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At Seventeen

I’ve posted this photo of Ray and me visiting NYC before. The location is the State of Liberty. It’s one of the oldest photos I have of the two of us together and it perfectly represents the dynamic of our relationship. I’m the outgoing crazy person and Ray is the calm grounded gentleman (who seems to appreciate my antics).

Today marks seventeen years of togetherness for the two of us.

I am the luckiest man on the planet! Sorry other Luckiest Man in the World, it’s me, I’m at the top — or at least for today.

Some people meet, fall in love and kinda morph into a state of just…loving their other half. Not me. I am amazed at how much more in love I get with each passing year.

There are a lot of people who read my blog (all tens of them) and only know Ray from what I say about him. I’m confident the people in my life who know Ray or have at least met him, will back me up on this one: He’s probably one of the nicest guys you’ve ever met. Not to mention helpful, smart, fantastic, handsome, confident, gush, gush gush…

People frequently comment about our relationship. It’s nice to hear their kind words but I do have to point out that it’s hard work. The only reason we get along so well is because we both put a lot of effort into it. As we all know, if you put a lot of effort into something it starts to look effortless. Also, I do have to say, it isn’t always perfect. We both have our little idiosyncrasies.

Ray is the kind of man that makes me wish we could live forever. I was very immature when we first got together. Through the years, he’s been a friend, mentor, lover, partner and in many ways a father. I owe a lot to him. He’s always been there and helped shape me into the person I am today and that’s what makes a relationship. We both say, “I love you” about ten times a day.

I used to say that it didn’t matter that the laws governing the USA would not allow us to marry because we really are technically married. I’ve changed my mind. It does matter. After almost two decades together, we should be allowed the same benefits as that young couple who marry after a short courtship. In the seventeen years that we’ve been together, I’ve seen the people who enforce these rules of marriage, divorce and remarry like a wash-and-wear shirt or even better, get caught with their pants down while wife (or husband) is home taking care of the kids. But who am I to judge being the sinner that I am?

I love you Ray. That’s all that matters to me. Everyday I radiate thanks and gratitude for having you as my partner.

13 Comments

  1. DougT

    That was lovely, and so much of it rang true to my life with L here in Illinois. I love the old photo. You guys have both gotten handsomer with the passing of the years. Congratulations to you both.

  2. Zoe

    Everyone should send a love letter to their significant other, whatever and however it fits. A good reminder and happy 17 with at LEAST that many more to see.

  3. Dorene

    You both bring attributes to your relationship that make it so wonderful. Your crazy humor blends with Ray’s ‘sometime’ seriousness. You are truly made for each other. As you say, your relationship is great because you work at it – everyday. Many relationships could benefit from watching yours. It totally sucks that we live in such a progressive society that is so ‘ignorant’ about defining relationships that should be legally allowed to be made permanent with all benefits. Love you guys! dm

  4. Becky Reyes

    As I stated on facebook. You are the gold standard. Thanks for saying that IT TAKES WORK! You make it look so effortless. Got a little tear in my eye when I read your blog. Now THAT’S commitment.

  5. Gin

    You guys are the exception and should be proud. I am truly happy for you. Can’t wait to meet him;>)

  6. Jim

    I forgot that we’re fellow anniversarians. Is that even a real word? If Sarah Palin can make up words, so can I, lol.

    I’m not going to dispute who is the luckiest man on the planet because it’s a tie. You have Ray and I have George. But you guys have ten more years on us. So I give you that.

    Yes, it takes work and effort to make a relationship work. But if you truly love your life partner then it’s really no effort at all. Things just fall into place.

    To all those out there who call us sinners and perverts I say mind your own salvation and worry about your own life. What is it to them anyway? Did our cooking a big pot full of yummy curry stew yesterday affect their lives in any way? But who cares. You and I have something that they will never experience. I almost pitty them for that. Almost!

    George and I only met you and Ray for one beautiful afternoon last summer. But from those few hours we can tell that you’re both more than just the nicest guys. You’re pretty amazing people and the world needs more of you.

    So, here’s to your anniversary. And to many, many more. Hugs to you and Ray. 🙂

  7. wicked glinda

    Congrats you two! 17 years is a long time! You’re right Bobby Baby, Ray is an awesome guy. But, so are you! I hope you both have a long & glorious life together and as far as we are concerned, you are married!!!!! Fuck the law…

  8. Will

    Such a beautiful statement of love for Ray. Congratulations to you both on seventeen and counting!

  9. Diana

    What you said… I’m sure you guys live it. What a beautiful example of what a relationship should be between those who are life partners. Yes you are lucky to have Ray. But Ray is also lucky to have you. How many couples after 17 years express feelings that you have just put into words? It is very evident that you do not take each other for granted. I wish you many, many more years of bliss. And can I just say I’m a little jealous!

  10. Ray from Bisbee AZ

    I couldn’t have put it better myself . . . while it certainly does take daily doses of commitment, understanding, humor, forgiveness, and all sorts of other inputs, the result is more than worth the effort. It is satisfying to look back on the past seventeen years and chart all our progress, but even better to look forward to more!

    I love my husband!

  11. Erik Rubright

    Congratulations to you both on a great 17 years together!

  12. Holly

    17 years? how can that be when we are only 21 years old? But seriously, you two are simply remarkable – defining the meaning of ying and yang. You compliment each other and clearly enrich each other’s lives.

    I love you both and look forward to your 20th anniversary party!

  13. Dominique

    I remember your begining, I was there when ray was thinking about you before you came to chicago. I love your posts. and I am so happy for the two of you.

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