The Frau and I bought a new home a couple of months ago, and Lavender Lane is the moniker one of our friends has given our street. It is a bit ironic - we found a house we loved when we least expected it, sold our house to the first people to look at it, and now we live directly across the street from some dear friends from church - an older female couple who have been together for 24 years. Next door to them is another female couple - about our age - who have been together about as long as we. I think there are another two couples around the corner and down the street, but we don't really know them. Here on Lavender Lane, though, we feel really normal, accepted, not "alternative." It also helps that LL is nestled in the center of the only Democratic stronghold in our state, but I digress.
Lavender Lane represents, for me at least, another milestone in our relationship (there were days during and following the move I could have called it a Hysterical Marker, but that's another story). This isn't a house that belonged to one or the other of us prior to our meeting, but it is the home that we have chosen to build (or at least redecorate and repair) together. It has only memories of our shared relationship, and the promise of what our future holds together in this place. I truly feel like I'm coming "home" to "my family" everytime I drive through the neighborhood and into the driveway.
One of our other great milestones was when we got married in one of the few places where it was actually legal - Vancouver, British Columbia ("O Canada . . ."). It meant a lot to us to have a legal and public acknowledgement of what we are to each other. The road to that milestone had its humor, as well. We had to purchase a marriage license in Chinatown from the Jack Chow insurance agency, which was not far from the Sing-A-Long Salon . . . Our "witnesses" were a concierge and a bellman. But it was legal.
I know my beloved spouse would like to have a ceremony here in the States - so we can celebrate with family and friends. And I know she must marvel at my reticence. I have marveled at my reticence. I counter that maybe we can do that to celebrate our 5th or 10th anniversary - but I think it sounds hollow. I think I might have finally pinpointed my hesitation, though. I don't want a ceremony - another milestone, if you will - to be less real than what I feel for her. I don't want anyone saying we're "pretending" to be a family, or mocking a ceremony as a "pale substitute." I keep hoping the day will come - sooner - that will allow us to publicly acknowledge, in our place of worship, and legally in our country of residence, the commitment we have already pledged to one another. It will be as REAL as our commitment, and it will be legal. And THAT will be the true celebration.