Saturday, February 14, 2004

Share the love, you jerks

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I love the way things work out sometimes. Around Valentine’s Day, the state Legislature is trying to decide if they should sanction the fidelity of homosexual couples.

I’m not trying to foist my opinion on anybody, but it seems like a great idea when any two people care enough for each other that they’re willing to spend the rest of their lives together.

To me, that’s all there is to a marriage qualification. I don’t care how anybody’s “parts” work. And neither should you. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Seriously. The recent push for gay marriage has brought all kinds of anti-gay activists out of the woodwork, and many of them — judging by the signs they hold up at protests or the letters they write to various publications, including this one — have this prurient, sophomoric interest in what goes where. Grow up.

In fact, I don’t want to know anything about anybody in the hootchie-koo department — not the straight people I count among my friends, and not the homosexual people I count among my friends. I work, I go to school, I date my wife, I try to keep healthy, I walk the dog, I’m writing the Great American Novel and every so often I like to do a crossword puzzle. I’m way too busy to care about other people’s hunka-chunka.

That stuff isn’t really the core of a great marriage, anyway, it seems to me. If it were, then that dopey kid Britney Spears married for about two hours would never have OK’d the annulment.

Call me a big softy (“Big softy!”) but I believe great marriages bind people who have mutual love and respect and admiration for each other. That’s what I want to talk about on Valentine’s Day — not “parts” or politics or the idiotic arguments about marrying horses, but love.

Part of the reason why I’m a supporter of civil marriage for homosexuals is because my wife and I are civilly married.

I met her in my first year of high school, but hadn’t the brass to ask her out until the last year. About two or three dates in, I knew she was the woman I wanted to wipe the tapioca slobber off my chin when I grow too old to do it myself. Much later, she thought the same thing about me.

We dated for four years, then moved into an apartment together. When I started responding to ads for rentals, I was turned away a few times because we weren’t married. “Believe me,” I told them, “neither of us is taking off anytime soon.”

We don’t even fight. Our fights look like this:

SHE: Why can’t you pick your socks up off the floor? Help me out here.

ME: Jeez. I’m sorry. I forgot. (picks up socks, blows her a kiss)

SHE: (returning it) Thanks!

After another four years, we decided to get hitched. It seemed like a good idea, so we did it. I put on a jacket and tie, and she put on a beautiful purple dress. A very nice lady from Somerset married us outdoors. Afterwards, we took 28 or so relatives out to dinner. Boom — civilly married.

It’s working out wicked good for us. If everybody and their partner could be as happy and loyal and loving as we are, then the world might be better off.

It might also be a lot less noisy, if you catch my drift.

A lack of happiness, loyalty and love, I think, is what’s truly harming the institution of marriage. We keep hearing this tired, misguided argument that allowing homosexuals to marry will cheapen the tradition. Forget it — marriage became too cheap back when the first drive-through chapel opened in Las Vegas.

Apart from the drunken quick-hitch, straight people themselves have done a swell job of cheapening the idea of marriage for centuries. Those criminals who beat their wives and force them to be virtual slaves, rather than loving and respecting them, for instance, have cheapened marriage. The same goes for couples who drag their children through messy divorces, or those horribly mismatched couples who probably should get divorced, but stay together to make each other’s lives miserable out of spite or fear.

While all of us in Massachusetts are talking this issue until we’re blue in the face, two homosexual women in San Francisco on Thursday received the blessing of the mayor to marry each other in an illegal ceremony.

The two women are Phyllis Lyon, 79, and Dell Martin, 82. They’ve been a couple for 51 years. If the early 1950s had been more progressive, they’d have celebrated a golden anniversary by now. That’s the kind of enduring love that everyone should aspire to.

Just don’t talk to me about how their “parts” work — or if, at their age. That’s not my business.

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