Friday, December 7, 2012

Countdown to a wedding

We ordered a sapphire blue dress and black dress flats.  Our friend came up with a blue ring and she will bring blue earrings.  All this to get my mother dressed for our wedding, upcoming on December 15th.  My mother has a speaking part (she'll read from Philippians) and yesterday she asked, how will people address your Christmas cards?  Mrs. and Mrs.?

This spring, my mother (age 96) was opposed to marriage equality.  When our church planned to make a video in support of Prop 74, she was one of the few who stayed in her pew and did not come forward to participate in the videotape of the congregation saying "We support marriage equality."  She made a disparaging comment about it on our way home from church that day.  Lynne and I explained the reasons why we would like to get married, among other things the possibility to eventually be covered on her federal health insurance.

Sometime between that day and this, my mother changed her mind.  Was it because the topic was frequently mentioned at church?  I doubt it was from spending time with us.  I told my mother that I was a lesbian 34 years ago.  My mother has spent many visits and holidays with Lynne and me, seemingly enjoying the company of our friends and community.  I never heard her negative comments until 2004, when two events collided:  Gavin Newsome opened the door to same sex marriage in San Francisco and Fox news covered it.  When I called my mother to tell her that Lynne and I had an appointment to get married in San Francisco, I was taken aback by her slurs against gay people, including the comment that "they" shouldn't be shown on tv. 

Do you feel the energy I have for this story?  The hurt, the disappointment, the sting?  OK, that's off my chest.

Yesterday, Lynne and I applied for our marriage license.  What do you think I felt 35 years after we spent our first romantic night together?  To be going up to the computer station and filling out the form ("Do you want to be spouse 1 or spouse 2?) and then going to the desk for the clerk the certificates?  You are right, I cried.  I cried just waiting in line once the office opened.  Seeing the other couples ahead of us filling out their forms.  Being in the marriage license office. Watching the clerks watching us.  Nobody had said a thing to me, nothing had happened. I swallowed hard and tried to mask my tears.

So this week, we are starting the countdown for our wedding, and I hope to share the experience with you each day, especially because so many of our friends and family are in Kentucky and at random distant locations around the US.  We aren't the first same sex couple to get married (Massachusetts has been allowing it for 8 years), we aren't the first in Washington (some of our friends are beating us to the altar by several days), but it is the first time we are getting married, and it is a first to be able to get married in the state of our residence among our Kentucky friends.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned!  Exciting topics to be covered: What will we wear?  What will we say?  How do we feel about getting married after 35 years of being together?  And where are we going to get enough folding chairs?

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