Wednesday, April 08, 2009
A Surprising ProposalDuring food holidays, I don't get to read many newspapers, the thousands of details floating around in my tiny brain make it difficult for me to concentrate, so I choose something brainless on TV, like Friends re-runs. Yesterday, I was busy preparing for today's Passover meals, so the little news that I caught was from the other gay people at work. A co-worker passed me in the hallway and yelled "Vermont Passed!" "Yay!!", I yelled back, "I'm out of matzoh balls!" In the kitchen, all of the large pans were being used for brisket and potato latkes, and the only pan I could find for my matzoh balls was too small. I was in a hurry and decided to try and squeeze them all into the small pan. After about ten minutes, when the matzoh balls began to cook, they doubled in size and began spilling over the top of the pot, plopping on to the stove top, and rolling onto the floor. I ran quickly to get another pot, but in my haste, I forgot to turn the gas down on the pot that was overflowing. By the time I came back with the second pot, there was an avalanche of matzoh balls gleefully escaping the captivity of the pot, and rolling under the prep tables in the hope of a better life.
I think I heard some of them laughing.
When my day was finally over, I opened a beer, and checked on my e-mail. There was one from my partner that I figured I'd better read right away, it might be time sensitive. In the e-mail, was a paste from a news clip that read:
The D.C. Council has voted to recognize gay marriages performed in other states on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.Under the news clip my partner of 18 years had written, "Okay, it looks like we're legal, ready for a second go at the vows?"
So.....this e-mail was a marriage proposal from my wife? And the marriage would be legal, and recognized by the District of Columbia, where we both live? We would be Mrs. and Mrs. Tankwoman till death do us part? For real? But what if the thing that happened in California also happens here in DC? What if the voters in DC decide that after I have put on a white dress, (well not white, but maybe some cream color) flown to Boston, crammed my fat feet into heels, and marched down the aisle for the second time in my life, what if people I don't even know, check a box on a piece of paper that says, "Sorry, try again in 20 years".
I thought that we'd get legally married someday, but I thought that we'd be in our 80's, hobbling up the aisle with our canes or rolling up with our walkers. I didn't expect it to happen so soon. But if, after living with me for 18 years already, this woman who I love still wants to spend her life with me, I figured I'd better get it in writing before she comes to her senses, and realizes that a legal marriage is binding in a lot of ways that our commitment ceremony was not.
I said yes.
I realize that Congress could come along in a couple of years and annul our union. My fellow citizens, my neighbors, my co-workers, and the rest of the people who vote in DC might decide that I am not good enough for marriage, the sanctity of the act is something that I could never live up to. I would have to agree in some ways, that I fail to measure up to a perfect spouse. But by some incredible stroke of luck, my partner still wants to marry me, and I'm going to go for it.
Quickly, before she changes her mind.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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