Family Occasions

Come July Eddie and I will have chalked up two years as a legally married couple (not counting those fleeting occasions when we set foot outside the boundaries of Massachusetts and become instantly if only temporarily unmarried).

We have actually been a couple for more than 27 years, of course. But 2004 is the year that’s inked on our marriage license, which means that, for people of a certain institution-cherishing mindset, two years ago is when our couplehood really got rolling.

Still, Eddie and I are the greenest of newlyweds compared to Hesh and Ev Sedarbaum, the folks shown in the photo below, who this weekend will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary down in Florida.

On the afternoon in 2004 when this snapshot was taken, Ev and Hesh had just flown to New York City from Florida and then edured the four-hour drive from NYC to North Adams (with Eddie’s sister Susan at the wheel) so they could sit with other family members and friends in our back yard and watch their son marry his boyfriend of twenty-five years.

Hesh was preparing to turn 95 that very weekend and Ev was 91. At those advanced ages they could have been forgiven for simply afixing themselves to the nearest Floridian rocking chairs and sending a card. But instead they made the trip. Without thinking twice. Our marriage was an important family occasion.

As spring chickens each edging into his sixth decade of life, neither Eddie nor I can claim to be "returning the favor" by heading to West Palm Beach to help the old folks party in honor of their seventy years of couplehood. The rigors of our trip won’t compare with the rigors of theirs. Still, we will be away from home for a few days, and I figure I should mention it to you so you’ll know why this blog has gone silent.

I can’t resist noting that — by virtue of Ev and Hesh’s heterosexuality — they were not for even an instant transformed into unmarried singles when they crossed state lines two years ago to attend their son’s wedding. Eddie and I, on the other hand, will stop being married while we are down south.

Our marriage vows notwithstanding, we will involuntarily become "single" again — although we will certainly not have divorced and will be no less devoted to each other while in the Sunshine State than we are here in Massachusetts.

As paradoxes go, it would be nice if the foregoing were a stranger one. But our weekend of quiet marital whiplash is commonplace for lesbian and gay married Bay Staters. While in Florida Eddie and I will simply be experiencing the everyday reality of life as it’s lived by second-class citizens in today’s America.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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2 Responses to Family Occasions

  1. mthomases says:

    Rats! We just got back from Florida — we could have visited.

    Oh, and mazel tov to the Sedarbaums and their family!

  2. Have a great time! 70th wedding anniversary…holy wow. My folks celebrated their 50th a couple of years ago, but obviously they have a long ways to go!

    And bah humbug to the fact that your marriage isn’t legal elsewhere. I look forward to the day when we can move past that kind of nonsense.