Monday, June 19, 2006

Today Is Seven... Seven Years...

Seven years of what? you may be asking. Today, seven years ago, is when Rich and I started our lives together.

I had first met Rich in, of all places, a church, an MCC church in Bethlehem, PA. I was still at a juncture in my faith (You know, to have or not to have...?), and I had seen a flyer about this church in the local paper. So I decided to check it out.

Not knowing Bethlehem real well, as I was an import from the Philadelphia suburbs, I left early to make sure I could find the church and, incidentally, was the first to arrive. I went in, sat down about halfway back along the outside aisle, just in case a quick escape was needed.

Others quickly filled the pews, and many friendly people came up to say hi and welcome me to the church, yadda yadda blah blah. The sermon was boring at best, uninspired at worst, but then they had communion! I had never been to a church where you were called to the front and had the pastor hand-feed you the bread and wine before. I was used to them passing it around up and down the aisles. Well, one of the "alter boys," or whatever they're called when they stand behind the pastor holding the plates of crackers and wine, was Rich.

First thought in my mind, Hello Mr. 1985! His hair was combed in some weird, double-curled bang thing that I suppose he thought was all the rage (it wasn't), a bright neon-orange T-shirt with a blue and white striped button-down over it, and khaki shorts and sandals complete with socks. My Dork-alert was yammering. Needless to say, though, of all the guys who were there, he was one of the more attractive ones, but I digress. I didn't go up for communion.

After the end of the service, I raced out the front door for a much-needed cigarette. There I met a bunch of creepy, touchy-feely older men. Rich drove by in his convertible with some other dude and waved. Not knowing this guy from Adam, I didn't wave back, assuming he was waving to one of the touchy-feely older guys who couldn't stop talking about sex... on the steps of a church... right after the sermon... Irony is great, isn't it?

That was around memorial day that year, 1999.

I didn't see Rich again until Gay Pride of the Lehigh Valley a few months later. I was at the Stonewall (Imagine that--a local gay bar named Stonewall...), and Joe, a casual acquaintance was there, and we got to talking, and he said he had somebody he wanted me to meet. I hemmed and hawed. I was there with then-current boyfriend Joey, whom I had only been seeing for about a week, having previously called it off with Jim (who was seeing other people behind my back), who had been a rebound from Chad (who had also been seeing other people behind my back), who had been my rebound from Robbie, whom I had dated for three years before he succumbed to leukemia. I was beginning to believe I wasn't meant to date anyone at this point in my life and would grow old with my cats, one of whom had just had a litter of five kittens.

So I begged off, and figured Joe had dropped the whole subject since he simply said, "Well, I'm going upstairs to get a drink--want anything?" I said no, and blended in against the wall observing the people dancing and generally having a good time, wondering if they were all cheating pricks, and I felt a tap on my shoulder. There was Joe with two drinks, and 1985 Alter Boy of the Year. Joe introduced us, we hit it off, and the rest, as they say, is history...

Incidentally, we did a major overhaul of Rich's wardrobe, although he would not give up the neon-orange Tee, at least he doesn't wear it in public anymore... too much... except grocery shopping... and maybe the mall...

Okay, it was a losing battle.

As a completely ironic sidenote, I now have no cats (except outdoor ones).
We will be celebrating tonight by having a candle-lit dinner of steak marinated in apple cider, with baked potatoes and green beans, followed by my favorite ice cream of all time, Eddy's Chocolate Chip Espresso....

Not that you needed to know that, but it felt like a nice conclusion to the post....
Coming up in future posts: Ergo has a point about Tolerance, My Family has way too much melo-drama and real drama going on in their lives, and Hawthorne will make a special guest appearance in honor of the Dog Days of Summer....

Till next time...

8 comments:

The_Gay_Dude said...

Congrads!!!!! :)

Ergo said...

Hey Jason! Congratulations! I'm truly glad for you and Rich.

And actually, I too have a reason to call this a special day. It happens to be the birthday of my ex (ex only because I was evicted to this place now, forcefully separated from the one I still love deeply). :(

Ergo said...

Lovely and funny story about how you too met. And yea, I agree... Rich's fashion sense as you describe it seems like a complete faux pas! ;)

Very good. God has been instrumental in bringing you two together. Don't lose your faith in Him.

:D

Dar said...

Happy Anniversary! That is awesome. I would love to see "then and now" pics!

Jason Hughes said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words... And Dar, then & now pics I don't feel are on the table (LOL!). Then was skinny and almost had a six-pack--now is consolidated into a 1-pack and less skinny... :D But, hey, a good home life will do that to ya! :D

Although I have to say, we are both getting together a schedule to actually use our treadmill, instead of just using it for the hanging plants... :D

And Ergo, I know you'll find your way back here to where you belong--in the arms of your true love!

DaBich said...

I'm absorbing all this. The first question that entered my mind, was "If his parents are upset because he's atheist, what do they think about Rich?"
Not that it's my business, but I'm NOSY! =D
And, congrats, I hope you have a happy lifetime together!!

Jason Hughes said...

Actually, I have never told my parents I'm an atheist... believe it or not, I think that would be the bigger disappointment for them in me... but if they ever ask, I will tell them. I think on some level they may already know from past conversations, and are just unwilling to ask...

Thanks!

Ergo said...

Lovely and funny story about how you too met. And yea, I agree... Rich's fashion sense as you describe it seems like a complete faux pas! ;)

Very good. God has been instrumental in bringing you two together. Don't lose your faith in Him.

:D