Anniversaries, or, what we remember

I mentioned earlier that Michael used to say that he considered NorWesCon our anniversary, because he was even worse about forgetting the date of our first date (which is one of the dates I tried to remember as an anniversary) than I am, and neither of us could ever remember the date of our commitment ceremony without digging out the paperwork for our domestic partnership registration.

To be fair, we made it a very small thing we tacked onto another get-together with friends. So it wasn’t like an event planned for months ahead or anything. We needed to file domestic partnership paperwork to get us both on the same health insurance, so we did it and that was that. Just a few months afterward I had already started forgetting what the date was. It just never stuck.

I have not had the issue at all with remembering our wedding day…

Even though, like the earlier date, it was chosen because of forces outside our control: the Washington legislature finally enacted full marriage equality, some anti-gay people filed a referendum to try to stop it, a healthy majority of Washington state voters said, “We want marriage equality!” and December 9, 2012 became the first day any same-sex couple could legally get married in this state. We didn’t pick the date, the state legal system did.

Not unlike the commitment ceremony, we also planned the event as an add-on to a get-together we were already having with friends. Long before election night, or the announcement of when the law would go into effect, we’d already planned to meet at Kristin & David’s place with a bunch of friends to do some gaming on that day. So, after a few conversations with them, we all agreed we’d do the ceremony there on that day.

The point I’m making is, that our culture has trained us to think of the word “marriage” as an important milestone. And even those of us who have spent our entire lives being a square peg not fitting into the cultural round holes, are affected by that indoctrination.

Domestic partnership or civil unions or any other name you give it is just not the same thing as marriage. No matter what the law says, no one feels or thinks of it as the same thing. And most of the things that most of us think about when we say the word “marry” or “marriage” has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the relationship between the two people. As this video shows in various hilarious ways:

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