Sunday, September 1, 2013

Wedding bells and all that jazz

Same-sex relationships typically begin with a bump in the night and until recently never were allowed to rise above the furtive, the unmentionable, not something you'd bring up in church or at a Thanksgiving dinner, or expect to find celebrated in the local newspaper's social page.

That mum if not explicit disapproval weighed on the relationships regardless how long the couples were together: Stew and I have been together forty-one years; Don and Richard, forty-two; David and Myron, thirty-seven; Perry and Greg for forty-three; Charles and Robert lived together over fifty years until Robert's death after a long illness did them apart a few years ago. Indeed, you start to believe marriage didn't matter or didn't apply to people like you anyway.

After so many years of oppression, and there's really no better word, reaction among gay couples we know to the prospect of being able to get legally married has ranged from glee by some who rushed to the nearest marriage bureau, to stammering disbelief and indecision. For the latter, it's as if they'd been faithfully mailing their entries for thirty or forty years and finally the sonovabitch from Publishers Clearing House shows up at their front door and they don't know what to say or do.

Stew and I pretended that getting married was not an urgent or even emotional issue. It would be nice but we could wait for Illinois to approve marriage equality, which seems likely within the next year.

Or not. Stew, pretty much on his own, methodically began putting together a wedding trip to a state that allows same-sex weddings and settled on Massachusetts, to some extent because he's never been to New England. There are hotel, car and flight reservations, a specific locality in which to get a marriage license, a minister to officiate and a jeweler to sell you wedding rings.

Yesterday, Stew unveiled the results of his labors. We'll fly to Boston and drive to Provincetown on Monday, September 23 to apply for the license, and get married on Saturday, September 28 at 11 a.m., at the First Parish Church of Stowe and Acton, a Unitarian congregation just outside of Boston. Rev. Thomas Rosiello will officiate. Jan Dee Jewelers, a small gay-owned shop in Chicago, where we'll stop on the way to Boston, will have our wedding bands ready for us.  The only detail pending is finding a fourth person to take a picture of the event.

This morning when I made the announcement at the church we attend tears rolled down my face and I could hardly get the words out. After dismissing it for months as an abstract technicality, a mere piece of paper, the reality and significance of marriage—of having our relationship, for so long hidden or dismissed by others as illegitimate or unimportant—actually recognized by a third party and being able to celebrate it publicly, finally came to me.

I am, unexpectedly, really happy and excited about getting married.

But there's yet one more detail pending that Stew mentioned over lunch. We need to put together a guest list and pick a place for a wedding reception to which we can invite all our friends, gay or straight; men and women; married, single and undecideds. Finally out in the open, under the beautiful San Miguel skies.

Amazing.

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16 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Carlos and I wish you the most beautiful wedding and a fabulous future!

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  2. This brought tears to my eyes. How absolutely wonderful! And though you don't know me, and I could hardly expect an invitation to the reception in San Miguel - it made me sad I'll not be there until April, as I wish I could hug you both and be part of your celebration.

    Know I celebrate you both in my heart, and find joy in your joy.

    Lovely. Just lovely!

    Barbara

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  3. I'm thrilled for you and Stew. Words can't begin to tell you how happy I am that you will never feel oppressed or less then any other married couples.

    How wonderful! There are so many wonderful venues for a reception, including your home which I think is such a beautiful reflection of the two of you.

    Congratulations along with much love.

    This is the best news in a long time.

    Babs

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  4. I will be in San Miguel in September. Hint. Hint. Hint.

    Congratulations.

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    Replies
    1. Hint, hint, hint, Steve. But the party is not until the last week in October. If you're going to be around San Miguel, I'll definitely put you on the guest list.

      Thank you and everyone who commented for their good wishes. They mean a lot to us.

      al & stew

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  5. Congratulations! Have a wonderful trip. I look forward to getting together with you again on my next pass through SMA.

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  6. Must admit your marriage equality blog brought tears to my eyes. You have a way of putting into words what the heart really feels. Thank you. Al, we are actually celebrating our 43, soon to be 44 years December 31st.

    Sounds as if Stew has thought of everything. Sounds awfully romantic to me!!! Congratulations to you both.

    Take care.

    Perry

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    Replies
    1. Your anniversary date has been fixed, and remains an impressively long time.

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  7. Congratulations to both you and Stew on your wedding plans. Great post and please post some photos when you get them

    Jon and Jo Ann

    Sent from my iPad

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  8. Congratulations on your wedding plans - Cudos to Stew for pulling together all the details.

    My partner Patrick (since June of 1884)and I visited New England a few early Octobers ago, and it was a lovely experience. Looking forward to hearing about the experience (and reception to follow), maybe seeing a few photos, and sending felicitaciones de boda when it is all official...

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    Replies
    1. Jaja - just stopped by here again, and I see I have dated myself with a 19th century anniversary of my meetup with Don Patricio. Allow me to correct that, with the 20th century year of note - 1984...

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  9. Congratulations!!! I'm very happy for you. Boston is lovely that time of year, and you have a fighting chance at dry weather.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where our favorite parade float of all time appeared after the MA Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. It was a mock-up of the front page of "Bay Windows," Boston's gay community paper. It said, "Gays wed, world doesn't end."

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    Replies
    1. Someone wrote after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that the lawyers arguing against marriage equality couldn't cough up a decent argument why gays getting married would be harmful to society. I also remember a TV debate when then-Cong. Barney Frank asked his opponent (one of the Bennett brothers, can't remember if it was Bob or Bill) what difference would it make to him if gay people were to get married. The other side, after a five-ten minute pause could only say, "It would diminish the currency of marriage." Huh?

      al

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  10. Great expectations

    Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

    Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.

    Responsibility

    With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.

    Finances

    Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

    In - laws or outlaws?

    if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

    Sharing space

    Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
    Differnces of opinion

    Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

    Planning for the future

    As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

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