theorangeinkblot

Looking at life through orange colored glasses…

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Being Temporarily Abled

My vision without my glasses is pretty bad.  My own hand in front of my face is blurry and even though I would probably be able to identify a large object that is ten to twenty feet away (something the size of a car or larger) I can’t see smaller objects or read any lettering or signs.  Anything further away then twenty feet is just a fuzzy blob of shape and color.

About twenty years ago, I went to a ‘Lenscrafters’ in a shopping mall in suburban New York. The frames to my glasses had bent but could be repaired while I waited (in about an hour!).   I sat down in a chair in the waiting area and picked up a magazine which I quickly realized I couldn’t read unless I held it about three inches from my face and even then it was tricky.  I put the magazine down and just sat there for a minute or two and then I thought of my friend who is has a visual disability and has used both a cane and a guide dog to assist her over the years.

I decided that instead of sitting in that chair for an hour staring at a fuzzy wall, I would use the time as an opportunity to try to gain even the smallest glimmer of understanding of what it would be like if my ability to see without glasses was the best that I could expect.  I assigned myself a task to find a coffee shop, buy a cup of coffee and then find my way back to ‘Lenscrafters’.

I was able to complete my self assigned tasks but not without asking for help.  Being unfamiliar with the mall I had to ask someone to help me find the coffee shop and then I had to ask the coffee shop employee to tell me what kind of specialty drinks they had and how much they cost.  I had to hold my money pretty close to my face to make sure I was paying with the correct bill.  I had to navigate getting on and off the escalator with limited vision.  By the time I returned to Lenscrafters,  I was grateful to be reunited with my glasses and my ability to see.

It was an interesting experiment which definitely required me to step out of my comfort zone. I felt vulnerable and a little uncomfortable having to ask strangers for help. But let’s be honest, any discomfort or vulnerability I felt was tempered by the knowledge that it was temporary.   Still, when I told my friend who is blind what I had done, she was touched.  She said very few people would even try to take it upon themselves to understand what it is like to be a person with a disability.  She also said that most able bodied people take for granted that they will always be able bodied, when in fact, at any time, any one of us could be faced with an illness or injury that leaves us with chronic pain, mobility issues, or an inability to see, hear, speak or think the way we used to.  Any one of us able bodied people could very well be so temporarily.

Why am I telling you all this?  I have a good friend who deals with chronic pain on a daily basis. She has recently had two major surgeries and hospitalizations but sadly has had no relief.  In addition, she is now facing mobility issues and finds herself needing to use a wheelchair to travel any significant distance.  To add insult to injury, as she has reached out to her friends and community for help and support, she has found that many people are shutting her out.  Some people have just stop taking her calls altogether.  Others have told her that her level of illness makes them uncomfortable or that they are not comfortable having a friend who uses a wheelchair.

I have two lines of thought about these feelings of discomfort:

1.) I understand that feeling uncomfortable feels, well, uncomfortable.  Anytime we are faced with a situation that is unfamiliar or new or in which we don’t know what to do or say, the temptation can be to avoid the situation altogether and shut down that uncomfortable feeling.  This can apply to visiting or supporting our friends when they are sick or injured or any other plethora of new or scary situations.  But before moving into avoidance and denial consider that the feeling of discomfort is also signaling an opportunity for personal growth.

By being willing to sit with that feeling of discomfort, we give our brain the opportunity to confront and resolve the cognitive dissonance between how we are actually feeling, and the guilt or shame we may feel for feeling that way.  Then, we can find our courage, lean in, and access feelings of empathy and compassion instead of succumbing to fear.  We may find that we are awkward and clumsy in our attempts to reach out in these situations- but at least it is authentic. And the more we are willing to try, the less awkward and clumsy it becomes.

2.) Consider the idea that your able-bodiedness may be temporary.  How would you feel if tomorrow you found yourself unable to use your body in the way you are used to using it.   Scared? Confused? Frustrated? Angry? Sad? Now imagine that feeling all of those feelings you reach out to people – who have been your friends for years – for emotional support or assistance and their response is that due to your not being able to use your body in the same way you used to they are no longer comfortable being your friend.  How devastating would that be?

It’s okay- normal even- to feel uncomfortable.  Imagine though, how that discomfort can be transformed into something so much more powerful if we are willing acknowledge that we can simultaneously feel uncomfortable and also make an effort to be empathetic and compassionate.  Can we find the courage to say, “I’m feeling uncomfortable with what you are going through but I’m working on it and want to find some way to try to be supportive.”

We don’t have to make a commitment to “fixing” whatever our friend is going through- there may not even be a viable solution.  And it is totally healthy to set boundaries.  I am not suggesting that it is required or even appropriate to be available to someone 24 hours a day.  I would say to try, for a moment, to put yourself in that person’s shoes and think about how you might feel if you were going through what they are going through.  Remind yourself that at any moment on any day your world might be completely turned upside down.  Imagine what it might be like if you needed to learn to navigate the world in an entirely different way.  And then choose your actions based on how you would hope your friends would respond to you.

It’s easy really- treat others the way you would want to be treated.  Even if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable.

 

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Pulling A Sadie

(Note: All names have been changed in order to maintain confidentiality.)

My mother in law recently told me a story about a situation that a friend of hers, Millie, has been dealing with for quite some time.  The situation began about ten years ago when Millie attended her 50 year high school reunion and reconnected with a childhood friend named Sadie.  Millie and Sadie had been the best of friends in high school but had lost touch over the years.  They were excited to reconnect at the reunion and although one lived in New York and the other lived in Florida they began to speak regularly by phone.

It did not take long for an unpleasant pattern to develop.  Sadie would call and within a few minutes would shift the conversation to a topic (frequently politics) on which she held a very strong opinion.  Sadie would rant, barely allowing Millie to respond.  When Millie was able to get a word in edgewise, Sadie would immediately tell Millie she was wrong and list all the reasons why.

Eventually, Millie started to dread receiving these phone calls from Sadie.  Feeling badly that a relationship she had once treasured was becoming burdensome, she tried whatever she could think of to change the dynamics of the conversations.  Millie tried changing the subject; she tried telling Sadie that she wished their conversations weren’t so confrontational.  Millie even suggested that perhaps instead of their regular phone calls they should instead begin communicating via email.  Sadie would not be deterred.  Finally, out of desperation, Millie simply stopped answering the phone when Sadie called.  She assumed, that eventually, Sadie would get the hint and stop calling.

That was more than five years ago, and Sadie has not given up.  Sometimes she calls and just hangs up when the answering machine comes on.  Other times she leaves angry messages telling Millie that she is a terrible person.  Sadie even called Millie’s daughter in law to inquire why Millie wasn’t calling her back and expressing outrage that Millie would suggest that they communicate by email since this would require Sadie going to the library to use a public computer.

I am fascinated by Sadie’s behavior.  Clearly, by now, she must know that Millie does not want to talk to her and is not going to answer the phone.  I would imagine that this takes a lot of energy on Sadie’s part.  Not only does she take the time to make these phone calls, she is emotionally invested every time, despite being able to predict what the outcome will be.  To me, this sounds emotionally exhausting.  It begs the question- why can’t Sadie just let it go and stop calling.

The only thing I can come up with is this: as long as Sadie keeps calling and Millie continues to not answer, Sadie can justify being angry at Millie.  She can put herself in the position of being a victim – after all, she is the one being ignored for seemingly no reason.  If Sadie were to give up (or let go) and stop calling, she would no longer be able to comfort herself with the argument that she has been wronged and use it to absolve herself of any of the responsibility she may have had in causing the reasons that Millie did not want to speak to her in the first place.

In my mind, I can picture Sadie going to her weekly Mah Jong game and complaining about Millie- how once again she had called and once again Millie had not answered.  I can picture Sadie’s friends’ tutting about how rude it is that Millie has completely shut Sadie out.

As ridiculous as this behavior seems, I see variations of it all the time and I have coined it “pulling a Sadie.”  Pulling a Sadie is when someone repeatedly puts themselves in a situation that they know will have an upsetting or undesired outcome and yet they continue to put themselves in that situation and let those negative feelings fester. Or, they spend countless hours complaining about how unfair and upsetting it is that they are in that situation.  Perhaps, they continue to put themselves in that situation so they CAN complain about how unfair it is and how they have been wronged.

If I am to be completely honest then I have to admit that I have at some point or another in my life “pulled a Sadie.”  It is easy to get sucked into the drama that a Sadie situation creates and with so many emotions involved it can be difficult to see how we share the blame for that situation.  But as I have gotten older I have realized that sometimes all I can do is recognize a pattern for what it is so I do not fall into the same trap again and then do my best to just walk away.

When my mother in law told me this story, I wondered if Millie could have done more to diffuse the situation.  For example, would it have helped Sadie to get closure if Millie had written Sadie a brief letter explaining why she had decided to end their relationship? I suspect, however, that Sadie would have called repeatedly anyway, being unable to let the situation go.  Ultimately, I don’t think Millie had any other choice.  By repeatedly picking up the phone and conversing with Sadie she was continuously finding herself feeling upset and angry.  Millie walked away because she didn’t want to pull a Sadie.

Maybe it’s time to coin a new phrase- to describe someone who recognizes a negative pattern in their life and decides to break it.  I think we should call it, “pulling a Millie.” The next time you find yourself complaining about the same situation or person for the third, fourth, or tenth time take a step back and look for a pattern in the situation.  Then decide- would you rather be a Sadie or a Millie?

Patches of Sunlight on the Kitchen Floor

(Note to subscribers: My apologies for the rough draft that was inadvertently sent out earlier.  Hopefully, this will make more sense.)

I’m just going to say it.  There is no shortage of rude and thoughtless behavior in this world.  Recently, a classmate of my eleven year old daughter handed out invitations to her birthday party at school.  My daughter was not invited, but this did not stop the party host from asking my daughter to give an invitation to our neighbor on her behalf.  My daughter was understandably incredulous.  She said to me, “It’s one thing to not be invited to the birthday party of someone I thought was my friend– it’s another thing altogether for that person to ask me to help her hand out her invitations.  That’s rude, right?”

Yes, that’s rude.  Maybe even mean, depending on how much thought my daughter’s classmate put into her request.  But considering the frequent poor behavior I have seen from some of the adults that I interact with on a regular basis, I am not surprised.   This year, in my role as an executive board member of the PTA of my daughter’s school, I have found myself witness to many interactions in which it is obvious that the person speaking has either not thought about how their words or actions will affect the person they are speaking with, or worse, that they know exactly the impact their words or actions will have and choose to stay the course, regardless.  Some people were merely clueless and appeared to have no malicious intent.  Others were so sure they were “right” that they willingly threw everyone around them under the proverbial bus just to prove their point.  Others still, were quite willing to look the other way in the face of decisions with ethical implications for dozens of families because their family would not be directly impacted.

I worry that people are becoming increasingly self-serving.  There is a “What’s in it for me?” mentality that is casting a dark shadow over society, leaving me searching for pockets of hope, like my cat looks for patches of sunlight on the kitchen floor by which to warm himself.

Yesterday, I found one of those patches of sunlight.  About five years ago, before I had even met her, my friend, “N,” received a kidney donation from a stranger- a living donor, named “A,” who saved her life.  N has mentioned A to me several times – particularly to say how grateful she is to A for giving her the chance to watch her children grow up  and to marvel at how selfless an act it was for A to donate her kidney to someone she didn’t even know.  N and A have kept in touch through Facebook and when N found out that A was going to be in town this week, she asked A if she would be interested in meeting some of the friends that she is grateful to still have time with on this earth.  Then, she asked me if I would be interested in meeting A along with some of her other friends at lunch.  It was there that we got to hear the story of the transplant from A’s point of view.

A, 21 years old at the time, was sitting with her mother watching the news when she saw N on the screen making a plea for help.  N was in her early 30’s, the mother of two small children.  N’s husband, was serving overseas in the military.  N needed a kidney- as soon as possible.  When N’s blood type was mentioned, A turned to her mother and said, “I have that blood type.  I could give this woman one of my kidneys.”  A wrote down the phone number on the screen and called the next day.  She said it was one of the easiest decisions she has ever made.

It’s hard to say what was more meaningful to me- to know that N wanted me to be one of the people that A got to meet, or to know that there are selfless people out there, like A, who hear a stranger’s plea for help and respond in the most courageous way.

So what does this have to do with my frustration with people who don’t think before they speak or with the people who look the other way because THEY will not be directly affected?  None of us are perfect and it takes a very special 21-year old to make the decision that A made.  It would be unrealistic to think that we will all operate at that that level of selflessness.  Be we can look at how A put the need of a young mother above her own as an example of how we can all be a little more thoughtful and deliberate in our daily lives.

For example, before blasting someone else’s opinion in a self-righteous, ‘reply-to-all’ email, regardless of how right you believe yourself to be and no matter how strongly you feel that the person who expressed the dissenting opinion needs to be proved wrong, consider contacting only that person and asking them to explain their opinion in more depth and then share your concerns.  Or, when given the opportunity to preemptively correct a situation that will likely cause dozens of families emotional distress, even if your family is unaffected, be thankful for the opportunity to spare the suffering of others.

By inviting me to meet A at lunch yesterday, N gave me a beautiful gift.  I was reminded that we are all deeply connected and that we all have the ability to make each other’s lives better.  If nothing else, we can strive to not make peoples’ lives worse by speaking or acting without first thinking of the consequences.  Whether our acts of loving kindness are small or life saving, they all make a difference.  They are all pockets of hope creating patches of sunlight on the kitchen floor.

 

 

Does Nothing Last Forever?

Those folks who know me know what a great year my younger daughter had in kindergarten last year.  And, they know what a great year I had as a regular volunteer in my daughter’s kindergarten class.  As the year drew to a close I became increasingly sad.  I wasn’t ready for the year to end.  How was I going to say goodbye to kindergarten?

I asked my daughter’s teacher how he dealt with the end of each school year and he replied, “Nothing lasts forever.”

I get where he was coming from.  It’s true, kindergarten couldn’t last forever and time inevitably marches onward whether or not we are ready to fall in line.  Something fell flat with me about that response though.  It seemed so….permanent.  High School had ended, and college and graduate school after that.  But even though they ended they lived on- through memories and lessons learned, sure, but most importantly through the continued relationships with people who were and still are important to me.

Last year, I was privileged to spend time with 24 amazing kindergarten students who reminded me that that the world is a curious place that we should never stop exploring.  They reminded me too, that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.  Their smiles and hugs brightened my days.  That they wanted to share their stories, jokes, and secrets left my heart feeling like it could burst from all the love I felt for those children.  To just walk away from all of that with a “nothing lasts forever” seemed impossible.

It turns out I didn’t have to worry.  I am still a volunteer at my daughter’s school and I see the kids from her class last year all the time.  I still get hugs when I pass them in the hallway; they wave wildly at me from across the cafeteria; they still pull me aside to tell me a joke or a story or a secret.

When you think about it, it’s not necessarily the experiences that we have that are  important but the people that we share those experiences with.  Relationships based on shared experiences connect us on a human level and allow us to understand each other better.  These places where our lives intersect with one another’s- where our paths cross, whether for an hour, a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime, are opportunities to learn from each other, to accomplish together, to support one other, and to recognize that we are all greater than the sum of our parts.

I guess we could just have these experiences, form these connections, and then just part ways never to speak to each other again.  Sometimes, we don’t have a choice.  People pass away or for reasons we are never privy to just decide to not be part of our lives.  Even then I wouldn’t say that nothing lasts forever.  Once someone has found their way into my heart they stay there forever right along with the things I learned from them and the ways that I changed because of them.

I suppose the ‘nothing lasts forever’ people have their reasons for being that way.  Maybe for some folks it’s just too hard to look forward and backwards at the same time.  Maybe it’s an ‘out of sight out of mind’ kind of thing.  Whatever their reasons I have no choice but to respect how they feel.

However, I am not a ‘nothing lasts forever’ person.  I am a ‘keep people forever’ person.  If you are someone I call a friend or someone with whom I have shared a meaningful experience or conversation; if you are someone who has showed me or members of my family kindness or have inspired me to be a better person then I’m going to keep you forever.  And if I can’t keep you as a fixture- as someone who wants to be an active part of my life in some way then I will keep you in my heart- forever.  That’s just who I am.

In my opinion, a more accurate statement would be that that nothing stays exactly the same forever.  Kids grow up, friends move away, jobs end, people die.  Things do change and we have no choice but to change with them.  But we do get to choose the people that we keep for as long as we want to keep them.  When we are especially lucky, those people choose to keep us too and those relationships are tremendously special.  It doesn’t matter if we see those people every day, once a year, or communicate with them only through letters, emails, or social media.  The important thing is that we find ways to stay connected and keep the conversations going.  The love and support that I feel from my friends who are hundreds or thousands of miles away is no less powerful than the love and support of my friends who live in my neighborhood- even if I haven’t physically laid eyes on them in years.

In the words of John Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.”

Things may change but that does not mean they disappear.   The experiences we share, the connections we make, the conversations we have, the friendships we forge, the love we give and receive- all these things inspire and change us.  They shape who we are, who we become, they help to create the legacies we leave behind- forever.

Stay Gold

 During my junior year of college I spent about six months in an on again off again relationship with ‘S.’ It would be an understatement to say that S and I were not compatible.  More than anything, I think we were sort of fascinated with each other.

I had a pretty idyllic childhood, raised in a small rural town on the east end of the north shore of Long Island.  My family was (and remains) very close.  We weren’t rich but we always had what we needed.  There were family game nights, sing-alongs in the car, and we always said, “I love you.”  Life was not perfect but I learned pretty early on that life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

S came up hard, an economically disadvantaged inner city kid from the West Coast.  He had been exposed to violence and drugs at an early age.  His parents were physically there but not very affectionate or present in his life.  S didn’t talk about his family much, but he did share the following story with me about his dad:

One day, S’s dad was walking along a river.  A stray cat walked up to him and rubbed against his legs purring.  S’s dad picked up the cat and threw him into the river.  The cat swam back to shore walked back up to S’s dad and again rubbed against his legs purring.  S’s dad once again picked up the cat and threw him into the river.  The cat again swam back to shore and again rubbed against S’s dad’s legs. For a third time S’s dad picked the cat up and threw him in the river.  When the cat came back a third time, S’s dad decided that he and this cat were meant to be together.  S said that the only time he ever saw his father cry was when this cat passed away years later.

By the time I met him, S had done a lot to turn his own life around.  After losing a close friend to a drug related shooting S made the decision to move East and start anew.  He had found a full time job working in the warehouse of a shipping company and was taking classes part time at the local community college. He was hoping to transfer to a four year university and major in business.  I was impressed that he was working so hard to make a better life for himself and told him so.  Still, I often got the feeling that S only partly believed that he was someday going to get where he wanted to be.  I’m not sure he believed he deserved his success.  S seemed to constantly be waiting for something “bad” to happen that would give him the excuse to say, “See, I told you I couldn’t do it – I’m just going to go back to selling drugs.”

One day over winter break, S called me in New York to lament about his grade report for the semester.  He was tremendously disappointed with the B and two C’s he had earned in his classes.  I remember saying something to the effect of, “less than four years ago you were selling drugs, then using drugs, then grieving the loss of your best friend because of your involvement with drugs.  Now you are clean, working full time, going to college.  The fact that you are disappointed in a B and two C’s means you care.  That’s a good sign.”  I told S that he could do anything he wanted.  He just needed to keep moving forward.

We had a lot of these conversations.  I gave a lot of pep talks.  S told me that he liked talking to me; that I made him feel good about himself but I don’t think he ever internalized what I was saying.  I think he wanted to but he had seen too many discouraging things to just “have faith” that things would work out.  We often would have lengthy philosophical conversations about the state of the world, about good vs. evil, about whether one person really had the ability to make the world a better place.

Not surprisingly, S felt pretty strongly that anyone who truly felt they had the ability to make a real difference was being naïve and idealistic.  People who do nice things for others, he told me more than once, generally have an ulterior motive for doing so.  People are selfish, he said, and they have to be.  If you don’t look out for yourself first you will get completely taken advantage of.  He would tell me the story of the man who nursed a snake back to health only to have the snake bite him.  “You knew I was a snake all along,” the snake tells the man in the story.  I think that S saw himself as that snake- certain that no matter how hard he tried or how much other people believed in him, he was only going to end up disappointing them and himself.

My optimism drove S crazy.  I was young and idealistic and truly believed that I could make a difference.  I had visions of the world I wanted my future children to grow up in and I didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t be that way.  S cautioned me that the “real world” was not as bright and sunny as I was making it out to be; that there were bad people out there who ate people like me for breakfast.  I think he was trying to protect me, like I was a delicate Faberge egg that needed to be handled with kid gloves.

I think I was trying to protect him too.  I was never in love with him but I cared about him. I did love him as a fellow human being.  I saw amazing things in him that I don’t think he could see or believe about himself.  I wanted very badly to be the person to convince him he was more than just the sum of his parts, that he deserved success and happiness, that he was lovable and capable and smart.  I tried to explain this to him in the last phone conversation that we had which ended in argument.  S told me I was a naïve little girl that understood nothing about how the world really worked.  He told me “I hope you stay gold” but that someday, life was going to crush me and that he couldn’t bear to be there when it happened.  He said I understood nothing about love and that I might not even be capable of it.  That was when I hung up.

That was it for me and S.

I thought about that last conversation for a while.  Was I just some naïve, innocent, little girl from rural Long Island?  Was I wrong to believe that for the most part people were good and well intentioned? Was it silly to believe that with a little bit of assistance and encouragement people could overcome adversity and make their lives better?  Would nothing I did make a real difference to anyone?  Did I really not understand love?

I finally decided that S was wrong.  He was wrong to equate my optimism and hopefulness with weakness.  He was wrong that caring so much about people was only going to result in my being disappointed in them.  I understood plenty about love.  I grew up surrounded by love.  I suspect I understood more about love than S did.  S grew up in a family where even the cat had to prove he was worthy of love.  I can understand why it might have been hard for him to believe that I just accepted him and all of his life experiences even without having walked in his shoes.  I think it scared him that I had helped him, even for a moment, to believe that he was good enough and smart enough and worthy enough.  Maybe he felt like if he set his expectations higher he would be more disappointed if he failed.  Maybe he just wasn’t ready to believe.

Occasionally, I wonder about S.  I wonder if I made any difference in his life at all.  I wonder if he graduated and what kind of career he pursued.   I wonder if he found room in his heart for hope and faith.  I wonder if he ever met someone who helped him to realize that it was him who really didn’t understand about life and love.

Sometimes I want to tell him:  It’s been eighteen years since we spoke and life has not crushed me.  There have been times of great joy and times of immense sadness.  I have found love and lost loved ones.  I don’t always understand why things happen in this world the way that they do.  But I always come back to these things which help me to choose hope and happiness the great majority of the time:

Where there is darkness, I can spread light.

We can all work to create peace in our own little corners of the world.  There is no kind gesture that is too small to make a difference.

All that really matters is love.  We are all capable of love.

The ‘Sanctity’ of Marriage

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about ‘the sanctity of marriage.’ In particular, there seems to be grave concern that if same sex couples are allowed full marriage rights it will result in the complete desecration of the institution of marriage. But while people banter about the phrase ‘the sanctity of marriage,’ I’m not sure that many people have actually sat down and thought about what it means to them and their own marriage or partnership.

When I looked up the definition of “sanctity” on dictionary.com, I found the following definition: “condition of being inviolable.” Just to be sure, I looked up the definition of “inviolable.” It reads “secure from destruction, violence, infringement, or desecration; incorruptible.”

Considering the divorce rate in this country, it is funny to me that the words sanctity and marriage go together at all. (Not to mention the number of people to choose to remain in an unhappy marriage.) The act of getting married in no way guarantees a happy, successful partnership. It’s not even a guarantee of love. There are too many people who get married for the wrong reasons, and so many factors that can cause a marriage to be unhappy- infidelity, abuse, jealousy, resentment, disagreements about money or child rearing, lack of affection, dishonesty, miscommunication, etc. – that it seems to me instead of talking about the sanctity of marriage, we should be talking about the vulnerability of it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of too many marriages that are completely ‘inviolable.’ Marriages are made up of imperfect people, and like life itself, marriages are fragile. It takes a tremendous amount of bolstering and nurturing by both partners to have any chance of a marriage both being happy and having longevity.

Instead of spreading nonsense about how allowing everyone equal access to marriage will result in the legal union of a man and his toaster, perhaps people should be sitting down with their own spouses and partners and focusing on what they are going to do to strengthen their own relationships. As far as I am concerned, the act of simply being married (whether or not the wedding takes place in a house of God) is not enough to make a union sacred.  If it turns out your marriage is one of the 50% or more in this country lacking in “sanctity”, you can be certain it has nothing to do with whether or not Greg and Gary or Lisa and Lucy can legally tie the knot.

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