Jimi and I have been living happily ever after in sin for just over 3 years now. We have no plans to change our marital status, as our arrangement is perfection and why would you ever want to fuck with that?
But last week at work, one of my employees was hospitalized. And his live-in girlfriend was a complete jackass when relaying the details to us. She was abusive and mean and it got to the point where my boss said, "Don't talk to her anymore. She's just the girlfriend - she's nobody."
Warning bells went off in my head and I started thinking about things I'd only kind of thought about maybe in passing briefly for a few seconds over the course of our 4 years of non-wedded bliss. Things like, "If something happened to me, would they treat Jimi the same way?" and "I don't even know his social security number - what if he was incapacitated?" and "what would happen to the house if he died without a Will? Would they really let me pay it off and keep it with the life insurance money he's left me, or would I find myself kicked out of the home we share with just our things and a big fat check?"
So last night over dinner, I brought up my fears. And I told him what I'd been thinking. And I asked him what he thought. And I asked him if he would "Civil Union" me. (He said yes, by the way. He'd been mulling over the situation, too, it seems.)
He's in a bit of a better position than I, as he is the owner of the house we call home. He bought this house in his name, with his credit. I have no legal claim to this property. And while that doesn't bother me while we're still of sound mind and body, don't think I haven't lost hours of sleep worried about what COULD happen if something were to happen to him. Because I have no legal claim to this property. Even scarier for me is the idea of him being hospitalized and me not being able to talk to his doctors, or to make decisions in the event he's unable to do so. Or even talk to our service providers (cable, gas, electric, water). Or handle his banking needs. Or...
You get where I'm going with this, right?
So now I'm googling and facebooking and networking and trying to figure out what legal documents we need to make sure that in the event of catastrophe, we can each make decisions for the other without relying on the kindness of strangers who are willing to overlook our technically "single" status.
Of course, one phone call to an attorney would probably answer all my questions, but why would I ever take the easy way? Why start now?