Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Anniversary, @MrPolyonymous and @NathanBurgoine

So, eleven years ago (tomorrow), we packed up our tuxes and our friend showed up to drive us down to Merrickville. We got married at Sam Jakes Inn, in a little room with a lovely officiant and a ceremony that didn't have much in the way of traditions. In fact, the whole planning of the event was made up of a bunch of "Wait, there's two grooms, how will the first dance work?" and "Wait, there's two grooms, does anyone march down an aisle?" and... well, you get the idea. For the record, most of the traditions in a North American wedding are all about the bride and her father. It's a little creepy.

For reference, this is what we looked like back then:

Huh. My beard used to be red.
On our first anniversary, we went back to Sam Jakes Inn, and had dinner there. We learned they had a tradition: you got a discount equal to the number of years you'd been married if you went there for your anniversary dinner. So, that year, a whopping 1% discount! Woo-hoo! Still, it was a lovely idea, and a lovely way to celebrate, and the food was fantastic, so we looked at each other, a little happy to be free and clear of having to plan things in the future, and agreed: this was our thing.

The Inn closed before we could get our 4% discount. And thus began a fun—and funny—tradition of us having no luck whatsoever with anniversary planning.

To be fair? Neither of us really enjoy being out to dinner in a romantic setting, because being a queer couple means you're never quite sure what gesture might upset someone. We've had whole tables of very large men glare at us for the duration of a meal (not good for digestion) when one of us said the word 'husband' to the other (I think it was me, I have a habit of calling him 'husband.')

Originally, I decided to do the actual, traditional, anniversary gift thing and it was smooth sailing until I got to "Fruit." For paper, I came up with tickets; for cloth, some lovely handkerchiefs, and so on, but... Fruit? Tin? Salt?

"Here you go, my love."

"Is this salt?"

"Yep! Happy eighth anniversary!"

So I chucked that tradition out the window. We mostly just give each other cards now. Which is also hysterical, because have you read anniversary cards?

"To my loving husband, who makes me feel like such a lucky woman—BZZT."

"My husband, my rock, my love, you complete me. I hope I do the same as your wife—BZZT."

And so on. Thank the gods for blank cards, and niche LGBT designs at the local Village shops.

Last year? It was the tenth anniversary, so we decided we should try actively planning something. And make it somewhere we could give in to the moment and actually say "happy anniversary" and not worry about gawkers. So, we decided we'd have an anniversary brunch at the local queer restaurant in the village, then walk around downtown Ottawa and Parliament (we feel pretty safe holding hands on Parliament Hill, what with all the RCMP and crowds), and then head to the National Art Gallery, where I had a pass since I'd become a Canadian citizen.

Except, of course, it turned out the pass wasn't valid, and we needed to go somewhere else to get it validated, but we'd walked so by the time we'd gotten that done we'd lost almost two hours and... We shrugged, laughed that at least the brunch was one of our more successful attempts, and went home to walk the dog.

So today? On the eve of our eleventh anniversary? Our plan was to go have high tea at the Chateau Laurier, and then have a nice walk around.

It's raining, and the restaurant is under construction.

One of us has more grey. I think it's the dog.

I promise I'm saying all this with a laugh. We've been making it all up as we go along from step one. Heck, I proposed the day the laws changed, and some of the forms still said "groom" and "bride" or "man" and "woman" as we were filling them in. Who needs tradition?

Except, of course, it occurs to me now that every plan we make going south? Making up new plans on the fly? Laughing in the face of yet another "that isn't going to work"?

Maybe that's our tradition.

It'll do. There's no one else I'd rather have beside me, making it up as we go along.

How about we go have desserts for lunch instead at Oh So Good, husband?

Oh, and happy anniversary.


It's a romance, so you know you get a happy ending, right?

Speaking of things not going as planned, I have a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey gay romance novella, In Memoriam, that follows a couple over the course of nearly twenty years who didn't quite make it, and one of the men, James, has just found out he's dying of brain cancer. As an editor, he knows tragedy, and faces things down with what I'd consider a pretty solid calm, and only has one regret: that guy who got away.

But the tumours? They're in the parts of his brain where he keeps a grip on time and memory, and it turns out that while he's losing his grip on his memories and his understanding of time, time is losing it's grip on him, too. So he gets another shot at making things right, which he hopes he can do before it's too late.

Changing his life from nothing but memories? It's one heck of a re-write. But hey, that's what editors do.