Celebrating 20 Years and 1 Day With Honorable Husband
Posted on February 23, 2015
Well, we made it! Yesterday, Sunday, marked 20 years with Ralph. I find this especially remarkable since my prior romantic interests never spent more than 20 minutes with me, let alone 20 years. I guess they just weren’t ‘the one’. Ralph used to ask me how he was supposed to know if I was ‘the one’. It’s probably safe to say we have our answer and I’m not sure words would do it justice. Time spent does. But I thought I’d share some things with you from the past two decades you may or may not have known.
1) Despite me being the romantic one between the two of us, Ralph was the first one to say—two weeks after we started going out—“I think I love you.” To which I replied “I think that makes me happy.”
2) Had we not come out to each other and started dating, Ralph was prepared to settle down, get married to a woman, and have kids in order to fulfil the expectations placed upon him. I’m glad he didn’t go this route.
3) Ralph had considered joining the Air Force and told me I should be prepared for that to happen. It didn’t. Whew!
4) I was also told right up front, no holds barred, that he planned on traveling and working around the US and even the world. I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled when that first job outside the state presented itself, but we’ve managed to keep things together for those 17 years he’s been away. It never hurts that he’s almost always happy to come home for a visit.
5) A bit more contentious, this one, but Ralph always thought he’d be with someone older (that part worked out) who’d take care of him. He may not have been specific enough with that last bit. He meant monetarily. Instead, he got me. I clean things—and not always to his specifications—plus make tea, and attempt clean up after him. See what happens when you’re not specific? He needed someone who makes the salary of a doctor or world renowned surgeon. He wound up with…me.
6) One of my favorite memories from 1995, and I can’t explain why, is a really snowy night we were driving around, passed by Macomb Mall, and he got excited “Clueless” was showing there. We stopped in, saw it was starting in a few minutes, and bought tickets to watch it. Had a ball and it was a perfect date!
7) Ralph has always believed in giving me the opportunity to go with him on trips and see the world. Touristy things always come first, then we shop! He’s never said “stay home” or “you can’t go.” Well, not unless it was a trip he was going on with his grandmother. They need their time together.
8) My husband makes spectacular congee…when he’s trying to make sushi.
9) Ralph has the most incredible bum I’ve ever seen. Seriously. It’s perfect. I’ve never seen anything so amazing. He never really paid attention to it, though, because he was always so concerned about his hair. The one thing you could count on hearing around him when we first started dating was “Don’t touch the hair!” I would anyway.
10) Finally, neither of us is perfect, no matter what his Asian side would like you to think about him. Too many couples put pressure on each other to be perfect and not allow each other to make mistakes. If that would have been the case here, he might have spent 16 ½ minutes with me instead of 20 years. I have my faults. Ask him. He’ll tell you. He knows the list. And you can ask me about his, only I’m contractually obligated not to tell you about them.
There are a huge number of ways to tell someone you love them on an anniversary. Some people like expensive gifts or cards or trips. Ralph isn’t a mushy, get-me-a-gift kinda guy—mostly because it’d be coming out of his paycheck—so I have to resort to the only gift I have; writing.
I was browsing Ellen DeGeneres’s website a couple of weeks ago and saw a section that allowed viewers to recommend someone for recognition of some kind. I have no expectation of ever hearing from anyone at the show, but I wrote something to her anyway (and had to keep it under 1500 characters…not easy for me). I’ll close today’s post with that letter, but also with a message to my husband.
Ralph, thank you. Thank you for being you, and for being the other half of me. Truly, you are the better half. You keep me facing forward…away from the shelves of Blu-Rays…and looking towards the future, your hand in mine. We are our comfort in life. In the words of Roxette, which is why we ever started talking in the first place all those years ago, “it’s Almost Unreal.” Happy 20th, my love.
And my letter to Ellen DeGeneres:
When it comes to kindness, my husband jumps immediately to mind. Though, I have to say it’s a bit like being married to Mr. Spock in that I swear his half Chinese side is actually Vulcan. As he’s often told me in the past, “Your emotions are…irritating.” This month marks 20 years for us and our 3rd legally married. He currently works in the Virgin Islands (I’m in Michigan) for a company that’s not very gay friendly, but that granted him time off two years ago during his father’s last few months. He’s also been behind my leaving my day job in order to be a caregiver for my father, who has Alzheimer’s. My husband asks for nothing in return…except making him tea, cleaning up after him, and never doing his laundry. I apparently shrink things.
Aside from being part of my life, he keeps tabs on his git of a brother, his mother, and his Hong Kong grandmother.
Truthfully, my husband doesn’t complain about any of us. We all play our part in each other’s lives, but we know if we ever said “I need you,” he’d be on the next flight. That’s the kind of son he is. That’s the kind of grandson he is. That’s the kind of man I married…despite the fact he always adds a year to my age.
Thanks for reading.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
26 Responses to “Celebrating 20 Years and 1 Day With Honorable Husband”
Diana Castilleja says:
February 23, 2015 at 9:36 am
Love this Kris, and happy anniversary to you and HH. To 20 more! *cheers*
February 23, 2015 at 2:06 pm
Thank you, Diana. I told him that in 20 more, he’ll be 60…and I’ll be 49. He’s not buyin’ it, though.
Sue Laybourn says:
February 23, 2015 at 10:19 am
Brilliant post, as always, Kris.
Wishing you and Ralph many, many more happy years together.
You both definitely have that synchronicity thing going on.
February 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm
He and I are very much like yin and yang. Where one ends, the other begins, and then it just gets very circular after that. I’ll amuse him by having conversations with him in the car and answering for him. He just sits back, grins, and asks “What’s wrong with you???”
Wade Kelly says:
February 23, 2015 at 10:35 am
You always bring tears to my eyes. This time is is for sweet sentimentality and happiness. Very Happy for you and HH. Happy Anniversary! <3
February 23, 2015 at 2:11 pm
Thank you, Wade. I am a bit sentimental, huh? If he’d written the post, it would have been much shorter. “We started dating. It’s been 20 years. We’re married now. He still buy $hit he knows he shouldn’t. Happy Anniversary.”
Patricia Logan says:
February 23, 2015 at 11:02 am
That was beautiful, honey. Congratulations on 20. This year I’ll have 30 but according to you, I AM as old as dirt, so that follows 🙂 Please ruffle Pooks hair for me the next time you see him. When he gives you a dirty look, give him your innocent eyes and say, “What? The Redhead made me do it!” Much love to you both!
February 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm
Oh, sweetie. I’ve never said you’re as old as dirt. That’s a cliche. You must have been reading your own books. 😛
But, congratulations on 30! That’s pretty awesome, too. Will you do something nice for yourselves to celebrate or wait until 50?
Robert Stewart says:
February 23, 2015 at 11:03 am
That made me weepy this morning! Congratulations on 20 years +1 day, and to another 20 years +1 days ahead!
February 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm
Thank you, Robert. Am hoping to have a very, very long run of it with him. =)
Dorien Grey says:
February 23, 2015 at 11:04 am
February 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm
Thank you for the ‘sigh’, D. 😛 That really makes it festive.
Caroline Brand says:
February 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Huge congratulations! This post just made me smile…a lot! X
February 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm
Then it was totally worth it, Caroline. =)
February 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm
I have to say that this made me cry happy tears. The love that you two have for each other is truly sublime. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us in your crazy, wonderful way!
February 23, 2015 at 2:34 pm
If you only knew how much I get a talking to for sharing our lives with a reading audience. lol
Shae Connor says:
February 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm
Happy anniversary, you crazy kids, you!
February 23, 2015 at 2:35 pm
Thank you, Shae. So glad you got the chance to meet him last year. People were honestly starting to think he was a figment of my repressed imagination.
February 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm
Despite your complaints, your jokes, and your continuing romantic fumbles, hold on with all you have. I made it 28 years before I lost the love of my life. The hole never goes away. You fill each other with love, affection, laughs and memories. Cherish every damn one of them.
Happy anniversary to you and Ralph, sweets. I’m so happy for you.
February 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm
28 years probably seems like a long time to people, but it’s really not when it comes to the people involved in the relationship. I’ve often thought about writing a story where the main character has lost someone, only I don’t like the mindset I have to put myself in or think of what the reality would be like. I see what that hole in a person’s life does. I don’t envy you that, not one bit.
February 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm
You’re lucky I wish I had a Pookie too. I’ve been with mine 24 years now (married for 19 in May) He ignores me 80% of the time and the other 20% he’s nagging at me about one thing or another…sigh….
Happy anniversary hun to you and pooks!
February 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm
I don’t do well with being ignored, though I am used to a bit of nagging. For every one thing he nags at me about, I nag right back (unless I’m legitimately at fault). It works both ways. Perhaps in an effort to get his attention, you could buy a squirt bottle and squirt water him every so often. He’ll get the hint. Or he’ll buy a squirt bottle of his own, at which point you go buy a couple of Super Soakers and have at it!
Ellen E. says:
February 24, 2015 at 12:24 am
I’m so happy for you!! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to the both of you. At a time in my life when I’ve given up on love or finding anyone again, it warms my heart to hear your story. Thanks for sharing it with us!
February 24, 2015 at 3:55 am
Was wonderful to read this blog entry. So happy to hear that your somewhat non-traditional relationship is still going strong. Az and I are halfway there. It’s been a bumpy road at times but our love and respect for each other has kept us going and will continue to do so. Best wishes for the next 20!
February 28, 2015 at 11:43 am
May love, happiness and romance be yours always.
March 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm
A beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes.
Congratulations to you both!