My parents have been together for 25 years, but they only got married about a year ago. Oddly enough, they met on a plane in spite of their fear of flying. Maggie was going to Connecticut to visit her mother for her birthday, and Emma was flying to Boston for a job interview.
They were seated next to each other, and their first real conversation was about who would get the privilege of clutching at the shared armrest. In the end, they shared the narrow slab of padded plastic, squeezing each others’ hands during takeoff and for the first ten minutes that followed.
Aside from the last ten minutes of the flight – again spent not talking but hyperventilating, with white-knuckled hands grabbing the others’ – they say they really hit it off. They both liked rock, crunchy peanut butter (though they switched to creamy when Maggie broke a tooth on the crunchy variety a few years later), and were casual runners. They ended up exchanging contact information and vague promises to keep in touch, although Maggie was sure it was just lip service. Which is why she was stunned when, a few days later, Emma called her up and asked her to a Ramones concert.
Emma had never been in a real serious relationship with a girl before, and Maggie wasn’t so sure she wanted to date someone who might just be “trying out the gay thing” – or “experimenting” as people like to say nowadays – and would end up just hurting her. But when Emma called, Maggie says she was stunned into agreeing. She always follows that up with: “That was my best mistake ever.”
The concert ended at 1 AM, and the T shuts down at 12:30 AM, so instead of heading their separate ways for the rest of the night, Maggie and Emma decided to just walk around Boston until the sun rose. This was, obviously, kind of ridiculous. Romantic, but ridiculous. At any rate, they made it until about four in the morning before they called it quits. “We weren’t anywhere near desperate enough, nor liquored-up enough to keep going, not when we could actually go sit down somewhere not occupied by a hobo,” Emma likes to say.
Before saying goodbye, despite the great time they had, Emma says she still had to cajole Maggie into agreeing to a second date. Maggie still maintains she was right to be cautious, but in the end is glad she gave in, because their second date was even better than their first. They went to a movie the following night, and, again, stayed out almost until the sun rose, and Maggie agreed to a third date this time with no begging from Emma.
When they both headed back to San Francisco (on separate flights this time), they kept seeing more of each other, going to concerts, museums, tourist hotspots neither of them had ever managed to hit up despite living in the city a combined five years. They started to get serious about each other and their relationship pretty quickly, and inside of six months they had moved in together and had adopted a puppy named Lando from a no-kill shelter.
Over the next two years Emma ended up getting a job back in Boston, and Maggie decided to move with her, which really cemented their relationship. By the time they hit year five of their relationship and they were 28 and 29 years old respectively, they decided they wanted to have kids, and so signed up with an adoption agency that specialized in gay and lesbian adoptions. This is where my older sister Amalia comes in, after a two-year wait. And after they got Amalia they just kept going. There are five of us now, and it’s been great having our family officially recognized as a family, even if we had to wait so long for it to happen.
I’ve got countless friends with heterosexual parents who’ve married and divorced at least two partners in their lifetimes, and mine have stayed together longer than I’ve been alive without the benefit of official governmental recognition, family health insurance, or a time where they didn’t feel marginalized because of who they loved, which, in my mind, makes them all the stronger, and all the more admirable.