“It is a fine seasoning for joy to think of those we love.”
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
~~ Calvin Coolidge
So it’s only like the second Christmas I haven’t had to work in nine years…and believe me, I’m very grateful.
Got up and walked the dogs—it’s interesting walking two with very different ideas on where they want to go, and when, and when they want to stop to go potty, and when the other one doesn’t…. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Then I made coffee and cinnamon rolls and the neighbor gave us some Irish cream liqueur for Christmas! Just in time to go into the coffee.
We exchanged a few pressies, simple, fun. We’re getting to the point after fifteen years that sometimes the real present can come weeks or even few months later when one of us says, “That. That’s what I want! Is that okay?”
And of course it is.
It might not seem magickal, but I think it is. To have been together long enough that we can be that way and love each other so deeply, even if it’s not always demonstrative. I sure do like it when someone asks how long we’ve been together and their eyes go wide and they say, “Wow! That’s great.” And I don’t think it’s really truly because we’re gay. Not anymore anyway. It used to be that way at only five years because people didn’t think gay couples stayed together even that long (wrong) and then we started hearing, “You’ve been together longer than most of my straight friends,” and the honest smile showed me that really do believe it’s love.
And it is. Why else would we put up with the worst if not for the best? There is sure some best, I can say that.
We snacked on leftovers and we made a big crockpot of tortilla soup to go with the Christmas lasagna we knew was to come, packed the car and were on our way.
Dinner was a feast and it was nice. Really nice. It’s great to be an accepted (and loved by some) part of this small town American family that used to tell fag jokes and think they were pretty funny until their family member—my husband—brought homosexuality into their lives. R’s niece tell jokes and seems very happy when I compliment her (she really is pretty) and R’s uncle has mostly gotten over his uncomfortableness (is that a word?) and R’s nephew (old enough to have a eight or ten year old daughter) accepted us long ago and loves that he can talk to me about Star Wars and Marvel superhero movies and the like. He always reaches out to me. And to his daughter, we’re just Uncle R and Uncle Ben.
Nice. Really nice.
Called my mom and she asked for forgiveness that she couldn’t host us this year. Really, Mom? Your new husband had a massive stroke and hasn’t been home in at least two months and his is recovering very very very slowly and you spend your every day in the various facilities where he has been and you are apologizing because we couldn’t come to stay with you?
Let me say now that the reason I have the moral foundation that I have, the loving heart, the sure geniality is because of my mother.
We’re home now and maybe going to watch a Christmas movie, something with a dog that we found at Walmart in the $3.95 bend. We can hardly go wrong with a dog.
And I ask R earlier if he was okay with Christmas—if I did okay with the Dr. Who DVDs—and he said he was very happy. And after all, what he really wanted to do was spend a Christmas back in his beloved house that he lost years ago, and go back this year. And he was glad I wanted to be here in this house in Brookfield with him. That’s about as romantic as R usually gets.
I’ll take it any day.
So tonight I am grateful for a very nice Christmas shared with my husband (husband!) and our two wonderful dogs in this, our second home, in Brookfield.
And love. Plenty of love.
Happy Christmas to all,
and to all a good night.
photograph is from our own family front door, by me