In which andygirl contemplates growing older.

Ever hit a crossroads?

I’m 18 years old. In a few weeks I will be finished my first year in college. Quietgirl, who is more recently 18, will soon be graduating from high school. We’ve been together for just over two years.

In between thinking about finals, doing research, and writing papers, I can’t stop thinking about growing up.

We’re both 18. Adult. Legal. And our relationship is far more serious than either of us expected or even necessarily wanted way back in high school. We love each other fiercely and well.

The way things stand now, I can’t see myself waking up next to anyone else for as long as I can see in the future. She feels the same.

I’m not interested in a committment ceremony or civil unions. Jen and I wear identical claddagh rings and she has a set of keys to the house. For now, that’s good enough for us.

But I want her to be my partner in the official sense. I keep on thinking about health insurance, power of attorney, living together, wills… all of those things that couples have.

How the hell do people do this? More importantly, how the hell do gay people do this?

I don’t even know where to start. All I know is that it’s going to be an interesting conversation with my parents. I realize that it’s a normal part of adolescence, but there are times when I feel so adult… and there are times when I just want my mom to hug me, say everything is all right, and make chocolate chip cookies.

Jen’s family is essentially out of the picture in regards to us as a couple. So what it comes down to is me, her, my family, and whatever the state of Delaware is willing to call us.

I don’t care what hoops I have to jump through. Until Jen and I are as close to being officially recognized as a couple as two women can get, I won’t stop feeling this way.

For whatever reason, this feels a lot more scary to me than any wedding ceremony.

Andy,

I do understand getting older. I am still young (24) in the traditional sense, but I have had ‘old moments’ (seeing commercials for 80’s music and it being described as ‘classic’).

As for Jen and yourself (my wifes name is Jen too :slight_smile: ), this could be a difficult problem. IANAL nor do I live in Delaware, but I do know in Texas that same-sex marriage is illegal (as it is in a majority of the US). It is just a matter of time though before this antiquated law is turned over.

You can have your Wills drawn up so that if something (Goddess forbid) happens to either one of you, the other can do something. One of you can change your name to the other as well. Usually this is a small fee and can be handled with a bit of paperwork at your county courthouse. Check with your lawyer to about these things.

Also, if you decide to buy a large item (house or car), put it in both of your names. If your job allows it, put Jen on your insurance as a family member.

The hurdles that you will have to jump over, and the long road ahead will be a trying one. I wish you and Jen the best, and brightest. :slight_smile:

I’m straight, so I can’t tell you how gay people anywhere, let alone in Delaware, would do any of the things that grown-ups have to do. But I can say this–being a grown-up is fun, but it’s a lot of work. trying to remember all the things you have to take care of on any given day can be a real pain in the ass. And being a college student besides…damn. Gotta take care of the grown-up business as well as schoolwork. Kinda glad I’m not there!

andygirl, if you ever need any support in just being a grown-up, let me know. I’m not very good at it (even though I’ll be 34 in a couple of months), but I know how to do it, in theory. :smiley:

My sister and her partner have never said vows to each other so to speak. Although they have been together for over five years and two years ago they bought a house together (both their names are on the contract), it is a given that they are together in the permanant sence of the word. Family and friends have all accepted it - although the parents on both sides were against it at first. My sister had a baby towards the end of last year through artificial insemination. At the beginning of this year - her partner adopted the baby so that now if anything were to happen to my sister - no one could take the baby away from her partner. Athough they might not have what the gov’t would consider a valid marriage - that doesn’t seem to matter as long as everyone close to them does. The only thing that is separate is the health insurace - they each have their own. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that people deal with things as they happen or as they are necessary. Sounds like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to have everything in life figured out right now.

I don’t want to have everything in life figured out. Embracing ambiguity is a huge part of my life.

At the same time, I don’t think it’s putting pressure on myself as much as accepting reality.

If she were in a car accident tomorrow her family could (and believe me, they would) prevent me from seeing her. This makes me deeply angry. I just can’t get over that despite how much we love each other, all of the things we’ve shared, all of our plans… we’re nothing to each other. Not in the eyes of the law.

All I want to do is change that.

Screw the law. The law burns innocent women and children and puts people in jail for not wearing their seat belt.

Write it all down. What you want, who gets what, how you feel about each other, what you want to happen if something happens to one or the other of you. Contingent power of attorneys, living wills, the whole nine yards.

Then see a lawyer, get it all noterized, and put it in a safe place. If you take no steps, her family can keep you out; if you write it all down, file it, and make sure a court can see it, there is an excellent chance they can’t. Really. With a power of attorney, depending on what state you are in, you can make the decisions for each other.

Don’t just bitch. Make it happen. Write it down. Society won’t do it for you; society doesn’t give a damn; society will fight you. You have to make it happen. Do it carefully, make it as watertight as you can.

It will cost some money, but if you write it all down before you go in to see the lawyer so that you don’t spend time working out what you want with the lawyer sitting there costing you two hundred bills an hour, it won’t cost as much as you think.

You can do a lot of this. Really. They just don’t make it easy. You have to fight.

Seatbelts save a lot of lives. In order to save lives, they have to be used.

too many people ignore this law. Unfortunately, it has come to making someone a patsy in order to increase awareness.

end of Hijack.
Andygirl: You have found so much that spend so much of their lives looking for. You have found someone to love and who loves you back. You are extremely lucky. Attitudes and Laws can change. Love cannot.