! Congrats!

L-girl said...

Thanks, everyone!

Yes, it is a crazy long time. I cannot believe it myself. When I see a photo of us when we first met, it seems impossible that those people are us.

Ferdzy said...

Happy Anniversary! That's a good long time. Hope it's just the beginning.

We're somewhat hot on your heels at 22 1/2ish years together, so I can fathom it. Actually it kind of feels like just a month or two ago in some ways, doesn't it? And forever, too.

redsock said...

Today is Day #8,402.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Ferdzy. Wow, you guys are also an institution. Also not the legal kind, I believe?

I vote for it feels more like forever than only a few months. But in a good way.

Ferdzy said...

L-Girl, that's right. I always joke that I was too cheap to get married. A license (was!) $50. We could eat out twice for that kind of money! And have, many times. Also as a serious introvert and a bit of a control freak about my possesions the idea of a traditional wedding was perfectly horrible.

More seriously, as the children of two marriages that failed in spectacular and ugly ways we've both always been aware that the piece of paper is neither here nor there. It's commitment, communication and humility* that will get you through. But you know all this and more, I'm sure.


* By humility, I should clarify, I mean the willingness to examine and acknowledge your own behaviour and failings, not that you should be a doormat, and it needs to be there on both sides.

L-girl said...

Ferdzy, great stuff, thanks for sharing. Commitment, communication and humility - well said.

For me the legality is utterly pointless. Neither of us have religion, so we don't need our relationship to be sanctified that way. For a civil ceremony, I've spent my whole life protesting governments. Why ask the government to validate my choices?

In addition, being from the US, there's the same-sex marriage issue. If my life partner was a woman, I wouldn't have the option. So how can I exercise that option with a man?

But even with that objection removed here in Canada, it seems ridiculous to me. A needless formality for a failed institution.

Amy said...

Although I think marriage should not be something handled by the state, it is hard to ignore the legal benefits of marriage in terms of inheritance, taxes, children, and various ways in which being a legal spouse gives you advantages over being a partner without the benefit of marriage. I can't say that that is why I wanted to get married---I wanted the religious, cultural and legal symbolism of a lifelong commitment (even while recognizing the risk that any commitment may not end up being lifelong). But I certainly respect those who choose to go a different way.

And I wouldn't say it is a failed institution. Many marriages fail, many relationships fail, but that doesn't mean that the idea of a lifelong commitment is a failed idea. It's just not very realistic for many, if not most, people.

L-girl said...

In many countries, Canada among them, I can have those benefits without being married, because the state recognizes my common-law marriage. For me, that's a big relief and comfort. I hated the idea of being pressured into legal marriage because of economic law.

But more importantly...

I think the idea of lifelong monogamy with one person (as opposed to serially) is a failed institution. That it works for some means (for me) only that: it works for some. Everything works for some people.

But as a norm that can be expected for all or nearly all adults, I think it's absurd. It's the "one size fits all" life choice: everyone is supposed to get married, and marriage is supposed to be monogamous.

That expectation sets most people up for failure, either by remaining in unhappy marriages (with or without cheating) or enduring serial divorces.

Many people who have been married 2 or 3 times think of their marriages as failures, because they "didn't last". But those relationships may have been very successful - different times in people's lives, different needs and compatibilities.

I'm not opposed to legal marriage when freely chosen. But when something is as deeply normative and ingrained in society as legal marriage is, we can't know if it is actually freely chosen by most.

This is similar to heterosexuality, or having children, in all but recent times. Who knows how many women in my mother's generation would chosen to be child-free if it had been more socially acceptable? Who knows how many people were queer in those days? I think of legal marriage the same way, in current times.

Amy said...

How is common law marriage different from a legal marriage, aside from not having a ceremony? (That is a genuine question, not a smart ass question. As far as I know, there is no real difference in the US in those jurisdictions which still recognize common law marriage.)

As for your other points, I agree that expecting most people to marry is for many an unfair and unrealistic expectation. And certainly many marriages are miserable even if they do not end up dissolved. Marriage or any long term commitment, whatever it is labeled, is not for everyone.

On the other hand, I remain a cockeyed optimist and romantic, and I still believe that for many, a lifelong monogamous commitment is ideal. Not THE ideal, but ideal for some. For me, for my parents, for many of my relatives and friends, it is not a failed institution. That does not mean that any of those relationships have been trouble free. Like any institution involving human beings, there are always problems. But it has worked---for me, for 33 years, for my parents, for 58 years.

L-girl said...

I can't speak for anyone else, but my common-law marriage is different than a legal marriage, because I didn't ask anyone to validate it. I just don't like the idea of the state or a religious body condoning my relationship. It's not their business.

I'm a huge romantic, btw. And a huge believer in commitment, and in relationships of all sorts. I think my view is actually *more* romantic - because I want everyone to find love and happiness in their own way, on their own terms, rather than chase down some pre-defined dream. I'm hugely optimistic about people's ability to do that, when unconstrained by social expectations.

Amy said...

Fair enough! I actually think we agree more than we disagree. I also think everyone should be free to find and define their own path to happiness. And although I was and am happy to call myself "married," it really had nothing to do with the silly license I got from NYS. That gave me certain legal rights, but the marriage came from what the two of us believed and wanted in our relationship. I liked Ferdzy's summary: commitment, communication and humility.

redsock said...

... it really had nothing to do with the silly license I got from NYS. That gave me certain legal rights, but the marriage came from what the two of us believed and wanted in our relationship.

And two other people with the same "commitment, communication and humility" should be able to enjoy those same legal rights, without having to get permission from NYS.

Amy said...

And two other people with the same "commitment, communication and humility" should be able to enjoy those same legal rights, without having to get permission from NYS.

I couldn't agree more.

But most of our legal rights come from the "state." Although we can privately contract for certain rights and obligations between ourselves, our public rights and obligations come from the laws imposed by the government, supposedly with the consent of the governed. My issues are more with the ways those rights and obligations are defined (e.g., in the marriage context,denying same sex couples the right to marry, giving tax breaks to people who are married, defining the means by which marriages can be dissolved, treating marriage as a holy sacrament when the state shouldn't be involved in religion, etc.) than with the fact that they come from the state.

And even with common law marriage, your rights come from the fact that the state is willing to recognize your relationship as a marriage, not simply because two people declared themselves entitled to those rights.

As I said, I think we are all in agreement on the basic values, but just chose different paths to the same basic end.

L-girl said...

As I said, I think we are all in agreement on the basic values, but just chose different paths to the same basic end.

I think that although we all have complete respect for each other's paths, the paths we've chosen are substantially different and lead to different ends. Conventional marriage with children vs common-law, child-free, polyamorous partnership - pretty different. Or at least I think it is.

Amy said...

Oh, I wasn't at all including the decision to have or not have children in my thoughts. By same basic end, I meant more the idea of sharing your life with one other individual, as opposed to living as a single person with no commitment to any other person. As for how you two or we two live our day to day lives, our choices to have children or not, to be monogamous or not, to eat meat or not, to have cable or DSL, etc., those choices are different and varied for all couples. I learned long ago not to make assumptions or judge what goes on in the relationships of other people. And yes, that means I have respect for whatever choices those people make (assuming they are not abusive to each other or others, though rarely do we know that either).