LOVE WON

How amazing was yesterday? It is now legal for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters to get married in ALL, say it again, ALL 50 states. YES!


This is S and I on our wedding day – May 16, 2014. I’m so happy that we can celebrate this victory during the month of PRIDE, and that others can now have a happy-cake-cutting-moment without having to travel outside of their home cities.

I’m so proud of the country. There is still a lot of learning and growing to be done in America when it comes to equality, but this is a giant step. Everyone celebrate. Have a drink or eat some carbs. We did it!

Hi! 

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been in and out of the blog as of late. It’s only been a couple weeks since my last post, I think, but I fully intend to hop back on the wagon SOON! Excuses aren’t cute by any means, but the husband and I have been extremely busy.

Last week our home desktop computer decided that it wanted to crash, in the middle of my husband prepping for a final exam, just before we were to leave for Minneapolis to visit friends, and that left us with one laptop to share. We returned to Indianapolis on Monday, after having an absolute blast in Golden Gopher territory for four days, and are just now coming off that “vacation” feeling of laziness.


I would like to have a post up by this weekend, but I will make no promises. I plan to write a little about our time with our friends up in Minnesota, but S is still monopolizing the laptop. Education is important, and his final is tomorrow, so I won’t snatch the device away from him, lol.

So I apologize for the delay! But in the meantime, keep up with me on social media across these platforms:

Twitter: @gaysinthelife

Instagram: @being_mrj

Be looking for a post soon! Share past posts with your friends and family! And as always, I thank you for the love. Talk to you all soon.

You Take Out the Trash, and I’ll Do the Dishes.

“Who’s the girl in the relationship?” is a popular inquiry among curious heterosexuals I’ve met in the past. Like a gust of wind, the gender roles within my marriage lean towards societal normativity, but depending on the day will quickly whip in another direction. Society has programmed most of us to think that men and women have specific roles when it comes to households, jobs, and various other avenues of life. I always have to laugh when the questioning of roles within my relationship comes up in conversation, because you’d think that here in the year 2015, that there would be a better sense of freedom within any relationship. Relationships and marriage are both partnerships, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who did what chores. Views of how a relationship should work will vary, and not everyone will agree. I believe this disagreement is important because not only does it encourage learning, it promotes individual growth that could can potentially be shared with other relationships and marriages.

I’ve always joked that – stereotypically speaking – I’m the woman within my marriage. Pinterest is one of my most used apps on my iPhone, and I’ve known how to crochet since I was twelve. I’ve never liked getting dirty, I enjoy a good outfit, and I absolutely love a good bag. My mouth waters over a good-looking messenger or weekender-styled bag, and sports have never been my thing ever since I could remember. I only learned how football truly worked when I joined marching band at Indiana University – Did I mention I played football one year in high school? Yep, now read back those last couple sentences, and collect that laugh.  Over half of my work experience was spent in retail stores, so I’m cursed with the ability to organize any closet, and I actually enjoy it. Every outfit and accessory has a place, and when things get cluttered my mind nearly explodes; there’s instant stress when I come across clutter in my home. When we moved into our condo, I told my husband not to touch anything that was going to a closet. All the traits I’ve mentioned above – things I love about myself – would typically be matched with the gender labeled “female.”

My husband does not mind getting dirty, and this is a result of growing up on a horse farm.  He had real chores: cleaning horse stalls, moving haystacks, breaking horses – the act of socializing a horse to the point of being able to ride it – and various other farm chores that would make most city kids cry. I believe my husband to be the most handsome man in the world, but his wardrobe can be pretty plain – nothing against the plain and simple types.  It’s easy and refreshing most of the time. He’s a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy, and I love any opportunity to play dress-up with him before going out with friends, or heading out to a dinner. I watched him change the oil on his own car some months back. I ended up retreating to the house, and probably ended up playing on Pinterest, but returned to the garage to find quite the mess. Outside of the dirt and simple manliness that makes up my husband, is his love for Indiana basketball. He can talk college basketball like no one I’ve ever heard before, and gets completely into the games. He’s most emotional during an IU basketball game, and when players from the team make the news because of some coach drama, or team scandal.

While most of these gender role stereotypes are entertaining and fun to identify within any relationship, they’re not the norm anymore.  Sure, back in the day women had their roles, and men had theirs, but in today’s world, you can identify ALL gender roles within a single gay relationship. So what does this say about gender roles in general? Like sexuality, these roles within a relationship are fluid and ever-changing. One person doesn’t have to do one specific chore, or act a certain way because of their sex. For S and I, all that matters is that our condo – and life – isn’t burning down. I imagine this to be a similar and common thought when it comes to other relationships and marriages across the globe. There are plenty of straight, uber-masculine men that can sew, cook, and clean, and a great deal of women who enjoy getting their hands dirty, and who could teach any man a thing or two inside a garage. The traditional views of the inner-workings of a relationship are slowly fading, and my hope is that by acknowledging the fluidity of gender roles – across any type of relationship – we can stop answering a question like “So, who’s the girl in the relationship?”

The Last Slice

“NO! You have to save that piece to eat on your first anniversary!” M’s voice filled our kitchen with both protest and excitement. The gluten-free, red-velvet, cream-cheese-frosted cake she had made for our wedding day was beyond delicious, and I wanted nothing more than to take another bite out of the lonely slice of its remains. This Saturday is my husband and I’s first marriage anniversary, and that last piece of delicious memorabilia – that’s been hiding under alcohol and frozen meat – has survived the year and would meet its end come May 16th.  I wasn’t familiar with the cake tradition at all until M shared it with us that day in our kitchen, and the pending arrival of our first anniversary has me wondering if holding on to that one, last piece of cake means something. Out of sight out of mind is the notion that comes to mind almost immediately. “The first year of marriage is the hardest” is what every tells you when you tie the knot, and much like our frozen slice of wedding cake, married life blinked right by us in a time-warped state of reality. Has it really already been a year? I guess this slice of cake will be even better than tasting it for the first time, because it’s serving as some kind of reward for getting through our first year as husbands. Our relationship has always been smooth sailing; crossing choppy waters here and there, but never truly rocking the boat. As I think about eating this cake, exactly a year from when I tried to finish it off, a dormant excitement is awakened. I haven’t taken the time at all to note, or keep track of anything we’ve done during our first year of marriage! We did move from our one-bedroom apartment to a lofted condo, AND we are expecting our first fur child – a rat terrier puppy we plan to name Reynold, and who’s a direct descendant of S’s family dog. This first year of marriage has been out of sight and out of mind. It was a good year, and eating this cake will give us a great excuse to reflect and really honor our first year of marriage. I want to thank M for sharing this tradition with the both us, because come this Saturday finishing the cake we started a year ago will mean so much to both my husband, and myself.

Every Man for Himself

I’m cheating on my husband with Matthew McConaughey. Can you believe it? I don’t really go for lighter-haired men, but in this case I can most certainly make an exception.  My husband and I started HBO’s True Detective several months back – last summer, I believe – and we just kind of fell out of the show after a few episodes. There was nothing bad about the show, but our problem was having too many shows to keep track of, so True Detective was dropped from our active queue.  S has a habit of starting a show, and not wanting to finish it – which is more than fair because, sometimes you just can’t get into a show – and Game of Thrones was a casualty after I’d got him to watch the first three seasons. “You can’t just stop the series after the red wedding!” What was this man thinking?

Last week I was listening to a new favorite podcast of mine – Last Name Basis, hosted by married couple Patrick and Franchesca – and they were discussing what shows they watched together, and which shows they watch without each other. Most of the time they watch the same shows, but because of work schedules, traveling for work, and other life factors, they can’t always watch them together. Depending on which show it was, they would either wait, or go ahead and watch without the other. There was a moment where Patrick faked having finished Netflix series, House of Cards, and Franchesca – taking the bait – almost went into a how-dare-you type of rage. I thought this was absolutely hilarious, and that moment popped back into my head today, at work, as I was restarting True Detective’s first season. “There’s no way he will ever find out…”

I realize that by sharing this topic with the blogosphere that I may, in fact, tell on myself if S decides to read my recent entries. I will laugh so hard if he brings up the fact that I restarted the show without him – because then I’d know he’s reading Gays in the Life. Whenever I ask if he’d like to watch something we haven’t paid attention to in a while, and he answers “no, not yet…” I have to follow up with the question “…am I going to have to watch this one without you, too?” He’ll usually answer “no, don’t!’ and then months go by with no attempts made to watch the program. I couldn’t help myself this time. The trailer for season two of True Detective is completely mesmeric, they’re making amazing additions to the cast – Vince Vaugh, Rachael McAdams, and Colin Farrell – and my interest is fully engaged, once again. Come June 21st, I will be present and ready for a new episode.

Playing with Fire

A handful of months back, I asked my husband to help me with one of my entries for Gays in the Life. I had the crazy idea to write a blog entry where we shared our pet peeves, and talked openly about the things that secretly drive us crazy when it comes to one another. He let out an incredulous laugh, and then proceeded to ask “is that a good idea?” I believed deep down that it was a good idea, but perhaps my inner artist was feeling a little too hungry. Writing a blog entry like this with my husband could offer a fun, real, and honest peek into our marriage and everyday life, but I wondered if my ambitious spirit was approaching an edge that we – because I’d have to consider his feelings, along with mine – weren’t quite ready to dance upon. Would I be taking a bite out of something we couldn’t quite chew? Issues we couldn’t quite swallow?

Almost all of my friends were in and out of relationships before I met my husband. Having a front row seat to every argument, scolding, and various other quibbles helped me realized that, depending on the couple, the smallest annoyance could cause a relationship to crumble, crash, and burn. Remembering those couples and scrolling through memories of their successful, or failed, relationships ignited my current thoughts on whether or not our relationship – our fresh marriage – could survive knowing each other’s hidden pet peeves. Obviously I would say my marriage could survive, but we have to keep a realistic view in regards to our relationships with ourselves – inside the marriage – and as one unit; because every moment isn’t peaches and cream. At this point, we know what sets each other off, but these triggers were discovered as our relationship developed over the years.

Knowing if, and when, the truth is too much, is another factor that should be considered. Initially when I was playing with the idea of doing this joint piece with my husband, the spirit was light and fun, with no thoughts of potential darkness in mind.  Couples can be one hundred percent open, and still have things they keep to themselves. S’s questioning whether or not the unborn blog entry was a good idea bred life to this notion, and invited a small amount of darkness and negativity into my well-intended burst of creativity. Surely we, of all couples, could survive knowing what makes the other tick like a time-bomb, right? The answer to that question would depend on what each trigger was, and the only way to obtain the answer, is to actually move forward with my plan – for the joint blog entry – and discuss them. It’s a devilishly hilarious thing, and the answer remains unknown.

Stubborn Interlude

Sometimes all you can do is keep your mouth shut. I’m sure everyone in a long-term relationship, or marriage, has felt this way before. You could offer a truckload of solutions to a problem your significant other is going on (and on) about, but no matter what you suggest they’ll still move forward with something that was their idea; or make the idea you presented seem like it was theirs to begin with. On the inside I have to laugh, because it’s hilarious, but on the outside I have to keep up the fight – challenging the stubbornness.

The spring is here to stay, and with the change of weather comes angry allergens, twenty-four hour colds, and major sinus drama. If I notice the slightest hint of a cold, I immediately begin to take medicine. Whether it be sniffles, minor headaches, or a kind-of-itchy-throat, I make sure to keep taking medicine so the condition does not get any worse.

My husband, S, would take a completely different approach to attacking pre-cold symptoms. He would simply not take any medicine; no Airborne, no Emergen-C, no meds at all. “Maybe you should take some medicine… knock it out before it spreads” is my usual response whenever any health related issue is presented. True to form, he’ll answer in a way that basically says “no, I’m not doing that,” or he’ll change the subject. “Why won’t you take the medicine?!”

S is an Aries, and anyone who knows an Aries is very familiar with the my-way-or-the-highway mentality they manifest on a daily basis. Why so stubborn, though?! I hate saying I told you so, so why can’t he just try this one idea I’ve shared? As spouses we share our respective jurisdictions – regarding one of us being right, and the other being wrong – but there’s always one of us that won’t bend so easily… and that one is usually him.

Past in Present

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and marked his fourth birthday that we have celebrated together. Where has the time gone?! The wonder, curiosity of what and when, and the overall remembrance of the moments that have already past – and the subliminal preparation of those that have yet to arrive – proves to be one trippy ride.  I find myself, in this moment, trying to piece together every single day that we have shared. Good days, bad days, our bright days, and our grey days blend together to form a beautiful watercolor painting; as seen through memory’s hazy vision. Many memories approach, and my attempt to remember those already traveled prove to be nothing short of an intro to an odyssey.

Let’s not spark the fuse on dramatics’ canon too soon, as I’m not trying to live out any scene from The Notebook. It feels like yesterday that I was back in high school; living the last of my glory days in jazz band, graduating, and packing for my first semester at Indiana University Bloomington. It’s a funny thing, time, because it’s been ten years since those last days of high school. In an instant, and with the blink of an eye, I can be taken back to that moment in time, via memory’s influence and without notice. The realization of where S and I are now, together, is mind-boggling.  I merge from Memory Lane, speeding back into present day, and think to myself “…wow, where has the time gone?”

It wasn’t until this week that I really stopped to think about everything life has thrown my way throughout the last decade of my life. The ups and downs, along with their joy and misery, trace a path from then – whenever then may be – to now. So many things in life take time, yet we don’t feel the time passing. Four is a big number for me in this moment. October of this year will mark four years that S and I have been together. That’s four Christmases, four of my birthdays, and four of his birthdays… It’s crazy when I think of how quickly that time flew. I have to wonder that if, come tomorrow, would another four years have passed because I was so caught up in the present? The reality is that no matter what you do, those memories will linger and make their presence know as you need them. Live in the moment and don’t look back, because before you know it, you’ll be reflecting on more memories collected.

Huh?

“What’re we doing again?” he presents this frequently asked question as I bring up pending plans for G’s birthday celebration down in Bloomington.  “We went over this!” I tease, waiting to repeat the information for a third or fourth time. “Ugh, just tell me!” Selective hearing is a trait he, his brother, and father all have in common. You could be sitting next to S with a cigarette lighter in hand, mention a gas leak, and get nothing – maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s humorous nonetheless.  The manifestation of quick, mischievous panic is the usual expression displayed when he tunes back into our conversations; sharing nothing but wide eyes and a smile. Softening to his plea, I administer a small dose of guilt with one of my very own frequently asked questions. “You didn’t hear anything I just said, did you?” And the beat goes on.