I've had people, including family members, refer to my choice to marry my wife as a "lifestyle." I'm not really sure what they mean by this. I can't find meaningful ways in which being with my wife is significantly different from other married friends my age. If anything, her being in medical school and now a medical resident, and me being in graduate school, influenced our daily life much more than being a same-sex couple. For years, we lived in relative poverty. We didn't have money to go out and drink in bars, even if that were an activity we enjoyed. We didn't sleep around - neither of us has really been into that. We don't abuse illegal substances. I don't know what other stereotypes might be associated with the gay lifestyle, really. Adopting special needs children? Throwing too many dinner parties? Not wearing heels?
For a little fun with the idea of the gay lifestyle, you can check out my previous posts, MI Gay Lifestyle and MI Gay Friday. They're both modeled after a similar piece from Huffington Post.
These posts are fun and funny and a little bit light. I've debated whether to post the following for a couple days - I drafted it in a Word document. In the end, I've decided that people need to see it. This is an edited version (I promise it's PG, but if hearing that same-sex couples normally sleep in the same bed makes you uncomfortable, stop reading here):
" Woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a train, basically before my alarm went off, after about 6.5 hours of sleep. It’s hard sleeping without her beside me. The warmth of her skin, the comfort of her curves, the sound of her breath, and the need to make sure she sleeps well envelop me and force me to go to sleep at a reasonable time. I’ve gotten used to being roused by her movements at 4:30 am when she wakes to prepare for a long day at the hospital. I try to fall back asleep for a few hours; there’s no sense in both of us being sleep-deprived. Still, I’m not sure if I’m ever successful.
I’m alert when I wake, which is refreshing after the many years of drowsiness and fogginess in the morning induced by medications that sapped my strength, softened my brilliance, and stole my appetite. I am taking just one prescription medication now. It may be partially responsible for my insomnia. I am hopeful that in a few weeks my body will adjust to this new substance and I will once again rest well.
Coffee is a must. I’ve tried switching to green tea, but I end up yawning too much throughout the day, tired from fighting exhaustion and restlessness. I add milk, usually coconut or almond, to reduce the acidity and keep my stomach settled."
I could talk more about how my life has been drastically shifted by my desire to support my life's career, or how I took on basically every household task while she was on trauma surgery, since some weeks she worked more than 80 hours. I suppose I don't have to do this any more than any of my friends in straight marriages ever do this kind of thing. Rebecca would support me if I worked more, didn't cook dinner, and paid someone to do the housekeeping (well, I might still do this, actually, since I'm a terrible housekeeper). Is that because it's a same-sex marriage? I've never been in an opposite-sex marriage (also known as a heterosexual/normal marriage, or more often, just "marriage.")
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Maybe I'm just too close to the issue and can't see the bigger picture of my lifestyle.