Gary Rinsem

First Kiss In The Kitchen
A collection of diary entries, saved for reasons that will be obvious after you read them.


BB finally got in the same duty section again. Using long weekends and days leave, when approved, they've been here seven times in three months. Last weekend we decided to live in Scottsdale when they get out. That's only seven months. I can't wait. It's been a year and a half since I got out. A really hard time without them, and they've been at sea for ten months.


BB called to say happy birthday. It's hard being alone on the day I lost Vicki. It was five years ago today that we both said "See you in two weeks." The last thing we said to each other. It's not right, I should at least know where she is and if she's OK. Same with Tami. She might even live within a few miles, but I can't find her.


Excited. Friday evening as soon as they got here, Bev pulled out her big street atlas for one of her compulsive planning spasms. Has to be a plan, always a plan. She asked a series of questions about where things are located on the map. They want to go to ASU, so that was on her list. Where I work, the RR Park, my parents house, Ralph and Greg's houses and much more were all locations she marked on the map. Laying it on the table, Bev stood back and stared a moment, then sticking her finger on a spot in the middle of it all she said "That's where we should live. Is it a nice area?" I moved her finger a bit north, she was in Tempe by half a mile.

We spent Saturday driving around looking for houses for sale, and letting them get a feel for the neighborhood. Sunday morning we called a realtor just to ask some questions, but she came right over and took us looking at houses. It only took looking at a few to decide we want a four bedroom floor plan. It's the biggest floor plan in the development, but they're not much more expensive. We're going to have our own rooms for closet, dresser, lounge and a desk. We'll sleep in the big bedroom.


I found it. The realtor is meeting me there after work tomorrow night, but I'm sure this our house. Everything outside is right, it even has a street light in the yard.


I was right. It's not perfect, but it meets all our requirements. BB will approve. I'll drive them by tomorrow night when I pick them up at the airport. Then we'll see it together in the daylight, with the realtor on Saturday morning.


So cute. We looked at the house Saturday morning. I was with the realtor and the owners in the living room and BB were still looking around. The daughter came in the living room with a strange look on her face. She stared at me in a weird way. Something happened with BB, I knew it. Back at the mud hut they told me they got caught kissing in the kitchen. That girl is at least 15, old enough for reality.

We talked the rest of the weekend and decided it's our house. We made an offer this afternoon before taking BB to the airport.

(This is BB in 1991, typing this into the computer. We just found out that girl was gay. We found post cards from her girlfriend behind the mirror glued on her bedroom wall. In the open on a postcard she talked about sex. She wasn't shocked by us kissing, she was excited and probably wondering how Gary fits in.)


Every time BB are here we drive by the house and go to Los Arcos to spend time in our neighborhood. The day is coming. We didn't know it took so long to buy a house.


Today is the day. It's our house now. It's a let down without the girls here to share the day. I've been staying with mom and Dad because Jim had no place to live. I got him in with Mary Ed. The mud hut is his place now. My stuff is on the front porch. It's not much, but I get to move it soon.


I'm here alone in a big empty house. I moved in alone this morning. Everything fit in the truck and on the car trailer.

Mom, Sue and Kelly showed up right after I finished unloading the truck. It's funny, they insisted on cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. Mom went to the grocery store to buy cleaning stuff. Sue was disgusted and scraped burnt food out of the oven.

I helped Kelly get in the tree in the backyard. Sue says she loves to climb trees. She spent a long time up there before yelling for help to get down.


So weird coming to the empty house after work. I never imagined being here alone, only the three of us happy here together. BB will be here Friday for our wedding anniversary on Saturday. I can't wait to spend our first night in our own home and wake up together without being in a cheap motel.


The first weekend in our own home and it was our 5th wedding anniversary. I have to write as many dumb details as I can about the first minutes together here. We'll want to remember this. BB, you're going to be surprised when you find this some day. I won't forget because I'm writing it, but you don't so you will.

Home from the airport last Friday, I forgot it was their first time at our house until they yelled not to pull into the carport, to park in the driveway. All excited, I watched them run from one side of the front yard to the other, making plans about landscaping. They calmed down by the front door and called me over. Bev pointed and said "Tami and Vicki are both going to ring that doorbell." She pushed it and nothing happened. They ran to the carport door and into the living room. Unlocked and opened the front door to try again, but all the doorbell did was a thud. It worked before.

Next, BB ran to the backyard and talked more about landscaping. They want a tall block fence for sunbathing privacy. They don't care who looks, but don't want to get arrested. The college kids west of us won't mind, but Randy and Maureen Perry have two young boys east of us. One boy is old enough to get a thrill.

(1993 Note from BB: six months later we three went to the police department to ask if it was illegal to sunbath nude. The cop refused to answer until we kept pushing him. He finally said that it's not illegal to be nude ANYWHERE in Scottsdale. B and Me like this city.)

Inside we toured every room. It's so different empty, without the piles of junk those people had here. We made so many decisions. First bedroom is Bev's, small closet doesn't bother her. Second room is Bren's, the clothes freak wants a big closet and we agreed she can have the master closet too. No room on the ship so Bren doesn't have clothes, it'll take her years to fill two closets. I get the tiny room because I'll never use it except for clothes and books.

What to do next? I was willing to wait until Saturday for our anniversary, but BB wanted more right then. Late Friday night we went to KFC and had Chicken In The Park at Indian School and Hayden. Then right back to the house for more time together.

We agreed, waking up in our own home for the first time was fantastic, as good as all three of us in our tiny shower. Breakfast at Denny's was nice. Bren got dressed and took the truck to Jack In The Box to get us lunch.

After lunch, BB decided Tami and Vicki needed a doorbell, it had to be fixed immediately. Standing on the old kitchen stool I grew up with, I found out the 1957 doorbell in our 1960 house was too crappy to fix. We rushed right up the street to Handyman and bought a new doorbell. It was installed in no time and tested a hundred times. It even looks better high on the kitchen wall. The old one was an ugly small grey metal box with paint on it from each time the wall was painted.

Los Arcos was calling, BB wanted to buy some things for the house as an anniversary present to us. Every trip to the mall requires a little time together in Tami's private spot, followed by fudge brownies and giant chocolate chip cookie from the hippie couple at the cookie counter.

I had a surprise waiting in the freezer for dinner. I made the girls stay in bed while I cooked it. I surprised BB with an anniversary dinner of Chicken Cordon Bleu from Price Club. They were excited I already bought a fridge and laundry. I worried they'd ask about the big Price Club box in the freezer and spoil my surprise. Too excited, neither noticed it. It was our fifth year in a row having that same dinner to celebrate our marriage. The first was the best, but dinner in bed in our house is a close second place. Our fifth anniversary ended with our second night in our own bed and bedroom.

Sunday morning we took a walk and met neighbors. BB wanted to tell people we're cousins. I refuse to lie and hide anymore BB. The Navy part of our lives is almost over. Society is changing fast, legally sanctioned gay marriage is coming, regardless of what sanctimonious jerks try to force on the majority.

BB wanted to see where they plan on going to school next fall. The rest of Sunday we walked around ASU and had lunch at The Dog House, giant cheese covered dogs and massive dose of molten cheese nachos. Two women invited us to their dorm room. I did that many times before BB. It's a dark time that I don't want to repeat with them.

After the happiest weekend since my discharge, we talked and laughed and planned while waiting at the airport. BB got on the plane and like always I worried something will happen, and we'll never see each other again, that's my Vicki legacy. It's always really hard taking them to the airport. The call from LAX to tell me they got there is what I need to sleep on those nights.