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What Counts

“Mommy, why is that man hugging that cab driver?”

That’s what I imagined the sleepy little girl, who up to that point had been mesmerized by the endless cycle of the luggage carousel, wanted to say when The Attorney gave me a big hug in the airport Wednesday evening.

It wasn’t like he flung himself on me with a girlish squeal.  It was a nice firm manly “acceptable-between-two-men-in-Tennessee” hug.  But children sense things. They can’t explain what it is, but they know.

Of course, the fact that I had been holding up a piece of paper with the Attorney’s name on it was probably the real source of her confusion.  It wasn’t so much why two men are hugging, but more why are two stranger’s hugging.1

The sign was a joke.  I’d felt a little silly standing there waiting with it against my chest, but I thought it would add to the moment.

The Attorney was arriving from Washington with his friend Jeff.2 He was expecting to ride back into town in Jeff’s car, so it was a surprise to see me at baggage claim.

I had made an effort to meet him that evening because a) I wanted to hear all about the Inauguration , b) I just wanted to see him, and c) the it was a sort of anniversary for us.

“That doesn’t count,” Jeff protested when we explained to him that January 19 had marked two years since The Attorney and I first went on a proper date.

“You have to go from the time you two made it ‘official,'” making air quotes with his fingers. “You have to count from there.”

From where?  What is the defining moment in a gay relationship?  There’s no standard to go by.

Would it be the time one of us first referred to the other as “boyfriend?”  Would it be when he gave me a key and alarm code to his home?  Would it be when he met Granny for the first time?  Would one of those moments count?

What if the defining moment hasn’t happened yet?  Does that mean we can’t celebrate yet? Will some big gay genie pop out when it does and let us know that it counts?  Is Jeff the big gay genie?

The way I see it, in January 2007 we took a first step.  And here we are, two years later, still walking together.

With no plans to stop.

Ultimately, that’s what really counts.

{ fin }

  1. And why are they hugging for so long? []
  2. They had been at the Inauguration []
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  1. Ive always gone by, “When we actually officially met”. I mean let’s say you part ways with an old friend, You’ve known for 3 years. They are absent from your life for 3 more years before you see them again. I still think I would say. “Oh, I’ve known them for 6 yrs”, instead of 3 years. Now if you have seen some one else in between that time, that you met. (Back on a date level) Then no I wouldn’t count that day or date. If you have seen them consistently since meeting them. I would count that day.

    Basically if you went on a date with guy and you fucked someone else after that. Then had another date with the first guy. I wouldn’t count that first date. 😉

    Mercy this sounds like a math quiz. LOL

  2. We grapple with the same thing as to what date to celebrate… Since jeff and I were basically sex buddies for over a year, we go with the night we first hooked up (November 15th) and there is a good story behind that finally happening… we also have September 17th, the day I proposed… The 11/15 date is also important to us as it was the day we closed on and moved into our first house together… so this year will be year 7 for us… yikes! thats like 100 years!!!

    Hope all is well!!

  3. Bob Bob

    Carlos and I saw each other across a crowded interent chatroom on April 21st, 2000….so that’s an anniversary. It’s almost nine years since we ‘met.’

    We looked each other in the eyes for the first time on July 11th, 2000….sot that’s an anniversary. It’s six months until it’s 9 years since we met.

    We began our life together on October 17th, 2000….so that’s an anniversary. It’s been three months since we celebrated eight years of un-legally-married bliss.

  4. You’re not alone at all…we have friends who have FIVE different dates for celebration….and that’s really what they are..right? Celebrating! I’ve had those signs with my name on it before too….it’s always kind of funny and humorous. Happy Day of Celebrating!

  5. Sue Sue

    Hmm. Two years is a long time! Congratulations!!! May there be many more!!! I’m so happy for both of you!

    That is so clever to wait at the airport with a sign with his name on it. How cool that he was at the inauguration!

  6. Chris Chris

    Congratulations to both of you. I use your formula – the first date, and it’s been 12 and 1/2 years.

  7. Congratulations on two years!!! May you have many, many more.

    I think the date can change depending on the person you are with and the circumstances that lead to your meeting. My ex and I just picked an arbitrary date between when we first talked on the internet and when we said “I love you” the first time because neither of is could actually remember the date either happened.

  8. You’re right – there is no standard.

    We celebrated our 24th last week (year, that is) based on an arbitrary date of what we’d call our first official date. We’d been out with others and even had ‘relations’, but once we went on a date by our lonesomes, that is the one we go by.


  9. You celebrate whatever want! The great thing about being gay is we are NOT tied to the old rules and traditions. We are free to embrace and create our own.

    My ex and I had two anniversaries. The 1st was the day we met and the 2nd was when we registered as Domestic Partners under California law. The 1st anniversary was always small and simple, sometimes we would just exchange cards or sweet words (and hot sex). The 2nd was the sort of “official” event that all our friends celebrated with us.

  10. David David

    1992. NYC. Corner of 31st street and Madison Ave. I was saying goodbye for the day to my then boyfriend Marc. I was by no means a public kisser then or now. He knew that, but leaned in real fast and planted a big one on my mouth.

    Next to us, a little Korean boy with his mommy broke into a fit of giggles.

    b. Rick and I met in 1996 and have been together ever since. It just kind of happened. We have no idea of a date. We just know it was the fall. We make our birthdays special.

  11. Well March will be the beginning of our 15th year. Date? We don’t remember what day we officially started dating exclusively, just that it was March. Congrats on the Two years!

  12. Gene Owen Gene Owen

    It seems “official” to me. And has for a good, long time. Congratulations! And I hope the little girl got a good answer from her folks.

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