March 29, 2013

Marriage. Marriage? Marriage!

It's totally in my face this week, in all of our faces. That's not a bad thing. But I feel exposed when issues so personal to me are front and center headline news. My anxiety escalates. Yet I'm more resolved these days, much more matter of fact. Shit's happening, man. Shit that affects me and mine. I am actively engaged.

I've come across people like her on the internet where they are easy to ignore. But this one is close to home. Here is her stance, loosely quoted, "Of course I believe EVERYONE is equal and GAYS deserve EQUAL rights, just not 'MARRIAGE'. They must be kept separate and apart, far far far away from that word. That's our word. Oh and an entire new legal structure needs to be created to accommodate their unions (as yet unnamed but to be called anything but 'marriage'). And the new laws should also extend to heterosexual couples who choose to live together without the marital blessing of our lord jesus christ hallowed be thy name amen. Then we'll have real EQUALITY!"

Speechless. I have a relative who actually considers that a reasonable solution and feels that view makes her a champion of equality, a friend of the GAYS. Has religion robbed her of critical thought? I shared my own opinion and tried to move on. It would be a lie to say I'm not still stunned.

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around.  Shit's happening, man. Some of it is good.

Wendy and I joined the crowd in front of the Supreme Court building on Tuesday morning. Supporters easily outnumbered the others. It felt joyful to be surrounded by people of like mind, people who understand, people who believe in the same free America that we do. I don't know what will happen, but hope is alive.

I remain obsessed with knowing where people in my life stand on the issue. Like the relative mentioned above, some folks eventually let it all hang out. I appreciate that. It's the ones who don't say anything, who express neither support nor disapproval that bug me. It's freaking stressful to be a homosexual in America right now. There is a lot on the line. We could use your support. Fair notice to those reticent to engage: based on your silence, I assume you disapprove and will approach our relationship accordingly.

Although if you wait long enough, I'm bound to ask. But why not just speak up? Hopefully for us. 

March 19, 2013


I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror while backing my car down the driveway. Oops, did I neglect to comb my hair? I ran my fingers through it, pushing it here, tucking it there. Good enough.

Saturday trip to the grocery store.  Bright sunshine, blue skies, temperatures so moderate I was overdressed in a hoodie. Window down, elbow out, Kelly Clarkson cranked on the radio ("you ain't got the right to tell me when and where to go no right to tell me").  I cannot explain why Luke Bryan took over in my head ("girl you make my speakers go boom-boom") while I pushed my cart up and down the aisles.

When The Boy flows through our kitchen as he has of late, ingredients appear. I had my eye on his quinoa. Keeper recipe:  Chicken & Green Olive Stew.  So good.

Tis the season for yard work. Trimmed things. Bagged leaves. Oogled emerging tulip tips. Marveled at daffodils in bloom.

Then the clock flipped, an hour was stolen and everything broke down.  Well.  I broke down.  Figuratively.  Stupid time change... so sleepy!  I pulled myself together again just in time for a road trip weekend to visit with my mom.


Is it wrong to toss a well-gnawed apple core into a lightly forested area of an urban park?  

I was bitter when a client relocated from downtown DC at 14th & K Streets NW to suburban Chevy Chase.  Granted it's only twice a month, but my commute doubled---drive to the Huntington Metro, Yellow Line to Gallery Place to Red Line to Friendship Heights.  It's a lengthy ride with lots of stairs up and down.  Then I walk 3/4 of a mile through a lovely neighborhood.  Driving is just not an option as routes are DC-traffic-ugly and parking impossibly inconvenient.  Nope, I'll just zone out on public transportation thank you very much.

A physical commute is multi-tasking at its best:  movement with purpose.

The first Spring after that move was a revelation. Turns out that lovely neighborhood explodes in a glorious display of Spring delight and it is about to happen again.  Evidence peeks out, green tips pushing from the soil.  The daffodils in bloom today are but the introductory wave.  I know what comes next because I've seen it before and I am EXCITED about seeing it again.

It was snowing yesterday.  But today it was sunny and temperate and I walked back to the Metro chomping an apple and absorbing signs of spring.


This coming weekend will be the first one with Wendy working longer shifts on both days, prompting the concept of discipline to cross my mind frequently in recent weeks.  I am a creature of habit, a fan of structure, a lover of routine.  When habits-structures-routines shatter as they must because that's evidently what life is all about, well, people like me need to form new ones.

So I'm making lists.  It's what I do, habitually.  Interestingly perhaps only to me in an oddly coincidental way that made me literally laugh out loud, an item on that linked list from 2004 is again on my list in 2013.  In 2004, my sophomore-in-college son was talking about the musical "The Last Five Years" and I wanted to hear the soundtrack.  In 2013, it's on the list because it is being staged at Signature, a delightful local theater and I hope to see it.

Double woosh.  Why not.

March 6, 2013

Unzipped Lips

I was angry during much of 2012.  It came to a head the day after the Presidential election. 

My mother and I talk often, but we did not discuss politics in the run up to the election.  My anger got in the way, something we both figured out pretty quickly and care was taken to avoid the topic.  I know now that was a mistake.

I received an email from her the day after the election:  "Congrats on your candidate's win.  I sincerely hope I am wrong about what is going to happen to our country and our future.  I am glad I am on the downside of my life." 

Instant RAGE!  I snapped back, "We survived Bush, you'll survive Obama.  Perhaps you can take some comfort in the fact that your children and their families may actually one day have equal access to the protections and benefits offered to heterosexual Americans.  It breaks my heart that it is seemingly okay with you for my family to be treated as second class citizens, that you feel our country can grow and move forward with such injustice as the status quo.  I am proud the majority of our country did not support the far right social agenda on which your candidate campaigned."

That email exchange led to an emotional conversation where I clued her in to how our lives and our financial health have been and continue to be negatively impacted by not being allowed access to marriage, how the issue being politicized makes it that much more disheartening and humiliating, how DOMA impacts gays legally married in states that allow it.

Her response surprised me greatly.  She said, "You never told me!  How was I to know?!"

I no longer assume people pay attention to or understand the issues homosexuals face in today's America.  I've also become rather obsessed with knowing where people in my life stand on the issue of marriage equality.  I speak up when the topic arises, at times bringing it up myself.  I share how the issues affect me and my family with people who know us in whatever capacity.

I may not change any minds, but my anger has dissipated.  That's a welcome improvement.

March 2, 2013

What what?

I'm home alone on a Saturday. Not really alone; Pixie and Lucy are here. This is my new reality for the foreseeable future.

Last post here was in 2009. Much has changed in the ensuing years. The boots in that last post have been re-soled twice.

I turned 50 a few months ago. I now wear glasses full time. I haven't had a period in well over a year. I work the same jobs. Wendy is in the midst of a significant career change. The Boy is a full-on Man. Dudley died, Lucy joined us. We don't smoke cigarettes. I drink less beer but more liquor. Our five year plan has become a ten year plan. I still love to cook and watch football. Tuesday night Pilates class is a joyful habit. I've lost some very dear friends and gained others.

The issue of marriage equality has wended its way to the Supreme Court. Not surprisingly, that issue means a lot to my family. I no longer have patience for people who stand against it. Evolve, or get the fuck out of the way.

I'm still full of words waiting to get out. I may let them.