“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in this case demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
It’s a good day because Holly and I are going to Seattle tonight to celebrate Seattle Pride. It’s a good day because I woke up to a text message from my future sister in law: “Woohoo!!!” It’s a good day because my Facebook feed is turning into one big rainbow. It’s a good day because the WordPress menu bar at the top of my screen is rainbow. It’s a good day because my brother sent me these photos he took.
It’s a good day because the President made me cry.
Okay, so it’s not exactly a surprise, Holly and I have been talking about getting married for about 8 months. We picked out rings together a few months ago so this wasn’t a total surprise. Still, for all of that Holly did a good job catching me off guard.
The Set Up
Like I said, Holly and I picked out our rings months ago. Originally, I thought my ring was way too expensive for people “like us” (we don’t pull in six figures a year), but Holly has a background in fine jewelry retail and she is a big believer in grand gestures. It was important to her, and that meant a lot to me. So I took one for the team and “allowed” her to get it for me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely in love with it. So she’s been making payments on the ring for a few months, but has mentioned it will probably be a little while before she bring it home. I was thinking November/December at the earliest.
Holly’s sister and cousin live in Portland and have not been home since the holidays, so they “decided” to come visit this weekend. So on Thursday, I got this message from Holly’s mom:
Holly has been saying for weeks how busy it is at work and how her supervisor has said they will be working weekends for the next few months. She’s already asked for several weekends off this summer, so the odds of her not having to work are slim to none (which is true). Sure enough, she said she was going to have to work Saturday until 11pm.
Our friend Hanna recently moved to Seattle and has been talking about wanting to come home and visit us for a while so last week she also announced she was going to be home as well but had a birthday party on Saturday afternoon. Holly suggested she drop Hanna and I off at the barbecue on her way to work, Hanna would hang out for a while, head to her party and then Holly would pick both of us up that night after she got off work.
That morning, as I was getting ready both Holly and Hanna kept giving me hints about what to wear:
“Wear your ‘Legalize Love’ shirt that I got you, Mom will love it!”
“When was the last time you wore that necklace Holly got you? You should wear it, it’s so pretty.”
“Baby, I love those sparkly tunnels. You just found them and still haven’t worn them, please? They’re my favorite.”
All day Holly had been complaining about not wanting to work. As we passed her work on the highway, she even said “Ugh! I’ll see you later [name of work].” She even went so far as to put her work shoes in the car and put on her employee badge. She also kept talking about how much she had to go to the bathroom.
“Babe, you went right before you left!”
“Don’t make fun of my microbladder!”
(Honestly, this didn’t surprise me, she DOES have a microbladder!)
About halfway through the drive Hanna kept complaining about how she couldn’t find her phone.
“I swear, you guys, I’m having the blondest week! I’ve locked my keys in my car (which is true), I’ve lost my phone like 5 times (not true), I think it might have fallen under the seat.”
The next part was totally unplanned. I have a kind of embarrassing soft spot for Taylor Swift and, not 5 minutes before we reach Holly’s parents house, the song Love Story came on the radio. And, yes, I know all the words. For some reason, I was feeling incredibly romantic, so I started belting it out in the car:
“Romeo, save me, I’ve been feeling so alone.
I keep waiting for you but you never come.
Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think.”
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said…
“Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone.
I love you, and that’s all I really know.
I talked to your dad – go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes.'”
I mean, I was really getting into it. I had goosebumps and I was almost crying by the time it was over. Adorkably perfect, right? I’m getting weepy watching the video right now… Okay…I’m good.
So we pulled up to Holly’s parents’ house and my soon-to-be fiancee rushes inside to relieve her microbladder while I start digging around in the car looking for Hanna’s phone. She finally just asked me to call it, 5 seconds later her boobs start to ring.
Haha, let’s all laugh at how blonde Hanna is…
Meanwhile Holly comes back out the front door and take us around the side of the house to the backyard.
My first thought as I walked out was, “Where is everybody?” So I turned around and saw a wall of about 50 people standing on the deck, half of them with phones out and pointed at me. I waited for everyone to yell, “Surprise!” or something, but they just stared at me as I frantically tried to remember if it was my birthday (my birthday was two months ago).
Thank god for smartphones because I now have this awesome video of the rest of the proposal.
The best part of the whole day, narrowly beaten by the “getting engaged” part, was having so may people who love and support us there. I was so happy that we got to share this moment with (almost) all the people who have been there for us through everything. The fact that people went out of their way to be there was so humbling. It made me realize (again) just how blessed I am to have you people in my life.
And truly, there are many more who fit this profile who just weren’t able to be there, our phones were blowing up with messages of congratulations. I promise, every single Facebook “like” or comment, every text, every single smiley face or exclamation point meant so much to me. I love you all so, so much.
Not only is it Independence Day, we also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this week. It strikes me, as I write this, that our nation is experiencing a similarly epic culture shift in civil rights history as marriage equality is passing in each state like big, beautiful, rainbow dominoes.
As people rage against institutionalized prejudices, forewarn the failing of our Constitution, or decry the moral decay of this great nation, I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed. Centuries after we fought for our independence and declared the US it’s own nation, I live in a place where fighting for your freedom and your rights is still celebrated.
Today is kind of significant for us as we met for the first time on July 5th of last year.
I remember, I was standing in what is now our kitchen with my then roommate getting ready to meet some friends for a drink, when I told her about this girl I had been Facebook stalking who looked really cool.
“I’m just going to message her and ask how I know her.”
“Do you know her? I thought you said you hadn’t met her,” she asked.
“No, but she doesn’t know that! She added me, it’s not crazy or weird to ask how I know her, is it?”
“I guess not, but you already know you have never met her?”
“Yes, but if I wasn’t sure, it’d be normal to ask…yes? That’s not creepy, right?”
“Fuck it, I’m just going to do it.”
This was on a Friday, we hung out again that Sunday, and on Monday she showed up at my work with flowers (is it any wonder I fell in love?). We spent time together the following weekend and off and on during the week and, within two weeks, I was telling my roommate that I, a barely out of the closet baby-queer, was falling head over heels for this girl I had just met.
So happy 5th of July, friends and lovers: be free, follow your heart, love each other, and have a great weekend.