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Going to the Chapel

In the summer of 1990, when I first walked into the then Blossom Shoppe Florist at 431 Elmwood (home now of the Wine Thief, also formerly Solid Grounds) to answer a help wanted ad, I never imagined I would be meeting the man of my dreams or better yet that I would be legally marrying him just a few short months from now.

We were the lucky ones, and by that I mean our mothers were supportive, loving, and treated each of us like their own son. Sadly, in 2006 Mike lost his mother, Sylvia, to brain cancer, and a year later I lost my dear mother, Nancy, to lung cancer only a year after she received a kidney transplant. These losses in our lives proved to only make us even more solid as a couple.

For many years people would look at us as the ideal couple. They say opposites attract—we are living proof of that. I am the “social butterfly,” the flamboyant “drag queen,” the poet, and the overly sensitive type, and Mike is the former drill sergeant (sometimes still thinks he is), the big bear on the outside (nicknamed Yeti), the loving, caring little boy on the inside, and anyone that knows Mike knows how really giving he is.

On the eve of June 24, I was hosting happy hour at the Underground bar on Delaware Avenue like I do every Friday with my friend Paul Smith (a.k.a. Toy), and I never dreamed this particular Friday night New York would be making history. When the announcement was made I received a text from Mike that said, “GRISANTI VOTES YES!!!!!!” I got goosebumps just now writing those words. By the toll of midnight Mike and I were in shock to know that the state where we both grew up (Mike in Kenmore, me in Eden) was making it a law that we could get married—a same-sex couple. Wow.

The following morning is what changed my life forever. Mike and I have our own offices in our apartment. As I was sitting at my computer reading dozens of meassages—“So when’s the date?” “Can I plan your wedding?” “Can I be a bridesmaid?” etc.—I got a Facebook message from Mike (which I always think is amusing with him being only a room away). Here is the FB message just as I received it:

As i woke up this morning, I realized that it did happen and that it wasn’t a dream. I can now marry, legally in NYS. My love Garrett, its been a very long road. Ups and Downs, Good times and Bad, richer and poorer, sickness and health, we have have lived these vows for twenty years, and patiently waited for this day, when I could say. My love WILL YOU MARRY ME????

After taking a moment to digest what I was actually reading he wrote again:

he still hasn’t answered me now i’m worried

And then I replied:

I think Mike just proposed to me on FB...I am in my office crying and you are right Mike we have had our ups and downs but through it all you are my Husband and always have been now we get to do it like EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!! now I will come to your office and give you a big wet kiss.....OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU YOU BIG YETI!!!!!!!!

Michael and Garrett will be getting married on October 23, and Vanity Vogue (Garrett’s drag persona) will be at the reception celebrating 21 years together as husband and husband. We are so excited to finally be able to get married legally after 21 years together.

Vanity Vogue, Buffalo

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