In a small, imprecise and misasmic moment last evening, I was reading a novel I have read at least 25 times before -- a comic book to fill my mind without requiring much thought and yet offering some pleasure -- when I heard my wife talking on the phone in the other room. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I could hear the happiness in her voice and looked forward to learning what might have made her happy.
As it happened, she was talking to a cousin in Texas, a long-gay guy who planned to marry his partner later this summer. The couple planned to return to New Jersey (where the family originally spawned) for the family gathering there ... not stay in Texas.
Texas -- land known for its admiration of an integrity that is sometimes expressed as "died with their boots on."
Texas -- not a state fluttering with pink or rainbow ribbons fluttering with homosexual fervor.
My wife got off the phone and the two of us took those two or three seconds to acknowledge the mixed blessing that comes with the decisive move ... getting married: It may work and it may not, but you can be pretty well assured the party will be fun. Good luck and God bless.
"Died with their boots on" generally has an implication of outlawry or of a social naughtiness that is continued despite social disapprobation ... bank robbers, crooks, etc. But in my mind, "died with their boots on" carries with it a willingness and embrace of the actual life anyone lives. You just do it. If changes are necessary, changes are made, but sitting around like some thirty-something do-gooder is no longer the way to lead a life: THIS .... IS.... IT!
And it is in this regard that I wonder that more Texans who aren't homosexuals don't honor more homosexuals who are. It takes courage and patience and balls to stick to your guns ... to die with your boots on ... to live a contented life that harms none and asks no permission.