Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ten Things Tuesday

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the marriage of my sister to her wife.  Auntie and The Girl were wed today in a beautiful, personal morning ceremony, and I was honored and proud to stand as a witness to their public commitment.  I wish them many more happy years.

Here, then, are ten things marriage.

1.  The traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary is cotton.  The modern gift is china.

2.  According to Bloomberg, one year of legalized marriage equality netted the city of New York $259 million for the economy.  Guess this guy was right:

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3.  Approximately $6 billion in revenue is lost by American businesses as a result of decreased worker productivity linked to marriage hardship. Employees in a happy marriage, in contrast, tend to increase a company’s bottom line.

4.  Happily married people tend to be healthier,

5.  Happily married men also tend to live longer; the data are more complex for women, but the general consensus is that happy marriages contribute to longer lives.

6.  “Tying the knot” is a tradition from nearly every compass point of the globe.  In Scotland, couples were “handfast;” Hindu Vedic weding ceremonies include the ritual of saptapadi, the tying of the groom’s scarf to the bride’s dress (or, alternately, one hand of each partner); in some Greek Orthodox ceremonies, crowns are tied together and placed on the bridal couple’s heads.  Variations on this theme can be found in wedding rites in Africa, Mexico, and Asia.

7.  Though rings have been a symbol of marriage for centuries, engagement or betrothal rings really became popular in the 1800’s, when pearls and diamonds were the adornment of choice.

8.  In the U.S. before the 1940’s, it was generally just the bride who received a wedding ring.  That tradition changed with World War II, when 80% of weddings were double-ring ceremonies.

9.  It appears that endorsement for marriage equality will be a provision in the Democratic Party’s national platform.

10.  Eleven countries practice marriage equality: The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Canada, and South Africa.  Parts of Mexico and the US also allow equal marriage, and Scotland is looking to become the first country in the UK to extend marriage benefits to all its citizens by 2015.

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Birthday Love

Today I celebrate the continued presence of Wayfarer on the planet.

I have been loving Wayfarer – to one degree or another – for a little more than 20 years.  There’s something about the man that resonates with my energy – and mine with his – and we’ve settled very nicely into a comfortable, stable, and satisfying expression of that synergy.

He is a thinking man, and though we sometimes disagree about this or that, we are never, ever disrespectful of each other, nor are we willing to let those disagreements tarnish the way we look at one another.  If anything, I think the fact that we can disagree – and can talk to each other in ways that help us to understand how we each see things – causes us to seek each other out for clarity about sticky or complex problems.  He is a key part of my “perspective team.”

He loves with his whole being.  Wayfarer is very like me in this regard; he is not the least bit apologetic about going all in with his family, his friends, and his students.  That, I think, is a big part of the common vibration we share; neither of us sees that kind of whole love as a weakness or a fault.

Wayfarer is funny, and I seem to be particularly in tune with his sense of humor.  His mannerisms, the way he comments on the everyday, and his turns of phrase – to say nothing of his facial expressions and tones of voice – crack me up on a fairly regular basis.  Ask him to teach you how to snivel.

He’s a practical and pragmatic sort while still holding to his ideal, and that is another thing that draws me to his friendship.  He sees things the way they are and understands how to “work the system,” but he’s also stoically and steadfastly determined to change those systems when he sees they’re simply not working (especially if he sees they’re not working for a kid).  I admire his ability to simultaneously say “well, there it is,” and tirelessly work to change it.

I am deeply proud of the relationship that Wayfarer and I share.  We went though a profoundly painful and difficult time a long while ago, but we recognized that we were important enough to one another to figure a way to settle into the friendship that we have now.   Our families belong to each other, and we all know, without question, that any one of us would get into the car at 2 am in our pajamas if we were called.  That matters.

Happy birthday, my precious friend.  Thank you for all that you have been, and for all that you are to me.  I’m looking forward to another year with you in it.

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Monday Meme

The Olympic Themed meme! Boosted, with love, from Kwizgiver.

1. If every day tasks were Olympic events what would you do to earn a gold medal?   I’d take gold in parallel parking, laundry folding, and cooking dinner.

2. As a child (or now even) did you excel at a particular sport and if so which one? I was a competitive figure skater when I was younger.  I sometimes regret giving it up, but it was the right thing to do when I did it.

3. Michael Phelps (swimmer) or Michael Johnson (runner) – which sport appeals to you more?  That’s a tough choice, but I think I’d go with swimming.

4. How fast can you get out of bed and be ready to go out the door if you miss the alarm and sleep in?   I am a very low-maintenance kind of woman.  I can consistently go from bed to out the door in about 15 minutes.

5. What fantasy sport would you like to see made into an Olympic event?  I don’t understand this question – is this asking about things like fantasy football?  If so, then why would I want to watch a bunch of middle-aged men keeping track of players on the television?

6. Claim to fame time – Have you ever met an Olympian and who was it? I have never met an Olympic athlete, though one of them – a swimmer – hails from my hometown.

7. What event in past Olympics can you remember most vividly?   I remember this:

8. Tuning in at home, or tickets clamped ready in sweaty palms?  Tuning in at home, definitely!  We thought about going to these Olympics, but decided we’d despise the press of the crowds.  I really do think that the best way to watch major sporting events is from home, anyway.

9. Who do you think most deserves a gold medal (any walk of life not just Olympians)?  Teachers, firefighters, police, nurses, counselors and social workers; anyone who makes life better for someone else.

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Quick Hit: This

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Quick Hit: Batman Begins

The Chili family is going to see the new Batman flick tomorrow (Punk has a free day from band camp tomorrow, so we’re going to go steal her and go to the movies).  In anticipation, I’ve been watching the first two films of this trilogy, and this quote stuck out to me (start at 1:20):

“It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

Talk it cheap.  It’s easy to say we believe one thing or we feel something else; what really matters, though, is what we DO.  In the end, our actions – what we stand for or against, what we will or will not abide, whether we act for good or ill, with our conscience or against it – is all we have to take our own measure, and for others to measure us.

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Friday F*ck You

So I know this guy.

I’ve known this guy for a very long time.  In fact, if my math is right, I’ve known this guy for nearly 30 years by this point.

This guy is a serial adulterer.  I know, both from observation and, sadly, from firsthand experience, that this guy simply cannot maintain a monogamous, committed relationship.  He just can’t.  I have no idea what his deal is or what it is about his emotional makeup that renders him incapable of faithful commitment, but the fact of the matter is that he simply cannot be faithful to a woman.  It doesn’t seem to matter that he recognizes that his behavior completely screws up his life (and the lives of the women involved); he’ll acknowledge the pain he causes to himself and to others, but that pain is clearly not enough to inspire him to change his behavior.  Nope; he’s blown every relationship he’s ever had, and now seems to be gleefully in the process of wrecking someone else’s marriage.

This person is engaged in an affair with a married woman.  It is likely not (yet) a sexual affair, but it is an affair.  The effects of this behavior are patently clear to everyone, but the actors in question seem completely undeterred.  They insist that “nothing’s happening” and that the time they spend together is not a contributing factor to the decline in her marriage.

I have come to realize that I would like nothing more than to never have to see this person again.  I know that his behavior has nothing to do with me – at least, not now (30-some years ago, it did) – but that doesn’t change the fact that his behavior is revolting to me and I’m having a really, really hard time moving past it (again).  It occurs to me lately that perhaps I shouldn’t try; this pattern of his is clearly well established and not likely to change, and I’d just as soon not have to witness it any more, never mind having to talk to him about it (or pretend that I don’t know what’s happening or that I don’t have feelings about it).

I’m sad that this person never grew up, and I’m sad that he never developed a conscience.  I’m sad to lose the person I thought he could become, but I’m not sad to lose the person he very clearly is.

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Quick Hit: Excellence

This exists!

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