M and I finally got to go on a vacation last week. It’s been about two years since our last vacation alone. It’s funny how you realize how badly you needed a vacation only after you get back from one. Obviously, a lot has happened since our last vacation and this one was badly needed. We decided to go on a nice long cruise of the Caribbean and do a lot of nothing. And that’s exactly what we did, nothing.
The thing is I wasn’t sure how we’d handle this. It was our first vacation as M and Dana, and I was wondering how we would handle the little things. How would we get our pictures taken, as two friends on a cruise together or as a couple? Would we introduce each other as our friend, or as our wife? Even things like would we walk hand and hand and touch each other as a couple would? Could I live a week and a half with the same people on a confined ship and pass without worries.
As usual all my worrying and planning went for not. Walking on the ship for the our first picture together, M grabs me in a big embrace and our first picture is one of two people obviously in love with each other! Our first dinner with 6 strangers and within 5 minutes one of the wives asks if we’re sisters. M tells them without missing a beat that we are a couple. I had planned all different responses to the question and she just blurts out that we’re a couple.
Even, ‘could I pass for a week and half?’ was answered the first morning. M ordered room service for our first breakfast on the ship to be delivered at 8:30 thinking that we’d be getting up at our normal 7:00. But we seriously slept in and woke to the sound of the steward knocking on the door with a ‘Room Service’. As M scrambles out of bed she just opens the door with me lying in bed wearing nothing but a T shirt and my hair in a mess. If there’s every a time where it’s more Rick then Dana it’s the first few minutes in bed. But the steward just walks in the room, looks at me and says ‘Good Morning Madam’. That’s it, if I can be Dana at 8:30 in the morning lying in bed with just a grungy old t shirt from a 10K race 7 years ago, I’m Dana.
Just goes to show you all the planning and worrying is just wasted time and energy. Within 12 hours of getting on the ship M’s just blown through all of my concerns and acting like the world is full of transgendered couples.
But even with all of my planning and pondering different scenarios for us on this cruise, one of the surprises would be how the world sees us together. There’s no doubt we were taken for ‘that cute lesbian couple’. Toward the end of the cruise we would be getting ‘hi girls’ and ‘it’s the girls’ from our table mates. The crew treated us as a couple everywhere we went.
I talk a lot about this path we are on, how we sometimes feel lost on it. How neither one of us know where it’s going to lead. Sometimes not knowing how we are just going to get to tomorrow. But this cruise answered one of our fundamental questions of ‘Who will we be?’ We’re going to be that ‘cute lesbian couple, down the street’. That’s how the world is going to see us. And other then a few tight*ss people who can’t accept the world as it changed out from under them, being a lesbian couple is just no big thing anymore. I think some where even excited to get home and say the hung out with cute little middle aged lesbian couple.
It’s kind of a relief to know that’s where we are heading. That it’s OK and that no one blinks an eye at us. That people are genuinely happy to sit with us at dinner. And excited to see us and be seen with us. It’s a relief to find our place in the world and to know we’ll be accepted without hiding our love for each other.
One more story then I’m off to Key West for a last few days in the sun. Over the last year or so neither M nor I have been wearing our wedding rings. There’s no deep hidden message there, it’s just one of those things. I guess it just didn’t feel right for either of us. We’ve both had friends notice and worry if it signaled troubles with our marriage. So on one of our stops in the Caribbean as we were walking down the tourist trap streets of St Thomas the rain starts coming down in buckets and soaks everything outside in seconds. We duck into a small jewelry store just to get out of the tropical downpour . To kill time and stay dry we start browsing the jewelry and checking out at the store’s wares. Then as the rain starts letting up, M tries on a small ruby ring. It looks beautiful on her ring finger. In a moment of simple love she asks the jeweler if he has two because we both need a wedding ring. The rain stops and the sun comes out as we leave the store holding hands with a beautiful ruby ring on our wedding ring fingers, tears in our eyes, and smiles from one ear to the other like a teenage girl who just said ‘YES’.