Nine months ago, Larry and I decided to have a discussion about marriage. We jokingly called it “The Summit,” but it was no joke. We would each bring agendas, voice our concerns and hope to reach some sort of amicable agreement. Marriage has never been mandatory for me, but if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.
And there was a lot to consider: I live in Los Angeles, Larry lives in our hometown - Salem, NH. We’d been dating less than a year, but we’ve been good friends since we were 13. Reunited as 30somethings, a powerful combination of history, chemistry and humor had sped things up in an unexpected and wonderful way.
Things between us were fantastic, but life can be hard. The time difference made it tough to talk when we wanted to, flying back and forth had become both emotionally and financially exhausting and when my young, healthy mother was diagnosed with cancer, we realized how quickly life changes. Because just as suddenly as she’d gotten sick, he had become family - and we wanted to live like one.
But what would that look like? Could two stubbornly independent 34 year olds blend their lives so easily? Could we ruin a good thing by rushing ahead? Could a logician and a loony writer co-habitat? And thus, we needed The Summit.
I worked on my list every day for two weeks, I defensively googled things like “top 10 reasons for divorce” and "what happened to Sonny and Cher?" I hastily added extra notes in the margins of my list as Larry drove us to the restaurant.
My list had 23 items on it. 1. Children 2. Dishwashing Policies. 3. God 4. Finances. 5. Keeping My Last Name. 6. WHERE WILL WE LIVE? And the list continued....
I got the ball rolling right as we were seated. Time to see if this dog would hunt.
“Oh, yeah,” Larry said, almost as an afterthought, “I have two things.”
I was incredulous. “How can you only have two things to discuss when we’re talking about spending the rest of our lives together?!” I scribbled four more items onto my agenda.
“Well, I knew you’d be stressing about it and all the important stuff would already be on your list.”
The most annoying part of his answer was how logical it was. “Fine, what are your two items?”
They say if you flip a coin, whether it lands on heads or tails isn’t really what matters. What matters is what you wished would happen while the coin was in the air. And in the moment before he spoke, I realized how badly I wanted The Summit to be successful.
And then he answered. “One: It kind of bugs me that you want a blue stone and not a diamond ring. And two: I'd like to [sex act redacted].”
They also say marriage is all about compromise.
And so our journey begins...literally.