2016: Birthdays, Friendship, Olympics

This post is a tribute to friendship and a testimony to how women’s lives have improved in my lifetime. 70 years old greeting cardThis year, 2016, I turned 70 and so did many of my friends, including my college room-mate Maxene. She was given a surprise party by her husband, who asked all of the guests to write a letter, poem, or story to be bound in book as a gift for her…an appropriate gift because Max is very close to publishing her own book, a memoir. Of course, I went to her party.  Flew to Atlanta on Labor Day. This has been a hard year for my friend, she has struggled through many months of health issues, which alone was a big reason to be there for her. But, more importantly, Max and I have a lasting bond, a connection that I share with no one else.
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Welcome to the Institution of Marriage

Gay Marriage is LegalWith the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, I have been reflecting on this widely popular contractual agreement between two people.  One of the benefits of being older is witnessing social and political changes;  knowing and living through “how it used to be” gives me a deep appreciation of these advancements. And, along the way, I’ve also noticed my own opinions evolving.  This is the case regarding my view of marriage.
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Terms of Endearment

We are at that age now, my boyfriend and I, where (among other things) the term “boyfriend” should not be unacceptable. I should start over and call him my …what? My partner? We are not gay or living together so that seems misleading. My fiancé? He did surprise me with a lovely diamond ring but it came without a proposal for marriage. I could be more hip and call him “my honey”, “my man”, or “my guy”. None of those feels quite right or very wrong, unless we are in casual company.

In Italy, people of a certain age use the term “fidanzato” or “fidanzata”, which signifies a serious relationship between two adults without a declared path to the altar. Do we have an equivalent in English? None that I’ve found. Help! What are the rest of the grown-ups doing?