The anniversary that wasn’t

24 January 2011

Yesterday was my wife Nina’s and my twelfth wedding anniversary.  Nowadays, it seems like spending twelve years married to the same person without committing a homicide is fairly rare, and considering some of the problems we’ve had to work through over that time (internal and external), we do rather feel we’ve beaten the odds.  So it’s kind of a big deal, certainly worthy of a celebration.

And what did we do yesterday to commemorate such a momentous occasion?  Well … pretty much nothing.

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The definition of marriage

10 August 2010

The following is an idea that I’ve had in the file for months — I figured I’d get around to it eventually.  But all the controversy surrounding the overturning of California’s Proposition 8 kind of brings it to the front burner.

To recap the situation for non-Californians and/or people who don’t follow sexual politics: in November 2008, Golden State voters, by a small margin (52% to 48%) passed Proposition 8, aka “the California Marriage Protection Act.”  It amended the state constitution’s Declaration of Rights, saying that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  The proposition overturned a California Supreme Court ruling from earlier in the year, allowing people of the same sex to marry.   (Full disclosure: I voted for it, too.)  Needless to say, Proposition 8’s victory generated some controversy among homosexual activists and those who support them, many of whom were quite vehement in their denunciation of the vote.

(As an aside, you know who probably was most responsible for Proposition 8 passing?  Barack Obama.  No, really.  Obama’s presence on the ballot, naturally, caused a huge increase in the number of African-Americans going to the polls that election — and African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8 by something like a 7-to-1 margin.  Bet you’ll never hear Keith Olbermann or Sean Penn bring that up.  Or, for that matter, Bill O’Reilly or Randy Thomasson …)

Well, the opponents of Proposition 8 sued, and last week federal district court judge Vaughn Walker ruled the proposition unconstitutional, citing the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  (The Fourteenth Amendment, incidentally, was voted into the Constitution during Reconstruction to protect newly freed black slaves.  That 7-to-1 margin makes more sense now, doesn’t it?)  However, at present he hasn’t formally entered his ruling and is allowing for further motions from both sides.

So now supporters of Proposition 8 — including most American evangelicals — are the ones up in arms, decrying the ruling as an attack on the institution of marriage.  One person I’ve read said that pretty soon one will legally be able to marry one’s dog or cat, at the rate things are going.  (No, I’m not kidding, someone said that!)  Regardless, the case is expected to be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, and whoever loses there will undoubtedly appeal it again to the Supreme Court; that’s how these things usually go.

In the midst of all this, I have a question: What is the definition of a marriage?

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What is the mindset of divorce?

9 February 2009

Yesterday, it happened again.  I was with the Supermodel, and we ran into an old friend of mine, someone I’ve known since my college days in the late ’80s but haven’t seen in years.  And somewhere in the conversation I mentioned that we’d just celebrated our tenth anniversary.  His response was effusive … maybe a little too much so.

I’m always a bit uncomfortable when someone credits us with doing something amazing by staying together for a decade.  It used to be assumed that once you married, you stayed married until one or the other of you croaked.  You made a commitment, and unless there was no way to do so without risking bodily injury or worse, you stuck with that commitment.  My own parents’ marriage was horrendous, and they stayed together for over 13 years.  My in-laws will be celebrating their 41st anniversary this summer.  And that’s not even the record in our rather small social circle — we know one couple who in July will mark 56 YEARS together!  Ten years?  Big whoop.

And then you hear something that gives you a bit of insight into why other people are so enthused about a measly decade …

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Happy birthday, Supermodel!

3 January 2009

Question: what do Tom Brady, Seal, David Bowie and this blogger have in common?

Answer: we all sleep with supermodels.

My wife, who I call the Supermodel (because she looks like one — and if you don’t believe it, just ask me!) turned 38 today.  We have known each other for 10-1/2 years, and will be celebrating our 10th anniversary later this month, one more opportunity for me to recite the Lou Gehrig “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech.  But I have to say this: I do not consider her to be just as wonderful as she was on the day we met.

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