32 years ago today I met Kelley and fell stone in love. That love grows wider, deeper, and more richly textured every day. Along the way we have changed each other, and between us we have made a third thing into which we have put a large part of ourselves: we have made Us. There are things I will do for myself, things I will do for Kelley, and things I will do for Us. They are not always the same things.
What is Us? Us is indefinable; I will say, rather, what Us includes. It includes me, and Kelley, our families, our shared history, our shared joys and jokes and sorrows; it includes the home we have built and the disagreements we had over this painting or that carpet or those mugs. Us includes our kitties—not just Charlie and George, but all the kitties before, and all the tiny things they have killed and we’ve buried, or half-killed and we’ve dispatched for mercy’s sake. It includes our garden—the flowers we plant and tend (and neglect, and sigh over), the trees we must prune and the railings we must erect even though they are not beautiful. It includes the tidying up after every snack, so the other doesn’t walk into a messy and miserable kitchen when she needs a moment of peace; it includes remembering to put an extra beer in the fridge because we know our beloved is having an extra tough meeting this afternoon and will need it. Us includes our work—the long conversations over wine, the digging deep and bracing against disappointment when we can’t say, immediately, Brilliant, best book! but, for the sake of love, must say, Oh, it will be beautiful my beloved—only not yet, not quite yet. Us is care and kindness, but it is also ruthlessness and clarity: it is truth when necessary but not honesty as a weapon. Us includes—often—doing something inconvenient, or tedious, something we just don’t want to do. And always—yes, always—being open, being vulnerable, being willing to listen and improve. But, oh, Us is so much joy! It is glee and excitement and thrill; it is delight; it is contentment. Us is where we live. Us is the home we have built.
This is all I want to say about it today. But someone always has questions. So you can find out more starting with a brief excerpt from my memoir about the moment we met. Or read our very first collaboration, As We Mean To Go On, about how books built the bridge for us to meet on. Or just go look at 30 Years: A Love Story in Photos. I’m going to go spend the day with my sweetie, and revel in Us. May your day be as fine.
8 thoughts on “32 Years: A Life”
Congratulations and another 32 years
If we weren’t already married, we would quote “us” for our wedding vows! Happy anniversary!
My beloved and I are also an Us with our own 32 years of love and grief. She also lets me know when my books and stories are not quite excellent enough for any eyes but hers. Congratulations on what I assume is your anniversary. As we say, more please.
Alix and I will celebrate 33 years in October–slowly becoming us. Congratulations and thank you for your wonderful portrait of a being writers and activists together. Dorotny
So happy for you both!
Beautifully put. May you continue to learn, grow, and love each other on your journey together.
Congratulations, and best wishes for many more!
An anniversary wish, from my bottomless stock of such:
“I guess I’m just an old mad scientist at bottom. Give me an underground
laboratory, half-a-dozen atom smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous
veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the
nation’s laws.” — S.J. Perelman
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