Celebrating a Decade of Marriage (And Not Worrying About Health Insurance)
Today marks 10 years since Josh and I were married. This might be confusing for many friends and family who attended our (awesome) wedding at Ann Dvorak’s estate on October 20, 2007. The truth is that on May 4 of that year, Josh and I headed to the county clerk’s office in East Los Angeles and were married by a gravelly-voiced woman with a teased bleached mane and over-sized dark glasses. She ended the ceremony by proclaiming, “Go ahead and kiss her, she ain’t your girlfriend anymore!” I still love her.
This civil ceremony was hastily planned. We didn’t have rings, I grabbed a dress out of the closet to wear, and threw my hair in a pony-tale. The reason for the rushed matrimony that we’ve referred to as the “secret wedding” for a decade?
Josh needed health insurance.
When I met Josh, he was on the cusp of ditching his crappy day job, and being a full time comic book writer. He had thrown caution and practicality to the wind, something I have never been able to do, followed his dreams, and was on his way to achieving them. Unfortunately, when one follows their dreams in this country, it’s often without health insurance. While his career was shaping up nicely, his health was a mess.
He had been diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years before. At the time I met him, he had gotten to the point where he was self managing it with occasional trips to the free clinic. He was getting sick with various bugs all the time. His outstanding medical bills had gone to collection and his credit was so shot because of hospital visits that we bought everything in my name for years.
During those first few months I knew him, his health deteriorated even further and his need for insurance was dire. There was no way in hell that a guy with a pre-existing condition like diabetes was going to be able to get covered on his own. We were already planning our wedding at the Ann Dvorak estate, but his health had become so compromised that we were fearful he wouldn't live long enough to plan the "perfect" ceremony. And so, we scheduled our secret wedding.
It’s something we have both felt weird about for years. Should we let people know? When is our “real” anniversary? Josh was afraid I would resent him (I never have). I was fearful we were committing some major wedding etiquette breach (mainly because I read some stupid etiquette book that castigated our exact situation). At this point, who cares? He’s the love of my life, we’ve been married for a decade, and no one should have to agonize over health care choices.
The Affordable Care Act may not be perfect (personally, I would have wanted single payer), but because of it, I have seen so many of our freelance friends finally get out from under that constant black cloud of being uninsured because they can’t afford it.
So, on the 10th anniversary of our hasty health insurance wedding, call your representatives and give them hell if they plan on voting in favor of the GOP health care bill!