Wednesday, March 27, 2013


In the week during which the majority of my friends changed their Facebook profile pictures to the big red equal sign in support of same-sex marriage, my husband and I will celebrate a decade of our own marriage. As I scrolled through the sea of red tonight I couldn’t help but to think about marriage: my own, my parent’s, my friend’s, the hundreds of thousands of people out there who have been denied the right to marry the partner they have chosen.  I read a great article earlier today about parenting titled, “I quit.” And frankly, I wouldn’t be forthcoming if I didn’t tell you how often in my marriage those words crept into my head. Parenting is tough, indeed, but marriage is ridiculously hard work. Aside from being a mother, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And it’s not because the person I’m married to is some sort of tyrannical bastard. He’s pretty fucking awesome, if you didn’t already know.  It’s just that when you get married, you join up with someone and your life becomes their life and your stuff becomes their stuff. (Frankly, I should be the one apologizing to Steve, because getting my load of shit by way of marriage is kind of imbalanced and unfair to him, let’s be honest.)

I digress. It just seems to me that if you love someone enough to be ok with taking on their family, and their weird issues (like how much they might like shoe shopping, or how they might not really like cleaning as much as they seemed to before you got married, or how much they really, really like a certain really not-so-awesome sci-fi TV show, or how much they might like pro-wrestling…it’s real, I get it) then maybe we should just shut the fuck up and let them marry each other already.  I know enough stupid heterosexuals who are out there ruining their own marriages that it makes me want to cry out for my gay friends who just want to have their relationships recognized as real and meaningful – and most importantly, LEGAL. I used to think it was the white people who made everything challenging and ridiculous in this world. Now I’m starting to think it’s us straight married people.

It seems to me that the root of this stupid marriage debate is people getting real. Who are we to say we have things figured out? Who is bold enough to say that they have all the answers? If you say you do, you are lying. You don’t. It’s the people who are bigoted and frankly just scared who will tell you that marriage is only for a man and a woman. You know what I think? Marriage is for anyone who is brave enough to take another person, warts and all, and make them part of their own heart. I know I’m no sparkling gem. And my husband, while he’s pretty fucking awesome, is also pretty annoying sometimes. By law, I get to take him or leave him. Ten years ago I took him. And I would continue to choose him over and over again. I just want the same for my gay friends. Farting and all, they should be able to have a legal relationship with whatever dummy they choose. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

packing my baggage

I should probably preface this by saying that I am not really certain anymore what the parameters are for sharing too much. Currently we are in the midst of having our entire sewer line replaced. It’s shitty business…literally. But I’m not even talking about that. I wish it were just that simple (simple! oh my lordy, it’s certainly NOT simple…) No. I just wanted to tell you about how I’m going to visit my mom next weekend. I haven’t seen her in 5 years and I suppose it just seems like the right time. That, or, hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of therapy are telling me it’s the right time. I’m not sure about that, really, either.

It will be hard for most people to understand not seeing their mom in that long. At least I hope it’s hard. It’s certainly not normal.  It’s even hard for me to fathom…and it’s my situation. Things just got weird. My mom is in bad health. She wasn’t very nice to me for a long time. It just wasn’t a priority. And after all of that, it still seems like it shouldn’t be a priority…but alas, it is. I have decided that I need to tell my mother that I forgive her. I forgive her for lying to me. For taking off when I really, really needed a mom. I forgive her for treating me like an acquaintance, even though she gave birth to me. I just forgive her. Plain and simple and complicated and painful.

I’m still trying to convince myself that I DO forgive her for all of those things and more. In fact, this trip is mostly going to be one big giant turd. The only good thing about it is that I have an amazing person traveling with me. A person who will no doubt get an ear full of my bitching and my crying. A person who understands that this is an important part of my moving on.

I have learned over the years – and even more so over the past few weeks and months – that though you don’t pick your family, you can pick people who surround you with love. I have been lucky enough in my life to pick people who are funny and caring and who encourage me every day to be a better person. Many of those people have moved away from me physically – but I still find ways for them to be an integral part of my life. I even met more of my own real family this year – family I knew about but had never met in person. I have been baffled ever since about genetics – how people who know nothing about each other could be so similar.

I don’t know so much about that old saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I’m still working on that. I like to think that I fell from the tree and continued to roll a long distance from it. I like to think that the person who birthed me doesn’t get to define me. I am making this trip partly out of obligation, partly out of curiosity, and partly out of a need to get a whole lifetime of stuff off my chest. I’m not certain that I will find any sort of peace. I may regret the trip…I just don’t know. I’m scared and I’m anxious, and mostly I’m sad that it’s come to this.

Tonight at dinner, we were talking with the girls about what they might want to do when they grow up. Zoe assured me that I could come visit her cats and her many children. Lucy, ever so matter of fact, told me she was “NEVER getting married.” but that I could still come visit. I don’t know what my children will do in the next 10-20 years, but I do hope that they never have to think about visiting their mom after being estranged for so long. I hope that the connections I believe I make with them every single day will be enough to ensure that. I hope, for their sake, that they never have to have an internal dialog that includes the words, “I forgive you for sucking at being a mom.” I’m trying. I really am. But I think this is going to stink nonetheless.