Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of Iain and I getting hitched by a judge at the Cook County Courthouse. On the day we did the deed, it's fair to say that Iain actively wanted to get married; I just wanted to be with Iain—and marriage was a condition of that privilege. (As I've said before, I don't believe in the sanctity of marriage, so I don't go in for discussions of its subversion, but, if I did, requiring people to get married just to see if they've got a workable relationship would be right at the top of my list.) So we said I do, and then we went out for burgers.

Yesterday morning, on the way to the dog park, I put on Ben Folds' "Rockin' the Suburbs," which we listened to on a loop that summer. The first piano chords of "Annie Waits" reach down deep inside me and find a place of nostalgic love—a blushing first love that felt vast at the time, and is, in retrospect, small and simple compared to the expansive love into which it has grown.

In the afternoon, we looked for a movie to watch. I suggested something romantic, since it was our anniversary and all. Romantic for us meant the new X-Men movie, because it's something we both wanted to see—and the intersection of who we are is romantic, at least to us, especially sitting in the dark holding hands. On the way to the theater, Iain put on Adele's "21," which we have been listening to on a loop this summer. He spoke about how much he loves her voice, and why, and how much he admires her; I thought about how much easier it is to feel genuinely and comprehensively loved by a man who respects women as his equal.

In the evening, we decided not to go out to dinner, but stayed in and made dinner together, which we ate on our deck surrounded and enclosed by our verdant and untamed garden. The meal was attended, with various degrees of begging, by our beloved dog and cats, who were as happy to be out in the cool evening air as we were. We forgot to buy wine—you can't buy alcohol in Indiana on a Sunday, because Jesus—so we toasted with Budweiser and Pepsi.

It was a lovely day of simple pleasures, and, at its end, I considered that if someone had told me, nine years ago, that was how we would spend our ninth anniversary, I would have said, "Perfect. Let's go." And I am very lucky that I would have said the same on virtually every day in between, too.

I love you, babe. Thanks for nine great years…and counting.


When Iain and I got married nine years ago, we promised never to take one another for granted, and never to take for granted that we were afforded the privilege of being together only because we are of different sexes. If you are in the US, please take a moment today to contact your representative and write to your senators and ask them to support the Uniting American Families Act.

[Previously: Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three.]

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