Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Twenty Years Later.

Bert and Ernie are getting married.

Not that Bert and Ernie. My friends Bert and Ernie, who, like nearly everyone else I mention on this blog, are not actually named Bert and Ernie.

I've been married for nearly 25 years now. My husband and I were young to have gotten married, I know that now, not that I care in the least. We were smart about some things and lucky about others, and we were always completely committed to each other and our children. We've had a happy 25 years; I look forward to at least another 25 more.

Bert and Ernie have been equally committed, and equally happy, for the past 20 years. The difference is that they couldn't be married, not until just recently. Because, you know, their names are Bert and Ernie. They're gay.

I've known them for almost ten years. Once one of my children and their child spent a weekend playing together while we were all gathered for an event. My child was still pretty young. Afterward--weeks afterward--my child came up to me and abruptly demanded, where exactly did Bert and Ernie get their kid?

"Ecuador," I said.

"OH, thanks!" my child said, and skipped away.

Because they are getting married, they can now both be the legal parents of the child they've raised from birth. Because they are getting married, they can inherit each other's social security benefits and pensions. They can't be denied access to one another in case of medical or other emergency.

Other than that, I don't think much will change for them. Their commitment to each other has long since been proven.

But as soon as I write that, I think I'm wrong. I try to imagine living the last 24 years of my life as an unofficial "life partner," not a spouse. I think marriage would be pretty important for me.

Whatever. I just need to come up with a decent wedding gift (are they registering anywhere?) and when I get to their party, dance. And maybe sing. I'm a whiz at karaoke now, as you may have heard.