It was Valentine's Day, 1980. I was 18, Rick was 19. That evening, the most handsome man I'd ever seen walked into the Frat House bar in DC. We immediately hit it off, chatting about our love for Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler and more.
Our first dinner date was at my apartment, and our love grew quickly. We spent many nights in Rick's single bed with Jane Olivor spinning on the record player, talking until we fell asleep. We believe those early times formed the mutual bond that has kept us together ever since.
On our first anniversary, February 14, 1981, sitting on the floor of our apartment, we exchanged rings and made vows to each other.
Our love grew over the next three decades - our families gave us acceptance and love; we bought property; we had canine children. We’re now entering our 50s as a married couple.
On our 29th anniversary, Rick shocked me with a proposal. A year of planning ensued... we would marry on our 30th anniversary: Valentine’s Day, 2010.
Manchester, NH would be the location, as our home state of Maryland doesn't allow same-sex marriage. We kept the wedding simple due to the distance involved for family and friends. We exchanged our personally written vows in a ceremony structured to highlight of our years together. The rings we first exchanged in 1981 were re-exchanged while songs of Jane Olivor played in the background.
The pride and joy in being a truly married couple is beyond description. A right heterosexual couples have had to ages - marriage - is now a new, cherished status for us both.
Later we shared our happiness with our families and friends with cocktails, dinner and dessert at a Maryland restaurant. The highlight of our dinner was a video of our wedding, allowing everyone to feel they "had been there" and share in an event that was 30 years in the making!