My partner and I celebrated our 5th anniversary together last night. It was lovely. We went to a ridiculously expensive French restaurant and blew two weeks worth of grocery money on an incredibly sumptuous dinner. It was all worth it. We split an order of escargot, which my partner had never tried. Escargot is the one exception I have to my "I don't eat bugs" rule, simply because it's so delicious. I then had the bouillabaisse, which is a kind of seafood soup. It had mussels, shrimp, some kind of whitefish, and a wonderfully spicy tomato-based broth. My partner had an incredibly decadent mixed grill, with melt in your mouth prime steak, duck, and scallops. We then shared a pair of absolutely perfect souffles, one chocolate, one vanilla. All in all a perfect evening.
It occurred to me last night that we've been together for the same amount of time that I lived in France as a kid. The funny thing is that I remember the 5 years I lived in France did not seem to pass as quickly as these last 5 years have. Of course, I lived in France from age 10 to 15, so it was a very different time in my life.
The past 5 years have been a whirlwind - but in a really good way. I have the Howard Dean campaign to thank for meeting my partner. I was driving back to Tulsa with another campaign volunteer named Anna after a candidate forum in Stillwater where all of the '04 Democrats (except, oddly enough, John Kerry) had appeared. Naturally, we were discussing politics, and I'm sure I got passionate about something or other. Somehow socialism came up, and Anna mentioned someone in her speech class who had given a strident speech in favor of socialism. She said I should meet him. She also said he was a great cook. I was immediately intrigued.
Our first date was a study in awkwardness. Anna was there as a mediator, but after a while I didn't need her there at all. This new, mysterious person had quickly piqued my interest, and I wanted to take him away and learn more. Unfortunately, Anna didn't get the hint. Our date moved to another venue, and I could tell almost immediately that there was a future here.
We meshed into each other's lives like puzzle pieces or some other cliche. He constantly impressed me with his kindness, his intelligence, his passion, and his independence. Within a year we were living together, because it was the natural thing to do. We've been living together ever since.
Our relationship evolved along a path of wonderful inevitability, and there was never a point when one of us asked the other, "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?" The idea of having a commitment ceremony was batted around for a couple of years before we finally decided to plan it. Then, in October of 2007, we became the first same-sex couple in Oklahoma to stand up in a synagogue and commit ourselves to each other before God, the Rabbi, and the congregation. It was a beautiful ceremony, marred only by the knowledge that civil marriage equality would continue to elude us.
Five years after I met my partner, I can't imagine life without him. I could go through a whole list of cliches about pieces fitting together, about soulmates, about finding that one person who really completes you, but that's what we have.
Now, we're looking forward to a new adventure, starting over in a new city, both of us going to school to better ourselves. It's an exciting and slightly frightening prospect, but I know that we'll figure out the kinks and the details just like we always do.
Five years. I'm looking forward to the next fifty.
Love ya, M.