Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homos Getting Hitched

Since my post on Macklemore, I decided to take a break from my blog to let the controversy die down...Okay. Full disclosure: there were only two hecklers, and I'm pretty sure they only read the first three paragraphs.

Still. I was Controversial. People I didn't even know were fired up! They were passionate! They might not have agreed with me, but they were thinking, they were talking, they were engaging with LGBT issues! Mission accomplished!

God, I'm a dork.

Oh, well.

There have been so many major changes in my life over the past couple of months. It has been awesomely overwhelming and I haven’t been able to stop for long enough to sort out my thoughts.
Lisa bids farewell to her training partner, Signal Hill.
Many of you will know that Lisa has joined the Navy. For the next four months, she is in Quebec doing her Basic Military Qualifications. As far as I can tell, this involves lots of push-ups and cleaning and marching and very little sleep. 

Of course, Lisa is enjoying the challenge immensely. The Forces are designed for anal-retentive competitive people like Lisa, and she is tired but thriving under the pressure.

While Lisa is training, I am staying in St. John's, working and living on my own for the first time (about time, right?) I was fairly certain last winter that I would NOT be spending another winter here. I hated the cold, and the wind, and the sogginess. It's wet here like BC, only slushier.

I prepare for a winter alone in St. John's.
So it is ironic that I will be spending the winter here in St. John's, caring for my feline step-offspring and playing housewife while Lisa is in Quebec. I was only  here because Lisa had some harebrained romantic ideas about Newfoundland, and I had some harebrained romantic ideas about Lisa.

But it is temporary, and there are some wonderful people here, and I will get lots of knitting/crafting done.

The weather in St. John's has begun to change. Yesterday was truly horrifically wet and chilly.

And with the change in the weather, ALL the ladies are pulling on oversized toques, cozy plaid shirts, blundstones and hoodies. As a consequence, my gaydar is going haywire. Everyone looks like a lesbian. Just when I thought I was nailing the whole Identify-A-Gay thing.

This morning on my walk to the gym there were a few brave snowflakes falling, and despite the fact that I will soon be cursing the snow, I couldn't help myself. I got a little thrill of excitement. In a few months, I will be a lot less excited when it snows on top of the slush on top of the ice on top of the mud, but today, my inner five year old couldn't wait to pull on her winter boots and build a snowperson.

I did a little snow dance in front of the Basilica, hedging my bets by combining solemn prayer with pagan ritual. Actually, I may have made that up, my knowledge of pagan history is pretty limited, and probably doesn't involve snow dances. In any case, now that the Pope approves of homos (well, not approves, but at least doesn't condone active homo-hating) I feel almost warm and fuzzy about the Catholic church.

Maybe those warm fuzzy feelings are also partly because I almost got engaged in the Catholic church during mass.

A week before she left, Lisa asked me to marry her. Since we had already sworn an oath about our relationship in front of a Navy lawyer, I guess making it official was the logical next step. 

Either that or Lisa got sick of me channelling Beyonce at every opportunity.


(To be entirely accurate, she probably got sick of me channelling Justin Timberlake channelling Beyonce, because that's who I look more like when I dance around in a leotard singing "Single Ladies". I FEEL like Beyonce, but have been told I LOOK like JT's parody of Beyonce. Whatever. Haters gonna hate.)

In any case, whether it was my dancing skills or pressure from the Canadian Forces, Lisa decided she had better put a ring on it.
It's shiny and I can't break it and has a spinny thing on it I can play with. 
In true Lisa fashion, she proposed at the moment I least expected her to. 

Back story: Lisa has spent the past three months trying to convince me she had no desire to EVER get married. She said it was dumb, it was cliché, it was too soon, why should we follow conventions set by heteronormative/ patriarchal societal structures… blahblahblah feminism 101 lecture etc. 

She actually almost had ME convinced that getting married was a terribly gauche thing to do. And I've wanted to get married since I was three. 

The Sunday before Lisa flew to Quebec, I was sick. I had a sinus cold. Despite this, Lisa made me get up and go to mass with her. Now, mass is not something we DO in our household. But she made a bit of a stink about how important it was to her that we attend mass in the Basilica before she left Newfoundland.

Lisa and I have a rule to solve disputes. It's a ranking scale. We each have to (completely honestly and openly) rank how important it is for us to get our way in a particular argument. On a scale between 1 and 10. (I think it works because ultimately we love each other, and we know if we're not honest it will seem asshole-ish and dumb to consistently claim our needs/wants are most important) Ranking also makes it concrete, and forces us both to openly acknowledge just how selfish we are feeling that day. 

She claimed it was 10 important to her that we both go to mass. Unfortunately, it was only 9 important to me that we didn't go. 

So I pouted and whined, but I got dressed and went. 

The Basilica is amazingly beautiful. 

This is what wikipedia says the Basilica looks like. It's lovelier in real life. 
Mass was actually nice. Solemn and spiritual and nobody made me eat the weird cracker I was dreading. I'm pretty sure that it can't be gluten free. Despite my apprehension, nobody talked about stoning the gays, or even looked at us funny. It was all about love and forgiveness and being a good person and helping others. All stuff I can get behind. The priest had the kind of voice that cures insomnia, and I got lost in my own head for a while.

I used my space-out time to examine my own conflicted feelings about organized religion. I thought about how I judge certain religious groups while simultaneously condemning those people for judging me, and reflected on the problems that perpetuates. 

It was a worthwhile hour for me, although I admit I was distracted, because Lisa was being a weirdo. She was alternately teary and giggly and kept making me get up and change pews if anyone sat near us. I began to wonder if this was a typical lesbian meets Catholic church reaction. Honestly, she was freaking me out. I thought maybe she needed cheering up.

So to lighten the mood, I whispered "You're being weird. If you were thinking of proposing in the Catholic church during mass, your timing and choice of venue would suck". 

I honestly had no idea there was a ring in her pocket and she was about to pop the question. Actually. She went kind of pale and laughed a little too loudly. In hindsight, I should have known. But I am the least perceptive person in the universe, and Lisa is often strange. So I suspected nothing. 

At eleven o’clock that night I was in my pajamas, still sick. I hadn’t bathed in three days, I’d eaten a garlicky dinner, I was mouth-breathing heavily from congestion.

Clearly, I was at my most irresistible .

The two of us were sitting on the couch reading through the endless list of stuff Lisa was supposed to be able to do at her Basic Military training. She got to the section about sit-ups and of course, started obsessing a little. Apparently, despite my need for snuggles, tea and bed, she NEEDed to test herself to make sure she could do the required 30 sit ups quickly enough and with proper form.

So I kneeled on her feet while she did them. And because we have a healthily competitive relationship, I got all fired up and when she finished, I said, “I bet I can do more”.

So we switched positions. After about five I wanted to quit. But I wanted to win more than I wanted to quit, and I did three more sit ups than her. Ha! I almost killed myself and she was barely out of breath when she finished, but I did three more.

As I collapsed back on the rug, breathing heavily and revelling in my victory, Lisa observed me quietly with a thoughtful expression.

 I assumed she was sullen because I had beaten her, or having feelings because she's a lesbian (and they have lots of feelings) and prepared to chastise her for being a sore loser and/or offer her a tissue. But before I could respond, Lisa took something out of her pocket and laid it on my chest.

 It was a hand-stitched leather box made of recycled scraps.

Initially, I thought the box was the present. I picked it up and said earnestly, “Wow… that’s really cool, Honey. Is it my prize for winning at sit ups?”

She started to get all glisten-y eyed and quietly said, “No, you have to open it”.

At this point, I assumed the contents would be a treasure Lisa had found. A heart shaped rock or a double pine cone. Or a drawing of a volcano. Something symbolizing her feelings for me.

I opened it, realized it was a ring, and said “That’s pretty. What’s it for?”

Tearily, she started a long Lisa-speech touching on an astonishing variety of mushy topics. Slowly, it dawned on me that she was proposing.

I catch on quickly. 

She then rolled her soggy eyeballs and said, "You're going to make me say it, aren't you?" I nodded, and made her get down on one knee. Her eyes dribbled as she said "Miranda-Jean, will you marry me?" My nose dribbled (from my cold) as I said "Yes". 

And then she peeled my grapefruit for me and rubbed my sinuses while we drank tea and watched Criminal Minds. And then we each carried a cat up the stairs to bed. It was a perfect lesbian marriage proposal. 

Our compatibility is immediately evident. 

COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE: How I Almost Killed The Step-Cat or Homo Gives the Vet Our Christmas Fund

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