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Ruckmann-by Kubota!Before I was married the first time, I learned my wife to be was the direct descendant of a baron which I guess made her a baroness.

So what would that make me? Well, technically speaking, given the country of her heritage, I was allowed to receive her styling which would have made me a …

A source of great humor for my running friends in Baltimore, a group of women whom I met after my divorce who are far better athletes than I ever will be and who taught me how to endure thousands of miles, whisk away pain, laugh at myself and at world events over which we had no control but great insights at 5 in the morning as we trained before work!

You cover a lot of ground, literally, when you prepare for marathons, and lively conversations make the miles more enjoyable. My running companions included specialists in medicine, science, journalism, and my own field, advancement, so I always looked forward to hearing about their assignments and accomplishments and about their families and their past lives.

My past included my first marriage which probably accounts for my heightened interest in royalty, not a surprise for a gay kid raised by hardworking parents who were the first in their families to attend college. My grandparents worked on farms, factories, and in my maternal grandmother’s case, in classrooms after she received college degrees in her 50s after raising six children.

In other words, my roots are pretty humble, but I had a wealth of role models who influence me to this day. As a young gay man, though, reading about royalty provided escapism from some of the darker moments I made my way through. By the time I was lucky enough to be part of my favorite running group in Baltimore, I was older, dating men, and could recite trivia to my friends about quite a few princes and princesses. It helps to laugh when you are a distance runner, and my role in life to some degree has been to provide comic relief. We all need to give back some way!

I’ve thought of my friends from Baltimore in the past days after having read headlines like Denmark’s Prince Wanted to be King. So he Refuses to be Buried Next to his Wife the Queen.

Oh boy.

For those who want to know, Queen Margrethe II is head of state in Denmark. Her husband, Prince Henrik, who received his title and styling after his marriage, has been pretty grumpy for the last 40 years or so because he was never made a king consort, merely just a plain old Royal Highness. His most recent pouting has included a statement that he no longer wishes to join his wife in a glass sarcophagus carried by silver elephants after their deaths. So the queen, now 77, will rest there alone when the time comes.

Well this sure puts my concerns about the world in perspective!

Wait, we have a president who in his first six months in office has all of us holding our breaths wondering if one of his early morning tweets might end our lives and who is now embarking on a 17-day vacation.

Oh how I miss my friends from Baltimore. We would have found resolutions to all our concerns, including poor Prince Henrik and Donald Trump, by 6 a.m.!

They also would have reminded me, now that I am married to a man, that I’ll never again have to wonder if I received or should have received my wife’s styling!

But wait, aren’t we all equal anyway or shouldn’t we be? Come on, Henrik and Donald, join our Baltimore running reunion in Hawaii, share a few miles with us, and we’ll convince you!