Marriage Equality Come to California
May 16, 2008
May 16, 2008 Our California dream is reality. Brad Altman and I can now marry. We are overjoyed! At long last, the barrier to full marriage rights for same-sex couples has been torn down. We are equal with all citizens of our state!
The California Supreme Court has ruled that all Californians have a fundamental right to marry the person he or she loves. Brad and I have shared our lives together for over 21 years. We've worked in partnership; he manages the business side of my career and I do the performing. We've traveled the world together from Europe to Asia to Australia. We've shared the good times as well as struggled through the bad. He helped me care for my ailing mother who lived with us for the last years of her life. He is my love and I can't imagine life without him. Now, we can have the dignity, as well as all the responsibilities, of marriage. We embrace it all heartily.
The California Supreme Court further ruled that our Constitution provides for equal protection for all and that it cannot have marriage for one group and another form - domestic partnership - for another group. No more "separate but equal." No more second-class citizenship. Brad and I are going to be married as full citizens of our state.
As a Japanese American, I am keenly mindful of the subtle and not so subtle discrimination that the law can impose. During World War II, I grew up imprisoned behind the barbed wire fences of U.S. internment camps. Pearl Harbor had been bombed and Japanese Americans were rounded up and incarcerated simply because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. Fear and war hysteria swept the nation. A Presidential Executive Order directed the internment of Japanese Americans as a matter of national security. Now, with the passage of time, we look back and see it as a shameful chapter of American history. President Gerald Ford rescinded the Executive Order that imprisoned us. President Ronald Reagan formally apologized for the unjust imprisonment. President George H.W. Bush signed the redress payment checks to the survivors. It was a tragic and dark taint on American history.
With time, I know the opposition to same-sex marriage, too, will be seen as an antique and discreditable part of our history. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy remarked on same-sex marriage, "Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper, in fact, serve only to oppress."
For now, Brad and I are enjoying the delicious dilemma of deciding where, when, and how we will be married. Marriage equality took a long time, but, like fine wine, its bouquet is simply exquisite.
Until we're in a situation, we'll never really know how we'll react.
I have been in this scenario, though.
Sex matters. And people rarely want to admit how much.
But sex isn't a lifetime guarantee.
It fades, as does love.
It's important to speak about it.
It can be a fixable situation.
A relationship without sex may not be the end of the world, but it's definitely a sign that something is off.
Redditor Deviant55 wanted to talk about physical intimacy in relationships, so they asked:
"How important is sex to you in a relationship? Could you be with someone you love even if sex was off the table indefinitely?"
I learned how much sex matters in my last relationship.
Once I wasn't interested, it kind of killed everything.
ForeverGIF by moodmanGiphy
"When my wife of 30+ years became too ill for sex to be even remotely interesting for her, I certainly did not end the relationship. I loved her and I took care of her until she died. No other course even occurred to me."
"When I met my wife we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. This lasted a few years. I was in my mid-twenties when we married. She developed a chronic medical issue. I’ve gone twenty years being sexually frustrated. There are stages and phases to this."
"What I came to realize is that I love my wife. Yes, sex is important in our relationship. But I would rather have her in my life with no sex than have sex without her."
"The thing is, I love her. She can’t help her situation. I can’t help it. One deals with it. Marriage is more than sex. It is building a life and memories, raising a family, and loving each other regardless of the challenges life throws our way. But sex is very important. It helps keep the closeness and the emotional bond. But it isn’t the only thing that does that."
I Love Her
"It is complicated. I am in a near-sexless marriage. The wife needs antidepressants to function. And it kills her libido. So usually it is four to six times a year. My libido rages. And yeah, it sucks. I dream of more sex."
"But I love the chick. She loves me to the moon and back. I’m not willing to sacrifice her love so I can try dating again. Divorce rates these days? And I found a woman who more than tolerates me, she loves me. I’ll stay. And not to be crude but yeah I masturbate. A lot. She doesn’t begrudge me that. Occasionally she even encourages it."
"She went off her meds for a while. And man did we do it. But she was a mess. I need her healthy more than I need a shag. We travel together. We enjoy each other’s company. We actually like each other. I could claim that it is hell, but I choose to see all of the good I am blessed with."
"Quite important. But I think it depends on where you are in the relationship. I've been married for 10 years. I have kids. If my wife suddenly couldn't have sex with me for some reason -- illness or injury or something -- I'm not divorcing her over it. That's heartless."
"Now, if she just decided we weren't ever having sex again because she didn't feel like it, that'd be different. Or if I was just starting to date someone and they told me they'd never have sex, I probably just wouldn't keep pursuing the relationship. Plenty of people out there who will."
"It depends on the circumstances. I LOVE doing it with my man but I love his heart and soul more. If we had to stop having sex for medical reasons or something I’d definitely stay with him and stay faithful. If I was single, I think it’s unlikely I’d start a new relationship knowing it would be sex free."
Heart and soul is just as necessary and hot and sweaty.
At least a lot of people recognize that.
"Sex life is 10% of a relationship when it’s good and 90% of a relationship when it’s bad."
"The other way I've heard it put is that sex is like the bathroom in your house. It's not the only reason you bought the house, but if it's not working it's a big problem."
"50-year-old here married for 27 years. It’s not important. It was important when we were younger but honestly, if sex wasn’t possible I would still love my wife and really nothing about our day would really change."
"I’ve been reading these comments and wishing that everyone’s age was flared on their post because I sense that there are a lot of under-60-year-olds. I am older than my wife but she is starting menopause and I can see the writing on the wall. Not super thrilled but I love her completely and understand. The real intimacy is in how we still (and will always) want to sleep touching each other and waking up next to each other."
"I honestly considered this before. I absolutely adored this guy. It was like a child relationship; we'd kiss and cuddle and hold hands and things, but he wouldn't have sex with me, nor would he commit properly. Any time we came close to sex, he'd go soft or back off."
"I couldn't understand it, wondered if I could keep doing that. My sex drive was wild. Why kiss and the rest but not sex?"
"Then one day he told me he was in love with me and asked me out properly. I said yes there and then, had a wonderful day with him, but when I went home, I was left questioning if I could possibly live without sex. I decided that yeah, I loved him but it would be tough."
"We had sex the next day. So yes, I think I probably could."
"It's very important. I'm a very affectionate and physical person and touch/caresses and anything physical is one of my love languages. I couldn't function with someone who is the opposite of me or who's uncomfortable with how I am. I already was in a relationship with someone who wasn't that touchy/affectionate and it created frustration for both of us."
Don't Look at Me
"I am in a sexless relationship. He has erectile dysfunction and I really don't like sex in general. I'm really uncomfortable naked or even vulnerable. I'm shy around him despite the relationship being 10 years nearly, I'm even shy around my family and friends. Everything about sex makes me feel so embarrassed, and I feel nothing but negative feelings when I used to be sexually active. Not through choice of partner, I just hate that sort of attention."
Definitive!Shake Handshake GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"10/10. Sexual incompatibility is a deal breaker!"
Sex is important but not everything.
Until it is everything if it becomes an issue.
Good luck couples. Open and honest communication is key.
People Share The Moment They Realized Their Friends Were Actually A-Holes
An important contributor to our overall health and happiness is the quality of our friendships.
We may not have a lot of friends, but the more important factor is the depth of those relationships.
But we've all had one of those friends who turned out not to be a very good friend at all.
Redditor Both-Support-7110 asked:
"When did you realize your 'friends' were just a**holes?"
Putting Them Down
"After I realized that other people don't s**t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."
"I luckily made a couple of friends that would just be supportive about stuff. So I slowly started talking to them more than my older friends as I saw the disparity between their responses."
"One side purely would be purely judgmental and try and bring me down, and the other would just be excited for me or be there to listen or whatever. Who wants to talk to the former when you have the latter?"
Using Them as a Convenience
"They only bothered with me when it suited them. I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."
Trying to Keep Them Small
"When they were nice at first but then cut me out of conversations, telling me not to 'butt in.' A friend doesn't dictate when you're allowed to speak."
"Total a**hole move to have conversations in front of you only to tell you it doesn’t concern you and mean it. . . Like making plans and giving details about how someone like you could be included but specifically telling you not to invite yourself; making plans in front of someone and not inviting them is awful."
Using Them as Entertainment
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions (telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc), and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly. One night, I was crying on the phone because I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bulls**t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day, they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call because I didn't get it and I was so upset. I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."
Using Them to Feel Superior
"I didn't have many friends in grade school, but the times the kids actually gave me the time of day, it was to make me 'it' when we'd play tag. That's what I was there for. To continuously be 'it' so they could run away and feel superior. Because they knew I would agree to it no matter what."
Having Questionable Morals
"I had a friend that was a very promiscuous girl, I had no issue with that, until I found out she was using me and my innocent personality then, to distract her mom and make her think she was like me."
"Then she used my house as a literal hotel once, with my family here and everything... I knew that was it."
Making Fun of Them
"When I made new friends and realized that it's not normal for friends to constantly beat on me and make fun of me."
Prioritizing Money Over Them
"When they stopped being my friends after I went through a rough financial patch."
"I had a group that I was in from 2019-2021. They became a**holes over time, and it took me longer to see that. It was when I failed my psych 101 class (I'm not the best with online classes and tried the best I could) and when they heard about that, they laughed to my face, called me stupid and a failure."
"Early 2022, I met up with them again thinking it would just be a 'listen to this concert for someone we all know and go on our ways' thing."
"My one closer friend offered to drive me and I accepted, and then afterward she joined the group, made eye contact after the concert was done and said, 'bye,' and left with them to the doors. They doubled back and said, 'You can come with us to another town to a friend's place or I can get my mom to drive you home.'"
"I was so overwhelmed and embarrassed that I just went with them to the other town. I called my brother to come to pick me up after an hour, and when he was on his way out, everyone else left. Haven't been into contact with them again after that."
Disappearing When It Counts
"They pretty much abandoned me in a time of pretty intense need. It solidified my decision to leave the area and go do something worthwhile."
No Reciprocation Allowed
"When he does s**t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, but then I do the same back, and he gets offended."
Excluding Them From Plans
"I've got two examples here. One from childhood and one from adulthood. Pick your favorite."
"Childhood: Kid I knew when I was 8 or so. We used to hang out a lot of the time and often played together, doing the usual kid stuff. Then one day, he has to move away because of a change in his parent's financial situation and I was pretty bummed out about it."
"On the last day we were supposed to see each other, he hung out with someone else instead and when tried to join them, he physically shoved me away and told me I wasn't welcome. That one stung."
"Adulthood: When they keep telling me about plans they made and things they did together or wanted to do together, but never bother to invite or include me in any of it. There's one of them I get along with and he'll invite me to things as long as it's just with him, but when he's with the group, he excludes me."
"I remember one example in particular where they were discussing a new site to do some photography and they fell short a man. One of them looks at me like I'm the spare tire in his car and goes: 'I guess you can come with us this one time.', to which another replies: 'Nah, he doesn't want to go. He doesn't like photography.'"
"I told him I was perfectly capable of answering for myself and didn't need him to act as my answering machine, but it lost a lot of impact because he was right. I don't like photography and didn't want to go. I just didn't like being talked about that way."
"Good luck making that clear to them, though. All they heard was: 'If he was right anyway, then why are you b*tching about it?'"
"I no longer hang out with them. I eventually got sick of being treated like the spare guy they can use in case none of the 'main crew' was attending, so I dropped them."
"In 2006, my then-best friend wanted to go to a big German metal festival. I did not want to go because my Dad had end-stage cancer."
"Dad died on August 8th, a couple of days after my friend returned from the festival. I called him because I needed someone to talk to."
"He very bluntly stated that he had no interest in my Dad's passing but wanted to tell me how great the festival was."
"You can't imagine how disappointed I was. For years, I'd been there for him whenever he got dumped, and the one time I needed a friend, he wasn't there for me. I told him to shut my door from the outside and lose my number."
"I was 15, we were hanging out in the alleyway behind my friend’s house as we did almost every day after school."
"One girl was there from the year above us and they started prank calling the child protective services emergency line, pretending to be a child in distress, and they all laughed."
"After a few rounds of this, I felt queasy and left. Never hung out with them again. I still feel bad for not saying something or putting a stop to it, but the girl was older and 'cool.'"
Taking Advantage of Them
"I've been posting on him recently, he was my former neighbor and friend. We didn't immediately hit it off but after a while, we became good friends."
"I tried helping him out (he's an unemployed single dad of two special needs kids). He eventually saw my kindness as something to take advantage of, so late last fall, he either broke into my house (or enabled someone else to do it for him) and stole money from me."
"When I confronted him about this, he physically attacked me."
"I can't say it doesn't hurt."
Friendships are incredibly important, but we're unfortunately not meant to be friends with everyone. Some people simply do not turn out to be the friends we thought they were.
We may know that this happens, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.
No one wants to be alone.
But that doesn't mean we should settle when it comes to choosing a romantic partner.
When people rush into things without letting love flourish, it could lead to problems down the line that can inevitably lead to difficult breakups.
Those who've learned this the hard way shared their experiences with love when Redditorlastknownstar asked:
"What common mistakes do people make when choosing a life partner?"
Communication is key.
Discussing Life Issues
"Not discussing big life issues: your preference for having kids, parenting styles, deep religious beliefs, career aspirations, significant traumas…anything that may affect how you make decisions together later on."
"My parents were like this. Dad grew up in a standard midcentury 'men run the house, women stay in the kitchen' family, but Mom came from a long line of domineering southern matriarchs who had their husbands whipped. Dad was naturally a good cook and Mom hated cooking, but once they got married, Dad insisted she make all the food because that's what wives are supposed to do. No warning, total 180 on their relationship up to that point."
"He's learned his lesson and now happily cooks for my stepmom, but man... That's not something you can just spring on your new spouse overnight!"
What About Kids
"Having kids is a really big question that absolutely needs to be communicated. I've also heard that it's a topic that would make the man a big red flag if asked early into the 'relationship' as in first date and/or texts are off limits."
"Wouldnt it be a lot nicer to 'speed date' these big topics early on?"
These Redditors realized ignorance of financial responsibility in a relationship came at a cost.
"Finance is the number 1 leading cause of divorce."
"Edit: this popped up in my YouTube recommendation (Is your relationship struggling because of finance? - Dave Ramsey https://youtu.be/XuU7oabGqjk). Google is not monitoring us or anything"
"This is such a big issue in relationships. Knowing each other's spending habits is equally important. My ex would be extremely judgmental when it came to my 'fun money', but when he bought a new TV or a new gaming console, he was not to be questioned on it."
You can't change people.
Fixing Their Flaws
"Thinking, 'I know this person has flaws, but when we're married I can help fix them.'"
"Ok marriage isn’t working but if we have kids things will change because it will bring us closer."
"I personally had this issue dating someone who was as sweet as could be, but not the brightest bulb in the socket, and they relied on me for knowledge on everything from health to history to housework. All perfectly googleable or troubleshootable questions, but always defaulted to giving up and asking
mommy the girlfriend for help. Admittedly it was kind of an ego boost to have someone always telling me how smart I was and deferring to my judgement on everything, but that's not what a healthy romantic relationship should be like."
"I thought I could nudge them gently into being slightly more self sufficient, but it only got worse as they grew accustomed to relying on me for every little thing. And of course the flip side was I felt like I could never rely on them when I needed help... I knew I was SOL if I couldn't do everything myself, because I was dragging around a parasite instead of a partner."
"Next time I want to spend years working on a fixer-upper, I'm just going to buy a crumbling Victorian house. It'll cause me less stress in the long run."
Taking An Emotional Toll
"I was in a similar boat with an ex, wasn't so much her fault as she had a learning disability and epilepsy."
"Every other weekend we also looked after her kids from past relationships, one of which had autism, and due to my ex's condition she wasn't allowed to be on her own with the kids meaning I had to be there as the capable, responsible adult."
"We were together for just shy of 4 years."
"After she broke things off it took a good few months for me to get used to the fact that I could actually let my guard down, switch my brain off and relax. Without needing to constantly worry that someone would need my help or that I needed to ensure her safety."
"She didn't quite realise the toll it was having on me or the amount of responsibility was on my shoulders. She would constantly suggest things like holidays abroad with just us two and the kids, and all I could think was that it would be far from a relaxing holiday for me as I'd have her and two kids to look after and be responsible for the entire time."
Managing expectations is key.
"Choosing someone they think they should be with instead of someone they're actually compatible with."
"I feel a lot of people have a picture in their head of who they think they'll end up with and chase that ideal, instead of acknowledging their own personality and aiming for someone compatible with that. Easier said than done, but yeah."
– Viminia7 ·
Importance Of Value
"I talk with my partner about this all the time. We think its important to have shared values not shared interests."
"Yes it’s important to share things you both like to do, but just because your partner likes One Punch Man, like you do, doesn’t mean they are on the same page as you with resolving conflicts."
Elvis Presley reminded us that only fools rush in, despite his intense romantic feelings towards his object of affection.
But the wise men he was referring to were on to something.
It's best to ease into things and let love grow, and not force relationships without really getting to know the person with whom you plan to devote yourself to.
If it's meant to be, it'll be worth taking things slow by getting to know a prospective significant other's dreams, what makes them, and their values to see if there is enough chemistry to develop meaningful relationships.
Among the many reasons people watch, and rewatch, sitcoms is to imagine your life was more like the one you were watching.
Being able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village on a line cook's salary, somehow always having the comfortable sofa available at your favorite coffee shop whenever you pop in, or having your best friends always available at your beck and call whenever you need them.
For the romantics, however, it's wishing you could have a romance like you've seen on television.
True not all sitcom romances are exactly the sort that makes you go all aflutter (Were Ross and Rachel actually on a break? And don't even get me started about Ted and Robin.)
Other sitcom couples are so captivating, though, that we would have given anything to be at their wedding... or at the very least go to their home for dinner every Friday.
And this includes plutonic couples, as there is nothing more heartwarming than a lasting friendship.
"What is the best couple in sitcom history?"
Creating An Even More Welcoming Community
"Troy and Abed. A couple of friends."- aghzombies
"They did grace the cover of Best Friends Weekly."- DwightsEgo
"Peralta and Doug Judy."- DavosLostFingers
"Reunited and it feels so good 🎶."- Ghostenx
"PSYCH"!... No, Seriously...
"Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster."- dazedcap
"'I'm Black, he's Tan'."- CrueGuyRobShawn Spencer What GIFGiphy
"The correct answer is Gomez and Morticia Addams."- Reddit
"They loved each other dearly. "
"They were completely enamored with each other, spent time with their kids, their family."
"Accepted everyone as they were."
"It wasn't til I was an adult That I realized married couples weren't meant to hate each other."
"My mother had many partners in my childhood, she's toxic and things were always chaotic."
"And watching 90s sitcoms, I thought married people were meant to hate each other, and I always wondered what the point was."- MissMurder8666
Overshadowed By Their Middle Child...
"Hal and Lois."- MrRocketman999
"As a husband, I don't think I can live up to Hal."
"He sort of sets a really high standard lol."
"He loves her like they are still in the honeymoon phase."
"So infatuated with her lol."- treathugger
A Better Couple? Many Would Say, "Knope"...
"Ben and Leslie."
"I' love you and I like you.'"
"Simple line, yet so powerful."- RadkeyooAmy Poehler Ben GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Gruesome", But Adorable
"Frank and Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
"The gruesome twosome."- Herr_Poopypants
The Parents Everyone Wished Were Theirs...
"Bob and Linda from 'Bobs burgers'."- shashybaws
"All of the Belchers have such great relationships with each other. "
"They're wholly accepting and supportive (even if they disagree)."
"They really love each other, and it shows."- SummerOfMayhem
UK Version Only, Of Course...
"Moss and Roy (The IT Crowd)."- pentapotamia
"'I'm your wife, Roy!'"- Summerof5ft6andahalf
"'If anything, I’m the husband!'"- pentapotamiait crowd chris odowd GIFGiphy
Afterlife Be Damned... Or not, Actually...
"Eleanor and Chidi from 'The Good Place.'"
"How can you beat two deeply flawed people who together make each other better over and over again?"- hotbimess
Ruining All Food For Viewers, One Food Group At A Time...
"The only correct answer is - Scully and Hitchcock."- Prestigious-Net-2236
"Back off! It's our microwave! Ours! GRRRRRRR!"- Lvcivs2311
Nostalgic And Wonderful
"Kitty and Red from That 70s/90s Show."- saginator5000
"I like how Red on the surface seems like a mean parent who doesn’t let his kids have fun."
"But he’s watching out for his kids."
"And he’s a good man."
"He has a hard and stressful time supporting his family and he is grumpy sometimes but he would do anything for his family and he really loves them."
"What he does for Hyde is amazing."
"He just doesn’t put up with BS."- themanfromvulcanMothers Day Woman GIF by LaffGiphy
It Seems Everyone Is Better With Turk At Their Side
"Turk and Carla."
"Or Turk and JD. (Scrubs)."- JCBAwesomist
"Turk and JD all the way."- nunyabidnez76
Can't We Get Back What We Once Had?...
"Homer and Marge had a lot of beautiful moments back in the older seasons."
"Sadly, seasonal rot has ruined a lot of that."
"I miss a lot of how the characters used to be."
"Like, Homer was an oaf and a brute, but he loved his family immensely and deeply and would (and DID) do any and everything for them."
"He'd catch details like in that episode about the streetcar play that you wouldn't think he would."
"He gave up beer for a month for Marge and we got to see that, for him, it wasn't just a minor thing."
'Lisa might have been intelligent but she not only had ample 'dumb/shallow' moments, she also was very close to Bart and, likewise, Bart was close to her."
"He might struggle in school but he also showed he wasn't dumb either."- Snowtwohomer simpson love GIFGiphy
Be they married in the first episode or on and off again for an insufferable amount of time (looking at you, Jeanine and Gregory in Abbott Elementry!), sitcom couples give us people to root for and fill our own hearts with hope.
So much so that we don't mind following the arc of their love stories over and over again.
And yes, the episode where David meets Patrick's parents remains a tearjerker, no matter how many times you watch it.