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Before I write anything I want to pause to remember those who have died from AIDS. My list starts with “Oscar”, who had AIDS in 1986, when it was the not only the death knell, it was anathema. I recall we told his family to wash his utensils separately. It “ends” with the patients and friends living with AIDS; no matter how well they are doing, any day they could contract a bug that could quickly kill them. 

What I am thinking of actually is marriage. Yesterday we attended a reception party of some chums who married last month in California. A staid old couple of over 15 years, they got hitched in Palm Springs along with another couple.  The two sets of newlyweds held this party to say thanks for the support.

online-researchAs is my wont, I wander around at parties and play a little game with myself:  the topic of marriage was in the air – who would say what about it?  The lambda lab rats consisted of three groups:

a) Gay couples; married.

b) Gay couples; not married.

c)  Gentleman bachelors.

 

You may be shocked shocked shocked to hear gay married couples tend to laud how wonderful it is to be married as much as straight couples. There was some subtle (and not so subtle) pressure to (b) to marry and to (c) to ‘settle down with someone”.  Them’s in (b) were a bit squeamish, not unlike their counterparts at a straight wedding reception when drunk Aunt Milga boisterously says  ‘So when are you two gonna marry?” 

The body language and conversation of (c) was a mixture of some looking quite relieved and amused by all the fuss and some looking a bit forlorn and envious.

None in (b) ‘made the announcement’ they were next; none in (c) ‘hooked up’ with each other.**

 

I asked many their reasons for being in (a), (b), or (c).  All three conveyed contentment with their status.  One couple of over 20 years I learned have no interest in formalizing their relationship. A (c) man sung a hymn to bachelorhood with all its ‘me time’ (and sexual freedom).

I asked separately each of one recently married couple “Do you feel different, now you have married?” One replied “No, not really”, but he was feeling good. The other couldn’t explain how, but his response was ‘Yes’.

 

In the end everyone seemed happy with what they were; and all were happy for the two sets of newlyweds – which is how it should be.

Being content with who we are and what we are – and being open to whatever happens without expectations – makes a good recipe for happiness.

 

 

 

** There was a member in the (b) category who seemed to be flirting with someone in the (a) category, but this may have been only the lighting.

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