Kestryl: Sassafras, lets write the blog. Quit telling Facebook what’s happening in our kitchen.
Sassafras: I was simply saying we’d told enough rapture stories – I’m still waiting to see a dinosaur!!!
Kestryl: Sassafras. it’s a rapture, not a raptor. And anyways, it didn’t happen.
So, for those of you who are still with us, welcome to the second installment of the yet to be titled PoMo Freakshow relationship advice column/blog series. We’ve been a little delayed in writing this one, and not because we were worried about the rapture and/or raptor (but that would have been a great excuse). Actually, we’ve been busy with a lot of celebrations this month, and fittingly, that was our planned topic for this blog post.
Sassafras: It was my birthday.
Kestryl: Yes, Sassafras, it was.
Sassafras: It was lots of other things, too.
Kestryl: Are we doing this part as an exchange? I don’t know how I feel about that. At some point it just starts sounding like a gimmick.
Sassafras: But what if it really happened??
Kestryl: The rapture or the gimmick?
Sassafras: This conversation.
Kestryl: Moving on.
Something that we’ve found is essential in sustaining a relationship has been finding things to celebrate together. This isn’t just about going out to dinner to celebrate a success at work, or a new performance or publication, but also creating holidays and celebrations that you observe on a reccuring basis. The most obvious of these is celebrating an anniversary, but we think there’s a lot more that you can do.
Sassafras: Like have four anniversaries.
Kestryl: Do we have four anniversaries?
Sassafras: Of course we do: anniversary, partyverary, chalking, leatherversary.
Kestryl: Oh yeah, I guess I don’t think of all of those as anniversaries… Just as days. That we remember. On an an annual basis…. Hm. I guess that’s the definition of an anniversary.
Sassafras: Pretty much.
For us, one anniversary just wouldn’t cut it. Like any relationship, our partnership has grown and changed over the years that we’ve been together, and we think it’s important to commemorate different milestones. Having our relationship evolve over time doesn’t change the other days that have their own significance. We’ve never understood couples that give up their original anniversary when they get married, or commitment ceremonied, or domestic partnered, or u-hauled, or whatever kids are calling it these days. Essentially, we believe in MORE celebrating, not less, and the more a relationship grows, the more there is to celebrate.
Sassafras: In our case, our anniversary is the day that we got together.
Kestryl: It’s the day that we really met, we didn’t get together together until the next day.
Sassafras: I still think it’s the day that we got together- I turned down a ride home to keep hanging out with you, even though you didn’t kiss me.
Kestryl: A gentleman doesn’t kiss on the first date.
Sassafras: First of all, that means you think it was the first date- so I win. Second of all, I ain’t no lady.
Our other anniversaries are other significant days in our relationship which include: our ‘partyvesary,’ which was when we didn’t get married (contrary to what ½ of the guests thought), ‘chalking,’ which was the day when Kestryl kind of proposed to Sassafras – we were activists working on a local queer campaign and were up at 5am chalking pro-homo messages on a college campus when ze got, shall we say, inspired. Our leatherversary marks the day when power in our relationship shifted from a play/scene dynamic to a 24/7 negotiated exchange. We don’t have a big celebration for each significant day– some we acknowledge with small gestures, and others we celebrate with a bit more flair.
Kestryl: Anniversaries aren’t the only thing to celebrate.
Sassafras: I like cake.
Kestryl: To be clear: we don’t have cake for every celebration.
Sassafras: Maybe we should.
Celebrations can take lots of forms. They aren’t all relationship markers, and they don’t all require cake. Taking the time to commemorate significant things that have happened over the course of your relationship keeps you grounded in your relationship’s history and values, and helps you to build its future. Another celebration that we observe is what we call our New York-iversary
Sassafras: Which is when we became monogamous with New York.
Kestryl: Monogamous? How about ‘long term committed primary partners?’ We’re still allowed to see other cities. You’ve been known to flirt with Atlanta.
And then there are birthdays. One thing to remember in any celebration (or relationship in general) is that what’s good for one person isn’t always good for the other(s). Just because you would love a streamer-festooned, balloon filled birthday, does not necessarily mean that your significant other(s) would be similarly delighted. Making a celebration meaningful means really doing your research and figuring out what your partner(s) want, and what will fill them with glee or joy on a special day. When you’re both doing this for each other on shared days, the result can be euphoric.
*Note: Thanks to everyone who has been sending in your relationship questions. We intend to respond and are still working out how that’s going to work in with the rest of our blog series/column/whatever it is. Please keep sending questions and know that we are reading and thinking about them and will be responding soon!