Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No, Thank You!

Back in August, the Husband and I went to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah for two of his cousins' children. You might recall that a good time was had by all.

About a month later, we received a thank you note that made me laugh so hard I cried. Just like the invitation to the event itself, the thank you note was addressed to "Husband and Guest." That was funny enough, but it really made me laugh when the card itself said, "Dear Husband and Guest ..." I joked with the Husband that this was his mother's doing. I imagined the following conversation between the Husband's cousin and mother:

The telephone rings. Mother stops putting pins in the voodoo doll and answers the phone.
I had a quick question for you. What is the Husband's partner's name? There were so many people at the party I think I missed his name.
I have no idea what his name is.
Oh. Really? I thought they'd been together for five years.
I choose not to know his name. And you'll make the same choice if you know what's good for you.

That's perhaps an exaggeration, but she does seem to make a point of misspelling my name.

But that's ancient history!

Yesterday, a card arrived in the mail. It was addressed to the Husband and I, correctly using both of our names, from the other cousin's child. Inside, it started out with great promise:

Dear Husband and Mark,
Thank you for the gift. I have used most of it. I'm glad you were able to come to my Bar Mitzvah.

The gift was cash, so it shows incredible forethought that he's kept such careful track. Perhaps he has a future as an accountant. But then things went horribly, horribly wrong.

It's signed, "Love," but then "Love" is scribbled out and replaced with, "From."

It made me remember what it's like to be thirteen, when you'd think that people would care if you signed a note, "Love," to someone who, when you get down to it, you probably don't love.

I can see the young man writing the card. He's in a groove, signing all these cards to members of his family, and then he accidentally signs "Love" on the one to some cousin he's never really met. He envisions the following scene:

There are lots and lots of wallpaper borders. Everywhere. Mark and the Husband are opening the card.
Oh. My. God. "Love?" He said he loves us?
Seriously? What is wrong with him?
He seemed very awkward at that Bar Mitzvah.
Yeah, but doesn't he know the difference between "Love" and "From?"
Apparently not.
I'm going to send him pink stationery for Hannukah.
I'm going to drive to his high school and tell all of his friends that he loves us.
That's a good idea.

I really don't miss high school.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Under a Pile of Boxes

Help! I'm trapped under a pile of boxes! Send food!

Well, maybe not, but it sure feels that way. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind, but we've made some progress toward inhabiting our new house. The kitchen is unpacked, at least, so it's not like camping any more.

There's a lot to share, though. First, the closing. It almost didn't happen. I got a call at 5PM the day before the closing, telling me, "It looks like it's not happening." The sellers had some sort of problem with the title, and they hadn't bothered to fix it in the two weeks we'd known about it. Now they were being obstinate about letting the closing attorney dictate how it was to be handled. Eventually they realized that selling a house was better than acting like fools, so the closing was back on.

There was a very special gay married moment at the closing. There are mountains of documents to be signed, and you eventually get into kind of a rhythm of signing one and passing it on to be signed by the next person. When we needed to sign some federal tax forms, though, the Husband and I had separate forms. I was briefly confused, more by the breaking of the rhythm than the reason, but the Husband and the attorney reminded me that I'm not married in the eyes of the federal government.

The attorney said something like, "That's one way that DOMA complicates things."

"Yeah, it complicates a few things," I laughed.

At this moment, the seller decided that she needed to prove her street cred with the gays, or something. So she started to tell a story about her cousin, who shares the same first name as the Husband.

"He's the nicest, sweetest guy," she said.

Ah yes. All gays are nice and sweet. We smiled and nodded. But ... there was a "but" coming!

"But I just had to draw the line at him flirting with my husband on our wedding day."

I think the attorney snorted a little, but she quickly buried herself in mortgage paperwork. The Husband and I were stuck, though. There was no obvious route away from this conversation.

The seller started explaining how her cousin thought her husband was "really hot." And she's fine with that! But the wedding day just seemed like inappropriate timing.

I hoped she was done. The Husband hoped she was done. The attorney hoped she was done. The seller's husband seemed oblivious.

The seller, however, was not done. And it was at this point that the uncomfortable conversation became a really uncomfortable conversation.

The seller started to explain how it wouldn't have bothered her, except that her husband seemed mildly interested in gay cousin's advances! Her husband kind of nods, as if to say, "Yup."

Finally the attorney lifts her head, and pushes a stack of paper at the seller. "You need to sign these."