A Recipe for a Mixed Marriage Cocktail: Shake, Stir, Laugh

Jul 9, 2021 | 2013 Winter - Mixed Marriages

By Debbie Block-Schwenk

“I want to be a gay pop star for a week and then come back and tell you my adventures.” This is an actual line from a breakfast conversation at my house. I was telling Kevin about Mika, the British pop star who—over the past few years—has gone from “don’t label me” to “I guess you could say I’m bisexual” to “I guess you could say I’m gay.”

Kevin’s not particularly a fan of Mika’s music, but he’s happy to engage in the thought experiment of being in the singer’s shoes. Even though Kevin’s straight, he’s not narrow: he is happy to engage in these thought experiments, to tease me with speculation of what he might be like if he were bi and to be himself rather than some caricature of strictly-defined masculinity.

I can’t offer up a perfect recipe for a successful marriage. All I can offer are anecdotes. Every marriage involves unique individuals, and differences in sexual orientation might be the least of them. For me, though, it’s not only important that Kevin isn’t homophobic or biphobic, but that he can imagine what it might be like to be bisexual. Imagination: one required ingredient.

We have a lot in common and I’m grateful for that every day. Tonight I took a break from writing this so we could watch an episode of “Torchwood: Miracle Day” together. No, we don’t always like the same shows or the same music, but the odds are pretty good that our tastes will overlap. We work on political campaigns together. We play in the same Dungeons & Dragons game. Maybe most importantly, we enjoy just spending time together. Friendship: without it, the taste would be flat.

Kevin has also become a friend to many in the bi community here in Boston. I love the women-only atmosphere of the BBWN brunches (everyone needs her own space) but I’m also glad that when we attend other events, Kevin is not only welcomed, his company is enjoyed. Community: it adds body and support.

Days get frantic and life gets busy, but we always make time to say that we love each other and to thank each other for doing chores and helping each other. Kindness, compassion, love—I don’t need to tell you that without these ingredients there just won’t be much flavor.

Passion gives the mix its required kick (also see imagination, above).

Finally, a generous sprinkling of laughter adds zest to the mixture. Laughing together is joyful; it is healing; it is bonding.

Shake, stir, mix well. Laugh. Enjoy. May each who is seeking it find the right recipe for your own happiness.

Debbie lives with her spouse and four cats in Boston. 

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