Saturday, March 30, 2013

I don’t mind straight people. I just wish they’d act gay in public.

Warning: This post requires me to pull out my soapbox and preach. I apologize in advance if it offends anyone. That truly isn't my intention. With that...

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments for two incredibly important pieces of Civil Rights legislation:
  • Proposition 8, the California ballot referendum (which passed) that banned same-sex marriage, reversing the state’s Supreme Court decision to already recognize marriage equality.
  • The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law which recognizes only those unions that are comprised of a man and a woman.
Now, outside of the obvious, moral question, "should equality and fairness be extended to all US citizens," why is the highest court in our land adjudicating their legality? By overturning Prop 8, the Justices are saying that same-sex couples have the right to marry and that such a right should be extended to all states, making same-sex marriage a federal constitutional right… And why is that relevant? Because if they also overturn DOMA, the 1100 references to marriage contained in federal laws and regulations will also be applied to gay married couples... and it's about time. Actually, scratch that. It's not just an idea whose time has come. It's an idea that is long over-due.

I make it no secret that I advocate equality… equality regardless of gender, equality regardless of race, equality regardless of religion, and yes – equality regardless of sexual orientation. I’m the reason that gay men had prom dates in high school AND still have lunch dates today. And you will never convince me that the Federal government or any state has the right to deny someone the ability to marry someone they love. Because, let’s be honest… if heterosexuals like Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove can get divorced and re-married as many as four times, don’t you think that gay couples should get the right to marry at least once? If felons who have committed heinous acts of violence can marry (from prison no less), shouldn’t two people who have never broken the law but happen to be the same gender be allowed to legally express their love? If the federal right already extends to interracial and interfaith marriages, why is this different? It’s not. 

Don’t get me wrong, it's not always easy to take the high-road. I have a very dear gay friend who loves to go to lunch together and act like we’re a straight couple. He says, “If I can’t take my husband on a date, you’re the next best thing.” And honestly… that infuriates me for three reasons:
  • I have NO idea how I’ve become an “affection surrogate” for a gay man, when I'm happily married and so is he... just not to each other.
  • I agree that, barring homosexuals, no other group in recent history has been subjected to popular referenda that take away rights which have already been given (as in Prop 8) or exclude those rights in general (as in DOMA).
  • PEOPLE THINK WE’RE A COUPLE. No, really. People look at us and think, “WOW… look at that poor woman, she is SO clueless that she has NO idea her 'date' is gay.” I’m like Michele Bachmann (minus the great hair and crazy eyes).  
Also, the personal IS the political, and just a few weeks ago, at my step-son’s Chess tournament, I was sitting with my husband’s ex-wife (CL), whom I love. She is great with me and I honestly consider her part of the package I married into. That’s right, I got an amazing spouse, two beautiful step-kids, and her – a really great person and friend – out-of-the deal… but I digress. The point is that we were sitting there, passing her adorable new baby back-and-forth, laughing and chatting, when the coach came up to us and started talking.

Thinking nothing of it, CL said, “Do you know my son’s step-mother, mkromd?” He shook my hand, we finished chatting, and he walked away. Within seconds, I turned to my dear friend and said, “OH MY GOD… HE THINKS WE’RE LESBIAN PARTNERS.” After twenty minutes of laughing until we ached, I added, “And because you’re this gorgeous, fit, all-natural yoga teacher with an infant… you know he thinks I’m the soft-ball playing one in the relationship.” We didn’t know how to explain it to my husband/her ex-husband, so we just let him stare at us from the other side of the room. Poor DB, he looked like a deer caught in headlights.

Ahhh... good times.

At any rate, let me say this… the Supreme Court is set to rule in July. Let’s hope that, while Justice is a half-naked woman who is blind-folded and carrying a scale that’s far too heavy for her, she weighs the facts and sees the truth. Hatred is not a family value, at least not one that I care to practice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Steamboat: I want to go to there

Before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first:
  • The opposite of Progress is Congress, as in the US House of Representatives.
  • No TV show will ever be as funny as 30ROCK, and I speak for every woman when I say, “I love you Tina Fey. Thank God life gives you Lemons sometimes.”
  • Just because someone LOOKS like they’re tweaking out on meth… doesn’t mean they are, so don’t judge a book by its cover.
With that, once again – my travel karma was… par for the course. Half of our party couldn’t go; we flew in during a white-out; we flew back the day that Sequestration was scheduled to take effect; and - as usual, my face got so wind and sun burnt that it swelled, freckled and peeled. No, you read that right. My skin was actually flaking off.  

Seriously, if the journey of a hundred trillion cells begins with a single nibble, Hannibal Lector or someone on bath salts would have looked at me like a Tootsie-Roll pop and pondered exactly how many licks it would take to get to the center of me. Also…

I had to explain to someone that I was not on meth.

And, as there’s no polite or tactful way to explain what happened, I’m just going to say it. On the way home from Denver, I was at the airport, in the bathroom, near the sink area, BY MYSELF, when my cheeks and chin honestly felt like they were on fire. And I don’t mean a little itch. I mean the kind of itch that you should only scratch at home. Armed with nothing more than Chapstick, brown paper-towels and the sleeve of my Polar Fleece, I began a rub-fest that would send a Labrador Retriever to Nirvana. 

It went something like this:
  • I rinsed my face with cold water.
  • Dried it with the sleeve of my silky, soft Burton ski shell.
  • Put Chapstick on a brown paper towel and proceeded to wax myself like a car.
Now, when you’re in said moment, you don’t pay attention to your surroundings. In fact, I would argue you’re so lost in total and complete bliss that you have absolutely no idea people are watching you. 

Turns out, one man’s heaven can be another man’s hell. Who knew?

Between the vigorous buffing I was doing and the low moan sounds I was making, the women who, unbeknownst to me, began flooding the bathroom, seemed to have one-of-two reactions:
  • Don’t make eye contact with the Junkie at sink two, or
  • I’ll have what she’s having.
Now, because I hate awkward and I always feel the need to explain myself, I turned to the person staring at me and said, “I swear I’m not scratching my face off because I’m on meth. I have a really bad sunburn and my DNA has been flaking off everywhere all day. You would NOT want to see this sink under a black light.” Sometimes I wish I would actually listen to the little voice in my head that says, “Please stop talking.” 

The GOOD news is that Steamboat was amazing. It was awesome spring skiing at its best. And, though I usually love doing different resorts every year, I may have lost my heart to Steamboat. To quote Tina Fey in 30ROCK, “I want to go to there.” Talk to you later.