They can’t take away our love

She sent a car outfitted with champagne and chocolates, suggested I wear a little black dress and pearls, and took me to a fabulous steak house at which she made sure I didn’t enter until the piano player was at his post. Her palms were so sweaty. And I was so nervous I barely touched my steak. It was our first date; it was wildly romantic.

She took me on a surprise birthday trip to Mackinac Island. We stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast. No cars allowed on the island. We took a horse drawn carriage to the Grand Hotel for my big birthday dinner. I wore a dress she bought me the day before in Traverse City. She said she wanted to take my picture on the massive porch with the sun setting behind. Then she proposed. That was wildly romantic.

We had a wedding that still gives me chills. A dress I wish I could wear every day. The most incredible venue. So many family and friends were there to celebrate. She wrote the sweetest vows. And the food was definitely worth writing home about. I wouldn’t have dared imagine flowers so beautiful. It was perfect. And, yes, it was wildly romantic.

She’s bought me over the top gifts, taken me on the most incredible trips, written me the sweetest cards, sat with me through the most trying times. But it wasn’t until last week that she did the most wildly romantic thing of all — she made sure that if the not so Supreme Court stripped us of our marital rights, we still wouldn’t lose any of the rights our marriage affords us.

I’m not going to lie. I spent most of the call holding back tears as my wife and our attorney, Lorie Burch, talked about different options for making sure we could make decisions for one another in a medical emergency, for assuring my daughter would be taken care of when I die, for making sure that everything that is ours will belong to the one who remains and not be held up in court or threatened in any way by any one.

It was really hard. But more than anything, it was wildly romantic.

First dates and engagements and weddings are wonderful. Gifts and trips and sweet nothings whispered are wonderful.

But the most wonderful thing about being in a relationship is caring for someone else and being cared for by that someone else. So, despite how wonderful and romantic all of those things are, nothing is more wonderful and romantic than planning ahead for when they need us most, as well as for when we are no longer around and can’t care for them any longer.

Our rights and our lives are being threatened by ignorant, backwards, brainwashed minions and their greedy, self-serving, hateful “leaders.” We FINALLY gained the right to legally marry in every state of the U.S. — even though it is RIDICULOUS that we would have to be “given” something that straight people just take for granted. And now it may all be gone in a flash.

But here’s the thing. They can’t ever take away our love, and, if we plan ahead, they can’t take away the rights that marriage afford us.

I know it might not seem very romantic to talk about what to do if you have to be hooked up to a machine to help you breathe or what to do with your body when you die or who should get your favorite painting or your beloved pet or all of the pennies you’ve been saving for a rainy day. But it is.

Because death and dying are hard and scary. They can also be complicated. But they don’t have to be. Or at least they don’t have to be as complicated if we think about what we really want for ourselves and one another and then MAKE IT LEGAL.

I cannot emphasize that last part strongly enough. It’s great to tell one another and your family what you want. But the courts only care about one thing — paperwork. Trust me. They don’t care about people or wishes or intentions. They care about what’s been written up and signed off and witnessed and filed away.

If you want to do something romantic for the person you love, ask them to move in, propose, buy them the most gorgeous designer bag, fly them to Paris, walk down the aisle with them, but before you do anything, call a lawyer. File the papers. Lock them in the fireproof safe. Nothing says I love you more than signing on the dotted line and making sure that no one — not even the Supreme Court — can take away the rights that no human should have to worry about losing or jump through so many hoops to protect.

But we do, and we do.

So, please, do.