17 years and counting

Today marks the 17th anniversary of the day my wife and I decided to stop seeing other people and concentrate on our relationship.

We didn’t have a ceremony, didn’t exchange rings in the traditional sense, though we did get matching nipple piercings.  We did agree to focus our attention on our relationship from that day onward and so the afternoon found us both on the phones, calling our other girlfriends to give them the news.  They were not surprised, apparently it was obvious to everyone but she and I, that we were at some point going to be a serious couple.

When I met my wife, she was a slender vixen of 22 and I was a somewhat thickened and relationship-weary 28.  I’d see her down at Thekla, the first true queer bar ever opened in Olympia.  Whole gangs of dykes would dance together, and she was one of the first to take her shirt off and dance in her bra.  We also spent a lot of time playing pool.  The dykes would take over a corner of the pool area and leave the other table open for the guys.  It worked pretty well.

I was smitten right away, she was hot and confident and sassy.  She flirted with anyone she wanted to, whenever she wanted to.   I was coming out of a failed 10 year relationship and she looked like a nice place to land.  However, I didn’t land right away.  She held me off, not wanting to get involved with someone who wasn’t completely out of that aforementioned relationship.  Not that she was monogamist, she just knew it’d be more trouble than it was worth.

We got to know each other, became friends and confidants.  I broke up with, and moved out, my ex-partner.  She moved in, taking her own bedroom.  Soon I was spending more time in her bed than mine.  She retained her other sex partners, and I found a couple others of my own.  At one point that summer, a friend was cooking us dinner at our house, and we were sitting on the couch.  She was upset about something and as soon as I sat down with her, she started to cry.  That was pretty unusual, she was a tough girl who didn’t let stuff get to her like that.  Before too long she confessed that she loved me and wanted to be with me but wasn’t sure she was ready to settle down.  She was afraid to choose to settle down and afraid to lose me.  I remember the moment well because I had to say something truthful, something that cut my insides.  I agreed with her that she probably wasn’t ready to settle down, that she needed to do some living and figure out what she wanted out of life.  I was having a fun summer, playing the field a bit and enjoying her a lot.  I was getting to the point where I wanted to settle down with her.  She appreciated my honesty.  I don’t remember how the whole conversation went, just that it was painful for both of us.

A short time later, maybe 3 months, it was early September.  A friend invited us to her place for dinner.  What we didn’t know at the time was that this friend was staging a kind of intervention.  She fed us and got through some light chat then got down to business.  She informed us that it was common knowledge that we were a couple, a couple that everyone else recognized despite the additional girlfriends we each had.  According to her, ‘everyone’ in our community expected us to eventually get down to the business of being a serious monogamous couple.  We were a bit stunned.  Not just that someone would sit us down for such a conversation, but that this ‘common knowledge’ had crystallized without our having a clue.

The evening lasted until 4 am the next morning.  Upon leaving our friends house, with dawn breaking around us, I said to her “Well, what do you think?  Should we try it?”  Eloquent, yes, but remember we’d been up all night.  Her response, “Yeah, I guess so.”  I had a shift of work to get through and she passed out for most of the day but at some point we both called our other girlfriends to break the news to them.  They were so unsurprised it was surprising they hadn’t said something already.  Apparently, everyone did know.

That was September 7th, 1993.  We’ve been together ever since.


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