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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Sometimes Michael will refer to me as his wife. One night last week, we were on our way home from somewhere (I can't remember now) and it had gotten dark by the time we'd reached the Country Club area. I started to ooh and awe over Christmas lights and Michael made a last minute left hand turn into a neighborhood. The Christmas lights were sparse. We ended up winding through the neighborhood looking for Christmas lights and at some point Michael yelled "Come on people! I'm trying to show my wife some Christmas lights here!" It throws me for a bit of a loop every time I hear him call me "wife." 

It flows easier from his lips than the word "husband" flows from mine. I don't know why this is. Tiffany said last week that she thought I was just shy about romance. I think she may be right. That or I'm just no good telling not quite the truth. I stammer over what to call Michael. "Boyfriend" was never a good term of endearment. It is the kind of word that connects my mouth with my eyes because as it drops from my tongue, my eyes roll up, over and back down. Such a juvenile word. "Partner" or "Domestic Partner" confuses people. I see it on their faces when I say it. Yet, "husband" just doesn't come to the top of the list for me. Labels are the worst. He's Michael, my Michael, and he really is officially my domestic partner. 

Last Wednesday, the two of us went over to city hall to file official Domestic Partnership papers. There was a lot that we had to take care of that day. Michael needed to pay his personal property taxes and renew his tag. The simplest (and cheapest) task by far was signing our names on a piece of paper and then watching the city clerk emboss it with an official seal. That's really all there is to it. We didn't make a big announcement. In fact, I don't think I even mentioned it to my family when they were here. Michael and I both decided that when or if the day comes when we decide that we actually need to be married, we'd probably do it the same way. Quietly sneak off to the courthouse and then post a picture of the marriage license on Instagram. We'd take turns casually mentioning that we got married. I'm all for elopement, though I think I'd want to wear a pretty new dress or something.