I still can’t believe it’s been 11 years.
Everything was a blur when I arrived in New Zealand at 9 February 1996. After a 14 hour flight from LA to Sydney (and this was after a 5 or 6 hour flight from Chicago to LA), losing rings my grandparents and best friend Anne had given me and searching Sydney airport high and low for them (and thanks to a nice elderly English couple finding them), and then another 3 hour flight from Sydney to Christchurch, I was so tired. Flying in over the Southern Alps and then over fields of the Canterbury Plains, my eyes fell upon farms, more farms, sheep and more farms. What HAVE I come to? I didn’t know the city was on the other side of the island.
After being nearly the last person off the plane and through customs — and Christchurch airport has changed very much in those 11 years, so the arrival hall I went through most likely no longer exists — I saw Noel waiting for me. We gave each other a big hug and it was great.
During that day, I met Robin, Bob, Marg and Molly (Noel’s mother). Christchurch, in some parts, reminded me of Florida. It took us a few hours to get the milk from the service station across the road. All parts I remember albeit in a bit of a haze of tiredness mixed with excitement and wonder.
For many years, though, Noel remained the cornerstone of my life here. The foundation of building my life here. Out of all the things that have remained constant, he is the sole thing. And I felt guilty for a long time being so dependent on him.
(Just to justify the comment — I feel I am finally making friends and a name for myself here, and I feel more secure now. Dave Owen, Adam, Jacqui, James and Marg are all great friends who have helped me feel more settled here now and not feel so dependent on Noel all the time because I can talk to them as well as to Noel. I hope that makes sense!)
There was him and me, this strong house weathering any sort of troubles heading our way. Sure, there have been changes, people who have come and gone in our lives but the two of us remain constant.
We are so much a part of one another. Quirky jokes, pet names, routines we’ve settled into, our “fur children” and now Jamie… we have and continue to work so strongly as a relationship. I think people are surprised how easy-going and strong our relationship is, and I am sure some people are jealous of that. One person I know in particular (who is not on MySpace but shall still remain nameless) and Noel butt heads quite a bit (and others have noticed this) but I think this is partially due to her marriage crumbling before her eyes and how dare a gay couple be together longer than her marriage and be stronger and more durable and more successful. Her problem, not ours, I am sure, but it struck me that people are jealous or envious of our relationship. Flattering in a weird sort of way, I guess.
So what makes a successful relationship? I don’t know because so many people have different success stories. Noel and I talk. We joke all the time, have the same tastes, and he’s my best friend as well as my lover and husband. He makes me feel good in times I feel low. What more could I ask for?
Our relationship is one of steel and quite coincidentally, 11 years anniversary is one of steel.
So I end this blog on two notes…
Here’s to 11 wonderful years and hopefully a lifetime more of anniversaries together; and…
Oooh, 12th anniversary is silk or linen. Can we get kinky stuff for the bedroom then? (Just kidding!!!)