Thirty-eight years after meeting at a Baylor sorority, Micki Grimland and Mary Margaret Bodenhamer found true love.
By Jenny Block
Their love story reads like the script for a blockbuster romance: Girl meets girl at sorority house. Fireworks and confusion ensue. “What is this I feel?” the girls wonder, both identifying as straight at the time. Years pass. Girl re-meets girl at sorority reunion—only now, both women are out lesbians. They fall in love and live happily ever after.
That’s the love trajectory of psychotherapist Micki Grimland, 60, and business manager Mary Margaret Bodenhamer, 59. The two met 40 years ago at Baylor University. “We first laid eyes on each other inside of our Pi Beta Phi sorority,” Grimland says. “I was a sophomore and Mary Margaret was a freshman.
“It was probably love at first sight,” Grimland adds. “But we didn’t know that we were lesbians and didn’t know what the energy was between us.”
Fast-forward 38 years.
“When we saw each other at the reunion, it was immediately clear to both of us that we wanted to date,” Grimland says. “However, we started off as friends, and admitted that to each other a little while into the relationship.”
Grimland, born on the Air Force base in Chaumont, France, where her father was stationed, is the owner of Southwest Psychotherapy Associates. Bodenhamer, who is from Arlington, Texas, is the Southwest-area business manager for Pfizer’s oncology-prostate division.
“After weeks of traveling back and forth from Houston to Arlington, I felt Micki and I were completely compatible with our love of family, curiosity about life, and the enjoyment and contentment of spending time together,” Bodenhamer says. “I knew I wanted to conclude my life with this amazing woman.”
It wasn’t long before the couple knew marriage would be the natural next step. Grimland had an elaborate engagement plan in mind. But what happened instead turned out to be even sweeter. “I had had wedding rings made,” Grimland says. “We were getting ready to go on our tropical vacation, and I planned a big fancy proposal [for the trip].
“However, a few days before we left,” she adds, “we were casually sitting on the couch in the afternoon and I thought, ‘This is the moment. The everyday comfort and ease of our attachment and love. This is the reason I want to grow old with her. This simple moment is the most profound. The moment is right now.’
“I went and got the rings, [and] I got on my knee beside her and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me,” Grimland says. “She looked deep into my eyes with her steady and fierce gaze and said, ‘Absolutely yes!’”
The two were legally married by a justice of the peace in front of three of their best friends on August 4, 2017. But they claim September 16, 2017, as their true wedding date because that’s when they held a special ceremony in Mary Margaret’s best friend’s backyard, with family and other loved ones attending. “This is the date we will celebrate as our official marriage day,” Grimland says.
One of Grimland’s best friends, Rev. Richard Metheny, officiated along with a second pastor who is also a dear friend. Gidget White, a local performer, sang the couple’s song—“The Way You Move Me” by Gretchen Peters.
Grimland says the moment from their wedding that will forever stay in her mind is when Mary Margaret “stepped deep into the strength of her voice and soul and looked at me very intentionally—with a strong conviction and commitment in her eyes that I had not seen so fiercely displayed—and said, ‘I do!’”
Bodenhamer says “the love and support of all attendees are the special moments I recall.”
The couple used what they called “pretty traditional” vows—“although we did add some vows for those in our audience to make with us, to support us in our union,” Grimland says. “This was really important to us, as we had some family members who started out conflicted (from a ‘Christian’ point of view) about being able to support our marriage. Everyone stood in affirmation with us. It was deeply, deeply moving.”
Because they had just returned from a yoga and meditation trip to Costa Rica with friends for Grimland’s 60th birthday, they wanted a remote and quiet honeymoon. “We stayed in a beautiful home in Tennessee, deep in the middle of the forest,” Grimland says. “It had a porch around the whole house with rocking chairs. We hiked, rested, rocked on the front porch, and had great conversations.”
Grimland says Bodenhamer is “without a doubt, the best human being I’ve ever known. Deep to the bone, she is kind, loving, steadfast, grounded, intelligent, passionate, and very trustworthy. Did I also mention she is breathtakingly beautiful?”
And Bodenhamer has equally beautiful things to say about Grimland. “She is the most generous, loving soul I have ever met, in addition to being a fierce mother and grandmother. She is deeply compassionate, has a multitude of long-standing friendships, and is my best friend and life partner.”
This article appears in the March 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.