November 26, 2013

To Those Who Do Not Want Us to Marry. ~ Nora Neill

I hear the distant voice, the objective voice on the radio talking about the issues with gay marriage.

The “sides” are revealed and the “truth” of the situation reminds me where I really stand in terms of the law, in terms of widespread public opinion. And at the same time that I hold my stomach in visceral reaction, I want to move to a state where there’s a little humane recognition that my “partner” and I are a family as much as our heterosexual counterparts.

It’s such a tired, old, over-done discussion that showed up in too many student compositions, with so many boring arguments—I placed it on my banned topics list right next to “abortion” and “legalization of marijuana”.

No matter what people say in their finely articulated digression, we’re going to live amongst them anyway. They don’t have to come over to my house and see it in action. In fact, they weren’t invited because I don’t want to know who they chose to marry, or date, or spend their Sunday afternoon hours with.

They’re probably at church discussing how to love thy neighbor while we spread out our Sunday newspaper and share tidbits from the latest local happenings—another woman was murdered, another teen “died suddenly.” Our favorite bakery burnt down.

We read about another mistreated child in “Dear Abby”, another mistreated pit bull, “1000 employment listings” that turn out to be thin in content and mostly temporary. We talk about what to do about the catastrophes, and probably (like everyone else) we feel like there’s not much we can do. So we walk downtown for breakfast, and notice the sunshine as it streaks our faces, and I catch her brown eyes in my blue eyes and we hold each other for a moment in a quiet love embrace.

But I will not hold her hand because someone might see us, and we only want people to know if they know us and understand our impossible humanity and about how difference and variation curse us all—but luckily our curse is rewarded with happiness.

And then we talk about appointments with the accountant to figure out our taxes and we worry about moving, make a note to call the plumber, and decide what’s on the menu for the week.

We decide to shop and fill our carts with bananas, and honey crisp apples, and oyster crackers, and usually onions and bell peppers, and cereal and almost always ice cream.

At home we watch Big Love after eating giant bowls of chili that leave us lying sideways on the floor, and couch, and we judge the polygamists for their misogyny and difference and talk about how their marriages aren’t real, valid and should not be tolerated.

We worry for the children in those dysfunctional homes.

We vote in November, buy Christmas presents in December, and spend the summer on Lake Michigan wishing this home was happy to have us—so we could get married and stop pretending we aren’t already.




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Assistant Editor: Laura Ashworth/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Image: vpickering (flickr)


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