Today is April 24th., and it is the 1st. year anniversary of our legal marriage. This anniversary seems like a Michael Reames icing on a cake or a Dick Hubbard pineapple fried pie which he has now managed to make exactly like my memories of the ones my grandmother made when I was a child being rewarded for what she believed to be good behavior.
Somewhere in that youthful childhood I must have done something good because Pretty has been the main course for me for the past sixteen years – a main course that’s been full of fun, love and extra spice. Laughter has been the secret ingredient that’s sprinkled liberally over every dish we serve in our home, and it’s my personal recipe for whatever ails all of us.
True confessions are good for the soul, though, so I have to admit that once in a rare while I have to remind Pretty I was just trying to be funny to which she has occasionally said during the past sixteen years, “there’s no demand for being funny.” I’m sure she’s just kidding.
The past year of legal married life has been almost indistinguishable to me from the first fifteen years with a couple of exceptions. “Married – filing jointly” for our 2016 income tax returns, for example, was a noticeable difference that was relatively easy and uneventful for us but produced additional work for our tax preparer. I had several emotions going on during the preparation process, but I know for sure pride was one of them. We were no longer “single” taxpayers filing two separate returns. Our family was legal, legit; and we had the tax returns to prove it.
There is a word that Pretty and I have struggled with during the past year, however. Both of us struggle, and we know it because we’ve talked about it. The word is “wife.”
For some reason that word does not roll easily off my tongue, and I don’t know for sure what the problem is. This is my wife Pretty. How hard can that be? This is my wife Slo. Again, not easy. We’ve said this is my “partner” for so long that it’s become a habitual word for us. “Wife” is not our norm.
But this past week Pretty and I were at our new house reviewing the situation when we discovered two pieces of mail in our mailbox that belonged to our neighbor who happened to be outside in his back yard. Like a good neighbor, Pretty walked over to give him the mail.
“I’m Bob,” he said when she handed the mail to him. “And that’s my wife Cynthia inside the house.”
“I’m Teresa,” Pretty said. “And that’s my wife Sheila over there in the car.”
Score one for Pretty, and welcome to the neighborhood. The legally married lesbians are moving in – which isn’t nearly as good for property values as having the gays move in – but it’ll have to do for now.
Happy Anniversary, Pretty. You’re simply the best.