It was our wedding night, and I was on the search for the famous cucumber water that the Grand Highland Hotel, the hotel Eddie and I were staying at for our short honeymoon, provided to their guests.
I needed water to take my meds, as I do every night. In our room, the only option was Arrowhead water, and I am just not a fan of the taste. I walked up to the front desk, all ten feet it was from our hotel room door, dressed in my pajamas. This meant I was wearing red sweat pants from the Gap, and a white shirt with a picture of Mary, Jesus’ mom, that I had won years ago at Drag Queen “Naughty or Nice” Bingo.
I filled up a couple of glasses (I get thirsty at night) and headed back to our room.
Once I walked in, I found my new husband sitting on the bed, exactly where I left him. Except he wasn’t exactly how I left him. While he was eating some crunchy coconut donuts that we got from a gas station on our way up to Prescott, as he does every night, and while he was still watching the cartoon I had quickly turned on before my search for water, he simply wasn’t wearing the pajamas he was wearing when I had left that room just minutes before. That is, he simply wasn’t wearing anything except these very nicely fitted pair of boxer-briefs.
Welcome to married life, I told myself, as I smiled. Never before had I found Eddie sitting in his underwear eating donuts and just hanging out. Sure, he will sometimes sleep without a shirt; and there’s been the few occasions when I’ve convinced him to sleep in his underwear — but for the most part, Eddie is a fairly private person.
It was the cutest thing in the world to me. He looked like a man-child, but a happy one, and him being happy melts my heart every time.
Getting married was an easy choice for Eddie and me. More or less, from the moment we met, we knew we would be married. Some might call it love at first sight, but I knew pretty early on that Eddie and I would be together. And granted we’ve had our tough times, all couples do, we’ve survived them, which only further illustrates why we belong together.
In 2006, while fighting a gay marriage ban that Arizona faced, I was deeply troubled by the things that people would say about marriage. Some would say that allowing gays to get married would “ruin it for others” — meanwhile, gays themselves would say that it’s just a piece of paper. Regardless of what others said about marriage though, my views on it have always remained the same.
I have long felt that all couples should be allowed to stand before God, before their family, and before each other to promise to be there for each other. I have long felt that all couples should have the choice to get married, for the very legal protections that piece of paper provides. I have also long felt that marriage should be taken seriously, not entered into at a whim, and that it does change a relationship, all for the better.
Our wedding night was pretty much like any other night we’ve spent together. That is, besides the obvious fact that we were both exhausted, and the obvious fact that we were staying in a hotel; we did pretty much what we do every night. We both nibbled on food, we watched TV, we snuggled, we kissed each other good night and said our traditional goodnight wishes to each other. We did what we do every other night.
But something about that night wasn’t the same. We were married. For once, I felt that neither of us were holding anything back. We were simply being ourselves. Me, insanely searching for water because cucumber water does taste better than Arrowhead, and Eddie, nibbling on donuts in his underwear while we both watch cartoons. We weren’t being shy, we weren’t worried that we might offend one and other, we weren’t being overly sweet or especially sincere — we were simply free to be ourselves.
I can’t say that everything is different now that Eddie and I are married, but I can say that there is a legitimacy to our relationship now that wasn’t there before. There’s a commitment we’ve made to each other that wasn’t there before. And there’s comfort knowing that we will be there for each other, no matter what, that simply wasn’t there before.
We can argue same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court until we are blue in the face. We can argue the political nonsense regarding marriage — but when it comes to something as profoundly basic as marriage, I simply do not see how my commitment to my husband is any different, or any less important, or any less sincere, or any less truly profound and blessed, as anyone else’s.