Write to Marry, because divorce happens

I just saw on Mombian about the Write to Marry Day, and am thinking maybe I can squeak in and write a little something on the tail end of the more than 400 posts about Prop 8 in California.

I was never married to my ex, because at the time it wasn’t legal in MA. 5 years after our “divorce” (that wasn’t legal either), we’re mired in divorce and custody issues and I have finally taken the step to involve lawyers so that we can come up with an equitable parenting/divorce plan. When we split, we didn’t have any kind of help or direction from the court about custody, child support, health care issues, tax issues, or what have you, and in the agony of having to explain to our 2 sons what was happening and trying to protect them from our adult crap, we just went along for years, reinventing the wheel and trying to “work things out.” When I slowly began to realize how unfair our arrangement was, I was relieved to know that there are lawyers here very well-versed in LGBT family matters, and that I could get help.

And when we finally get some protective papers in place for our two sons, I am planning to get married. After surviving several years of a long distance relationship, my Butch Beau and I now live together, in the house where my boys have lived their entire lives. (Now they split the time between this house and their other mom’s house.) As much as my fiance and I are in love, you’d better believe we’re going to have a pre-nup and that all the papers are going to be in order before we tie the knot. Marriage — and divorce — is not to be taken lightly, and we’re going to give it the respect and attention it deserves. We are so lucky to live in a state where marriage is legal for all its citizens.

Please vote no on Prop 8 if you live in CA, and do what you can to help defeat it if you don’t.

We need to be able to marry — and yes, to divorce — legally, safely, and with dignity.

Published in: on October 30, 2008 at 9:49 PM  Comments (1)  

Feeling the Years

Ok, so several days after my 46th birthday I was walking to school to pick up the kids, casually cute in jeans and lipstick, marching along like nobody’s business, when I was drawn up short passing a child who was sitting in a parked mini van. This little boy, adorable, freckled, maybe 4, sang out merrily as he pointed right at me, “HEY! Who’s that old woman?”

His mother, who I couldn’t see, let out a sharp, “SHH!” as I paused, unable to come up with a snappy reply. Finally, I flung over my shoulder the extremely lame phrase, “Not so old, MISTER!” and kept going. I will not lie, however – I was on the brink of tears.

The next day, for no reason that I could discern (having forgotten – or blocked out – the previous day’s encounter with a member of the Age Police), I felt ugly. I thought I looked like a refrigerator in my exercise clothes and didn’t want my Beau to see me. I couldn’t find a cute photo of me to upload to my MadFemmePride profile and when I found a couple I thought would do, my Beau came up and said casually, “That one’s not very flattering, baby.” I took them all off. Later, I was so tender that something relatively harmless she said hurt my feelings and made me cry.

How can I still be so susceptible to the status quo after all these years? Haven’t I built up more of a protective shell? All those years learning to be fat positive, to appreciate my own beautiful femme physique, to be out and proud and cute and loud – what about them? I think the key is “all those years,” really. It’s one thing to be fat and proud, another to get it up for saggy and proud. Sigh. I am having trouble with aging.

Even if 40 is the new 20, I’m still pushing half a century, and that’s a long time. It isn’t enough that I have to contend with the ever-expanding mysteries of the technological age (could someone please explain MySpace to me? on the other hand, never mind – I’d rather just read a book while they still exist), that my 9 year old knows more about the computer than I ever will, that I have to use the area code to dial next door to my neighbor’s house, and that my country has sunk to such depths politically that I am ashamed and sad – no, I also have to deal with that other, more intimate detail of growing old: my changing body.

It is a lucky femme who reaches her mid-40s without a few dings, and I’ve had my share. Most recently, I got through some hip surgery, which, although very scary, has given me back my mobility. There is no feeling cute when you’re in pain all the time and have to move through life with a cane, even if it has a leopard skin pattern. Many months of PT and hard work later, I walk without a limp and without pain; a combination of modern medical miracles and sheer determination. I am proud of myself, and feel lucky to have had the loving support of my family, and yet, and yet.

Well, here I am almost at the end of the post and I have no real insight to offer. From Shakespeare to name-that-writer, we’ve all lamented growing old. Gaining wisdom and losing muscle tone. Making it through the stormy relationships of yore to the shelter of a dear and true companion’s arms right when mortality begins to loom really, really large. Finally finding our true sexuality only to teeter on the brink of menopause and feel baffled by the vast variety of lube. I guess the only comfort is that we’re all in it together. Maybe we can just keep each other company?

cross posted from queertoday

Published in: on October 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM  Leave a Comment