Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart.
"April 9, 1998."
WHERE DID YOU MEET?
"Sisters night club downtown."
WAS IT A LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT SITUATION?
D: "Um, no (laughter). I actually showed up at the bar by myself. It was my sister's birthday, Holy Thursday. Went down there 'cause I was bored. I was sitting at the bar and she was there with a bunch of friends sitting next to me at the bar. I leaned over and asked her if that was a man or woman sitting across from us."
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
K: "We just had a conversation. It was a nice night, talking to each other. She left by herself and I went off with my friends, but in the meantime I asked for her phone number. We exchanged phone numbers, just in case we wanted to go out or something. Just hang out. That's what we did. It wasn't anything else other than that. Just two people hanging out. We did go out on one date and I told her that I didn't want to date her. I said I wasn't impressed and I left it at that. I was dating other people. We would go out occasionally. We'd go to the movies or just hang out and stuff like that. Then we got to talking. That's when we found out we had a mutual friend. I knew our friend through the world of politics and she knew her from another friend from years ago. I was with our friend at something. "D" came and met us and we were like "Wait a minute. They know each other?" It was really weird. We really didn't date. We were just friends. Then one night we were out and one thing led to another. That was November 7, 1998. We've been together ever since."
WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE THERE WAS SOMETHING MORE THAN THE FRIENDSHIP?
K: "I really don't know. I think it was just "D's" entire personality. Her goodness, her kindness and the fact that she put up with me, even then. I guess that's it. When it comes down to it, she's a great person, an all around wonderful person that, over time, I just have fallen more and more in love. I know, she's choking here cause she thinks I'm knee deep in it. (Laughter)"
D: "She forgot her shovel." (Laughter)
K: "I don't know...it's just been that way. I know this is a statement that's been used over and over, but she gets me. She really does. She understand my insanity. She puts up with a lot of shit from me. At the time, there wasn't a whole lot of her family around. There were nieces and nephews, but not the great nieces and nephews. They didn't spend a lot of time together. I'm a family person, grew up in a very close knit family. Sometimes she'll tell you that it's TOO close. People need to know too much about you. We've found ways around that. We just grew together. She puts up with my family (God bless her), which is a good thing, cause they're an interesting bunch. Then, I wanted her to be with her family too. So I started pushing a little bit. At the time she was in the world of non-profit. Giving a lot back to society. A lot of running, a lot of politics. I've been to more political functions than I can shake a stick at. Seeing the same people two nights in a row, weekends on end. But we kind of clicked. It was a gel, ya know."
K: "The other day she calls me and goes "How long we been together?" I said "16 1/2 years almost". And she said 'Happy Anniversary'. It took me a minute and I'm like "You're wrong. It was yesterday." She said "No it wasn't. It was the day I moved in. Feb. 4, 2000". I thought it was Feb. 5. We weren't your stereotypical lesbian couple that goes on a couple of dates and the moving van shows up. It took 2 years for her to actually move in."
D: "Year and a half."
K: "Ok, a year and a half. But before that we were constantly together."
D: "I was there on weekends all the time."
K: "Then we knew that we wanted to be together."
D: "Everything isn't always peaches and roses. It's a natural relationship and anyone that wants to say our relationship is any different than a husband and wife has another one coming."
K: "I have a small family. Let me clarify. My oldest brother is deceased. Both my parents are deceased. I have one living brother, sister in laws, 6 nieces and nephews and now a grand total of 6 great nieces and nephews. So my family has expanded. We didn't always see each other but when the great nieces and nephews came, there was more of a push to be with family. And I love that we now have gotten to that point. The kids are a riot. They all call her aunt. There are times where I think they like her better than me. (Laughter)"
D: "I kind of feel that if we ever broke up that they'd keep me."
HAVE YOU EVER DEALT WITH ANY OPPOSITION FROM YOUR FAMILIES, FOR BEING A LESBIAN COUPLE?
D: "Not for that reason. My father, when we first got together, told me she was too old for me."
K: "D" is 45, I am 60. I just turned 60 this past December. That's what it was with her dad. "Isn't she too old for you?"
D: "But my older sister had something to say about that. My older sister, who passed away, was 13 years older than me. My brother's 11 years older than me and my other sister is 9 years older than me. They are the closest in age. Then my cousins on my fathers side are all within a year of each other at the top, so I've always been around older people. I never grew up in a young household cause everyone was always older. My sister got married when I was 7. I was an aunt at 9. So it's always been an adult world to me."
K: "I'm the youngest. My oldest brother is 12 years older than me. My other brother is 6 years older than me."
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO OR ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE?
"We are going to do it. We're just not sure HOW we're gonna do it. And I'm gonna be honest, I never expected this to happen in my lifetime. When this all happened, I was in total shock. It was just unbelievable. Here it is now, 36-37 states are allowing it, Pennsylvania being one of them. A funny story about the day it passed in Pennsylvania. We expected the Governor to send it through all sorts of legal issues and when he passed it, it was Election Day! We have 3 election boards in our voting area (we both work the polls) and they were all planning our wedding after they found out it passed."
"We will eventually do it. I think we're just kind of waiting. There's those people that totally expect us to have that grandiose wedding, and we're just like "Let's get married and then have a gigantic party afterwards". Not the reception thingy. To be honest, that's just friggin expensive. That's a down payment on a house! It's unbelievable. My best friends wedding, she spent between $25,000 and $30,000! That's $150 a person and that was 13 years ago! It's ridiculous. Granted, it was beautiful, lovely. I was in it. It was down on the Parkway. But I can't see spending that much money for a party. I'd rather throw an all out bash. You have more fun and everyone doesn't have to get dressed to the nines. I don't want black tie. It's not me."
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY TOGETHER, SO FAR?
(Laughter) "That's a good one. We have quite a few, probably."
K: "One of my favorite things, and I hate to say this, but "D" tried to cook for me. Let me just say this: I like to cook. I am a fairly decent cook. She is a baker. At Christmas time, my whole take on baking was Pillsbury slice and bake cookies. That's what I think baking is. "D" on the other hands will make you chocolate chip cookies from scratch and whatever else. Baking is not my forte. "
D: "My grandfather was a baker for a living. Until the day my sister died, my mother still made lumpy potatoes. (Laughter)"
K: "So, I can cook. She cannot cook. She can make a grilled cheese much better than I can and she can make a fried egg. Great. Ok. So I get sick and she decides that she wants to make me dinner. She wants to make chicken and spaghetti. I'm laying on the couch and she comes out and asks if I can check the chicken. She doesn't know if it's done. She's trying to cook for me and I still have to check the food. Then she's making the spaghetti. She gets that all perfect. Then she's using Ragu sauce. I am not a straight, plain, Ragu right out of the jar person. Nothing in it. If you're gonna use it, try doctoring it. I'll admit, I've used it but I'll put Italian seasoning in it, oregano, some green pepper in it to give it some flavor. She tried. That's all I'm gonna say. She tried. It was awful."
"My other favorite was one time, and this is about food too. "D" was cat sitting for a friend in Jersey. The woman would go away, she would cat sit for a month. And we were dating at this point. So she invites me to come over there. This is before I knew about her cooking skills (or lack of cooking skills). She wants to make me tuna steak. So, ok, fine. She wants to do them on the grill. She neglects to tell me she doesn't know how to do it. Come and have dinner....cook your own. So there are funny cooking stories."
D: "For her 50th birthday, I decided to throw a huge bash at my sisters house. I knew I would never be able to surprise her, so I threw it a month ahead of time. Hard birthday- 3 days after Christmas. So I threw it the week before Thanksgiving. At the time my friends and family helped me plan it. My sister offered me her house. The first deal was that I had to go clean it. My family was kind enough to help me. The premise I gave was that we were having an early Thanksgiving dinner cause my niece would be in for the weekend (she lives in Chicago) and couldn't come in for the actual holiday. It made perfect sense. So with holiday meals, everybody prepares something and brings it. They always stick her with green bean casserole because one year she made the turkey to bring to my aunts since she was sick at the time, and we took the holiday to her. So everybody cooked, we brought the turkey. At the time "K" had a broken hand. She got the cast off the day before. She was also sick at the time, she had a cold. Everybody was fine with the turkey except "K" made the stuffing and everyone in my family loves stuffing. It's the best part of the turkey! The stuffing was so bad that no one wanted to take it home with them or eat it. We took it home and she threw it out. She put too much poultry seasoning in it."
K: "It was because of the cold. So I had her mixing it because of the broken hand and I'm tasting it and I'm thinking it needs more poultry seasoning. No, it didn't. It was because I had a cold. It was a disaster."
D: "They always make fun of about it. It's the running joke of the family. But to be honest, she actually redeemed herself this year. She made the turkey, the stuffing and everything for Thanksgiving. Everyone was happy. It was delicious. But for her party, I told her she had to make green bean casserole as if it was Thanksgiving dinner. So we arrived at my sisters house. Thank God her neighbor across the street is lit up like a lighthouse cause there were so many cars riding in the neighborhood. We drove up and my sister met us in the driveway cause we were running a little bit late. My sister leans over after and tells me "You owe me and you're cleaning the house afterwards." I had 80 people walk in. She was flabbergasted."
K: "It was unbelievable. I looked at her and her friend and called them son of a bitches. They managed to pull this off without me figuring anything out! It was unbelievable."
D: "I shipped everything to his (friend) house."
K: "A pre-requisite for this party was; at the time I had this running joke with one of our neighbors about pink flamingos. Our neighbor had a trailer in Ocean City that they would go on the weekends. I would jokingly say "Hey, do you have pink flamingos out there?" And she would say "I hate those things!" I made "D" drive every back road to the shore till I found these things. We got them and came home and put them in our backyard just to drive our neighbor crazy. This was a good neighbor, a friend, who has since moved. We miss them dearly. So somehow people got the idea that I was in love with pink flamingos. So you had to come to the party with some kind of a flamingo theme or wear pink. Imagine 80 people showing up like that. People had pink flamingo glasses....it was bad. (Laughter)"
D: "By the way, my sister took the string bean casserole from "K" and they served it. She cooked for her own party (laughter). The food was catered otherwise."
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL PLANS FOR VALENTINES DAY?
DO YOU TYPICALLY DO SOMETHING ON THAT DAY OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE CALENDAR?
"We'll do something. Usually go to a movie, out to dinner, something like that."
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOU COMPATIBLE?
D: "She's very list oriented. When it comes to holidays or functions that we're doing, she has a list for everything. I just roll my eyes as soon as I see it. Cause I know if there's manual labor on it, that portion of the list is usually mine. The cooking side or decorating side is her. She's much more that way. I'm not a fly by the seat of your pants type person. Sometimes I can be, but I'm very organized."
K: "I believe in the list, but I'm also a fly by the seat of your pants type person."
I WAS GONNA SAY THAT IT'S INTERESTING THAT SOMEONE THAT IS A LIST PERSON WOULDN'T BE A FLY BY THE SEAT OF THEIR PANTS PERSON TOO.
K: "I'll take the list and go "OK, this is what the basics are. How can we improvise it too?" It just works that way."
"But why does it work for us? I think it's just because we work it out if it DOESN'T work."
D: "We won't tell you there's not a battle that won't be had. There will be. But an hour later we're fine."
K: "Yeah, like "OK, I realize I was stupid and said such and such. So...I'm really sorry." We realize that we're better together than alone. I guess if you put us together and threw out our faults, we'd be one perfect person. That would be a scary thought."
"We like to decorate out front. We have a rock garden and yard in the back. The yard out back is large. It 168 x 18, so it's a big yard. I like to decorate, she likes to mow the lawn. That works for us. But during the holiday season, wee decorate the front starting in the fall and then for Christmas. I have the plan for it, she is usually the one that has to put the whole thing together."
D: "D" does the manual labor! She can't climb in the rock garden because it's actually a little precarious. I've fallen out of it before and it gets slippery. So, this just works, the way we handle that."
K: "I think it's the knowing when to say you're sorry. Knowing which ones are really the major battles for us. Talking it out. And I think our favorite words are "We'll figure it out". And the best part is, we usually do."