To all the waiters asking if my wife and I would like to split the check.
The answer to that is no. You don’t need to ask twice to make sure, though most of you do anyway. I said no the first time, and I’ll say no again, this time with a visible eye roll. There is one credit card on the table. I laid it out nicely for you. One check. One card. One family.
To be fair, since I’ve been getting regular highlights, my wife and I are both very blonde. We could be sisters, minus any actual shared facial or body features. But despite our lack of shared genetics, we are two blonde women, sitting together at dinner, and the majority of people assume we’re related somehow. Cousins? Two housewives cheating on their husbands? Friends plotting a murder? All more likely to be guessed than the truth, which is that we’re married.
Yes, when I say married, I mean legally. Yes, to her. This woman sitting directly opposite me, smiling at you with kind eyes. Kind eyes are a defining feature of my wife’s face. It’s one of the first things I loved about her, but I understand that isn’t relevant right now.
So, as a married couple, even then I’ll admit that not all married folks share bank accounts. A lot of people keep their finances separate even after marriage. I think it’s silly, but there it is. (Why get married if you don’t trust them with your shared money? You trust them to legally attach to you theoretically forever, raise children with you if you want them, or cats if you don’t, but a debit card is too big a commitment? Not an auspicious start to the rest of your life, in my opinion.) I’m no expert on this, or on most things, I just know how I feel.
But that’s not us. We share a bank account. We share a lot of other things too, like a dog, a cat that I’m convinced is just Satan reincarnated, soft couch blankets, a love of red wine, and what you could call a vested interest in each other’s vaginas. Yes, I have sex with my wife. Yes, she is this woman sitting directly across from me. Naked. With her. Correct.
Obviously, I don’t actually talk about sex with my wife to our waiters, at least not on a regular basis. But that’s the underlying question peoples’ eyes always ask, flicking from me to her and back again. Both of us with our long hair, she with her glasses and probably still in her veterinary doctor’s scrubs, me most likely in something pink and fluffy. It doesn’t add up. (The fact that we never asked anyone to add it up for themselves seems irrelevant to them most of the time.)
Often, we are also asked if we’re waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. My answer is that we are the party; the two of us. When we arrive, the party has arrived.
We both wear wedding rings and bands. I think that adds to the confusion. My round baby face doesn’t help much either. Without makeup, I don’t look old enough to buy beer, let alone get married. If neither of us wore a ring, we look more likely to be friends, or cousins, grabbing a drink and catching up. Maybe even just two college roommates. Two wedding bands, though? Where are our husbands? Why are we out alone? Are we two wives gone rogue? The answer to that last one is yes, but rarely in the way people assume.
We have gone rogue in that we fell in love years ago, stayed in love, and got married. We’ve gone rogue in that our dedication to each other is total and unwavering. We are each our own person, and together, we’re less so two halves of a whole and more each a half of a different fruit that’s combined somehow to become something new, in direct contradiction to the laws of physics and genetics and any other laws of the universe. I’m half a mango, she’s half a peach. Blended together, you’re already on your way to a delicious tropical drink made to be enjoyed on an outdoor lanai at sunset (I recommend adding rum and coconut.)
There is no way for people to know all this about us. But when I’ve spent my evening eating bites of her pizza, holding her hand, and kissing her cheek for a selfie, you can safely assume we’re more than friends or roommates or, God forbid, cousins.
I think the most painful part of being misread in public has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her. I love the fact that I’m married to my wife, and when we go out, just like any other couple, I’m proud to show her off. I’m so proud to be her wife that it hurts to be separated in peoples’ minds as their brains try to make sense of what we are. We’re just married; it’s very simple, and it’s everything to me.
So, go ahead. Bring us one check. If we needed it split, we would’ve been polite enough to ask. Most importantly, please remember it is not an insult for you to assume I’m married to her. It is the greatest compliment you can give me.
This was originally posted on gaycinderella’s Medium page and is reposted with permission.