Archive for weddings

Three Fridays

Swearing that we’re telling the truth

Last Friday was the Fourth of July, and we climbed up Bernal Hill with a few beers and our folding chairs to see the city fireworks show. It’s supposed to be one of the best places in the city to watch fireworks, according this story from last year, in which our hounds Tex and Haylee were specifically mentioned.

However, this year was not such a great year for watching fireworks from Bernal Hill, because of that famous San Francisco fog. From our vista, we couldn’t even see a faint glow of of the city fireworks show through the fogginess, although the illegal ones spouting up in the Mission were numerous and pretty exciting. We went back home and watched the news to see if the official fireworks show even happened, and saw instead panicked news reports about huge displays of illegal fireworks all over the city.

For those of you reading this back in Texas and Oklahoma, you might enjoy reading about what I wore to our July 4 fireworks viewing: a wool hat, gloves, a scarf, a down vest, a hoodie, a long-sleeved shirt, and, yes, Smartwool long underwear, both the top and bottoms. That kept me pretty comfortable, but I was still a little chilly after an hour or so.

The Friday before, we picked up our marriage license. K.’s mom just happened to be in town, so we thought it would be fun to take her with us on this errand. We didn’t think about the day really at all when we scheduled our appointment, but as it turned out, it was the Friday of Gay Pride weekend, and an extremely popular day to get married. There were 280 weddings in City Hall that day, and then other folks like us just coming in to pick up licenses. The city was ready for an influx and had volunteers from all sorts city offices there to help make the process smooth. And it worked. In fact, we never even waited in a line.

The vibe in City Hall was awesome, celebratory, and fun. Full of love, I’d even say. The volunteers that helped us were beyond friendly — everyone was jubilant and thrilled to be there. Every now and then a huge cheer would go up from across the room, and when I asked what the cheering was about, a woman working there told me it was the table where people could come to get an official copy of their marriage certificate after their ceremony. It was apparently the least exciting part of the process, so the volunteers there had decided to cheer every time they handed a copy over to make it more exciting. It was really sweet. Here are our pictures from this!

This coming Friday — which I guess is tomorrow — is my birthday. It’s the beginning of the end of my 30s, but I hear that 50 is the new 30, so that must make 40 the new 20, and me an angsty teen. I hear there are surprises in store for my birthday. I’ve already gotten some really nice stuff!

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On the topic of marriage

So, last week I mentioned that we paid for our marriage license. We have an appointment to pick it up next week, and intend to “solemnize” it sometime later this summer. But let me reframe this a little: We are not getting married for the first time, nor are we having another wedding. We’ve already had our wedding, and we’ve been married for a while now. We have pictures and paperwork to prove it. Here’s a picture right here:

and another:

However, we have decided to register our marriage with the state of California, and we’ll have a civil ceremony of some sort to make it official.

When it was announced last month that same-sex couples would be allowed to marry in California, neither K. and I were very excited. Of course, there was also the announcement that right-wing groups were already well on their way to getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ban equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and it just seemed like another chance to be disappointed and frustrated. We didn’t go out and party in the Castro the night it was announced, and we didn’t plan on getting ourselves a marriage license.

I know we’re not the only ones who weren’t particularly over the moon about this. There was a great story in Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle profiling people who got married last time San Francisco had weddings, in 2004. Here’s a quote from that story, talking about a couple that has been together for 32 years:

“Here we go again,” was C.C. Manning’s first thought watching TV news reports about the state Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling granting gay and lesbian couples the right to wed.

Her response wasn’t cynical so much as weary. … “After a while, it becomes just so much bull-, pardon me,” she said. “You get tired of being rejected so many times. How long will these religious groups not want to share their happiness with other people? What have we done to destroy the religious feelings these people have? A lot of these homosexuals are Catholics, they go to movies, go out to dinner, go to lunch have friends…”

“… they volunteer in their communities,” Strugnell [her partner] interjected. “We do all the things that everyone else does. We want the same happiness everyone else does.”

Anyhow, you can read the story and get the picture. This sort of thing gets tiring.

Nonetheless, after hearing from our friend L., a lawyer who pointed out that the legal decision was very important, in that it forces any discrimination by the state on the basis of sexual orientation to be subject to “strict scrutiny” by the courts; and that it was unusual in its many references to diginity and respect, we did take heart. We also know now that marriages performed before the November elections will probably not be nullified even if an anti-equality amendment passes; and that these marriages will also be recognized in New York state; and that polls are now showing that more than 50 percent of California voters are actually in favor of marriage equality.

So, basically, we’ve decided to allow a bit of cautious optimism to seep in and participate in this historic movement by getting legally married in California.

The weddings start today in San Francisco at 5:01 p.m., the earliest time the law allows. The first people to be married legally will be the first people who were in line in 2004, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, activists who have been together for 55 years. And you don’t call that a marriage?

The high price of gas

This morning I stopped on the way to work to fill up my scooter and gas was a whopping $4.699 a gallon, making this my most expensive fill-up to date – $7.32 cents.

I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if I’d filled up my old Volvo V70 this morning. I’m sure I would have paid over $60. I miss having a car sometimes, but right now, it’s easy to be pretty psyched about not having one.

I’m seeing a lot of Smart cars these days. Walking home from work on Wednesday, I saw three. Two in Hayes Valley:

and then in the Mission:

These theoretically get somewhere in the 33-40 MPG range in the city, so the scooter is still a better bet … but they’re interesting. And relatively cheap – $12-$18K. I don’t have one on my list of things to buy, though — I’m happy with my scooter-plus-Zipcar lifestyle for now.

Gas isn’t the only thing I bought today. I also bought a marriage license. But more on that later.