Before we get into Harold & Michael’s story, I wanted to give a bit of background. As some of you know, I do get a good idea every now and again. Unfortunately, my timing isn’t always the best. I reached out to my friend Michael and asked if and he and his partner would be willing to be interviewed by me for Gay Pride Month. They agreed – yay! Well, this all hit me the very end of June. So, I’m a little late for June, but I’m unofficially extending Gay Pride Month through the first week of July *wink*
Here’s to Harold and Michael and the hope that they can “officially” marry in their home state of Indiana – sooner rather than later!
How long have you been together?
We were best friends for 4 years – dated for 4 years – then had a ceremony and considered ourselves married for 10 years. Wow! That seems like a long time!
When/ where did you meet? Was it love at first sight?
We met at The Connections nightclub here in Louisville, Kentucky. I was a late bloomer to the whole gay thing. I really struggled coming out. One day I just decided I was done with going slow – I was going to be gay! The only real place I knew of that had a gay rep was The Connection. So I went there, loved the place, and saw this tall guy on the dance floor. He had this glow about him and I knew right away he was The One. I went up to Harold, and, yelling at the top of my voice to be heard over the music, I asked if he was here with anyone. He said ‘no’ so I just stayed with him for the rest of the night. My dating skills needed a lot more polish – but it worked! Harold was locked out of his apartment so we had time after the club closed down to just hang out and get to know each other.
I went home that night and called my close friend (at 6 in the morning – she was thrilled ) and told her “I found The One!” I knew Harold was the one right away but he wasn’t that sure about me. I needed a lot more growing up – so we were best friends for 4 years – dated other people – and went through all the ups and downs of single life. After 4 years he called me and said we needed to ‘talk’. I just knew it was time for us to be together – and sure enough – he asked if we could start dating.
Transitioning from best friends to dating was a bit awkward at first but we made it work and have been happy ever since.
Put your thinking caps on…what did you do for your first date?
Harold brought me flowers and we went out to eat. Neither of us remember where we went but we both remember the flowers. We’d been best friends for years at this point so going out to eat was no big deal – but getting flowers before the date – that was neat!
Any particularly memorable dates – maybe something didn’t go as planned or something out of the ordinary happened?
Anniversary dinner at the place called Proof. It is very modern conceptual restaurant, expensive as hell, but great food! The plates were like works of art and we had this drink called a Black Eye. It was like a sweet Bourbon – the sugar hit you first – then the Bourbon hit. Wow! It also had a wall with falling letters and as your shadow hit the wall the letters would rest on it like snowflakes. In the bathroom – the walls were clear from the inside. At the urinals, people would be right on the other side of the wall and it looked like they were looking right at you – but they couldn’t see you. It was strange but cool. There was more stuff like that – at one point the floor was liquid – and it made for an amazing night!
We were just taking and the other thing that popped up for us both was our honeymoon in Disney World. We did 4 days at Disney and 3 on a Disney cruise. It really is the land of magic. Harold had never been and I’d been as a kid and always wanted to go back. We’ve decided to go back every 5 years and have a honeymoon all over again.
Michael, tell us your favorite thing about Harold. Same question for Harold.
Harold says he likes my sense of humor and my positive outlook on life. I’m always singing to him in the bathroom – making up songs and poems. Sometimes I’ll do voice overs for the cats as they get up to stuff. Simba brings all his conversations back to food – Halo has a real potty mouth – Bermuda is just a little crazy. Harold is more in touch with “life is hard” (his favorite singer is Dolly Parton) – for me it’s always coming up roses.
My favorite thing about Harold is he keeps me grounded. He’s so kind and sweet and has a great laugh. He also has a great butt! Seriously. Wow. [Michael shared a pic of the two of them, but Harold’s butt isn’t featured. We’ll take your word for it!! LOL]
I know you have cats for pets. Is one of you more of a “cat person”? My cat only likes me (shocker, right?!). Do the cats favor one of you over the other?
Harold was always the cat person. I had a 120 pound dog growing up so I was more of a big dog person. Harold had 2 cats when we started dating – Caleb who LOVED Harold and HATED me – and Noah – who was very zen and loved to snuggle. They have since both passed on and we now have Simba – a BIG orange cat that loves us both dearly and loves his snacks more – Bermuda Moses – a black and white cat who is a little ‘sensitive’ and loves me more (Harold says I attract crazy) – and Halo Harvest – a little brown girl who is the smallest in the family but tells everyone what to do. She rules!
Which one of you would be most likely to serve the other breakfast in bed? What would that breakfast be – pancakes, cereal, or something else?
We both agree – I’d serve Harold breakfast in bed, and it would be McDonalds! lol. I’d probably start with hotcakes and sausage, then go to egg McMuffins, and finish with their fruit oatmeal. Yum!
What was your reaction when the ban on gay marriage in Indiana was overturned? Are we talking dancing on tables, shouting from rooftops, or a quiet toast with a glass of wine? [This question was posed before the stay was issued.]
It was more like shock. I didn’t think it would get through the courts that quickly. After that it got exciting – and then a bit nervous as we decided to have a small ceremony. Harold went into planning mode – and then came out of it when the stay was issued. At this point we are taking our time and talking out venues.
Who proposed to whom? Was it the traditional ‘down on one knee’ affair?
I got Harold good! I told him he had to propose to me since I’d waited so long. This was mainly so he wouldn’t see it coming. Then we had a Derby party and invited a bunch of our friends over. One friend had the video camera – and I did the whole ‘down on one knee’ and asked him to marry my. He was sooooo shocked – and said ‘yes’ of course. [This was my favorite – you really had me smiling after it!]
Are you guys planning a fancy, formal wedding or something more casual and low-key?
We did everything we wanted to do in our first wedding 10 years ago. We took an indoor hall and turned it into an outdoor park setting. We had benches, a 15 foot tree, one of those big street lampposts and a circular bench around it, fountain, almost a hundred mums, christmas tree lights, too – we did it right! Now we’re doing the legal wedding we are thinking something smaller but still neat. The thought right now is to have it at the Comfy Cow – a local ice cream store.
If money was no object, where would you go for your honeymoon and why?
We’d go back to Disney World – but for 2 weeks this time. It really is a magical place : )