Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pride

Pride was this weekend, and we were fairly busy this year.

Saturday we went to the park for awhile and then vo
lunteered at the Service Members Legal Defense Network booth. We were gathering signatures to submit to Congress asking them to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the Armed Services. We heard some amazing stories from people who had tried to sign up as an openly gay person and from those that had been kicked out because it was discovered they were gay. Some people’s comments really surprised me…like those that said they agreed with the policy or one woman who told me she didn’t think the government really kicked people out for being gay. The truth is that the Pentagon fires two people EVERY DAY just for being gay. And then they turn around and complain that they don't have enough people to fight all of the silly wars that George W. gets us into. Go figure. Most people got that and signed gladly, which was nice.

Saturday night we went on the Dyke March. This was something that I had to talk Kristin into. She said she had been before and while it was fun, it felt a little “dangerous,” and it wasn’t something she really wanted to do again. I, however, had never done it, and really wanted to participate, so we did.

We parked near where the March usually ended and caught a cab back to the Walker where it was to begin. There was an amazing energy there with people of all ages and backgrounds gathering together in a common cause. We left the Walker and turned left on Hennepin, headed downtown. It was then that we realized they had changed the route and we were parked in the opposite direction! Oops.

I can’t even begin to tell you what an amazing experience it was. Honestly. Kristin was a little freaked out in the beginning, but once we got downtown where it was well-lit, she was fine. Somehow, we ended up being right at the front of the 2-block-plus entourage, and it was great to march past all of the downtown bars and restaurants an
d see the looks on people’s faces as they tried to figure out what was going on. The only weird part was when some random girl somehow got the megaphone and was telling her story and singing hymns…but once the organizers got it back it went back to being an amazing experience.

At the end of the walk we decided just to walk the 1.5 miles to the car. It didn’t take too long, and it was a nice time to just reflect on the march and what it stood for. I think too often we forget that Pride isn’t just about having a good time. It’s about being proud of who you are and standing up for the rights that every human being deserves. Grante
d, marching around downtown yelling out silly slogans isn’t necessarily going to change anything, but to see the looks on people’s faces, to make ourselves visible, and to feel the power of the group all are small steps to creating the change.

Sunday we met some friends for breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. I had heard rave reviews about it, but it didn’t really meet my expectations. It was nice to see everyone and spend time with them, but the food was subpar to other places I’ve been.


After breakfast we went to the parade which was fun
, as always. Two things I would like to point out. The first was Amy Klobuchar. The reception she received was amazing. Honestly, you would have thought she was a celebrity. It’s nice to see that people are paying attention to what our leaders are doing in Washington and praising them for a job well done when it is deserved.The second was the PFLAG group. Every year they receive a standing ovation as they pass, and every year I get teary-eyed. To me, the people that participate in that are some of the most amazing and spectacular people on earth. They are an example of the ultimate acceptance. Not only do they enthusiastically support their GLBT sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends, but they are not afraid to show that support by marching in the Pride Parade. This year I caught the eye of one mother who was holding a sign that said something to the effect of “I love my lesbian daughter.” It gave me the chills to see family members who are so willing and able to march in support of who their loved ones truly are. The woman held my gaze – giving me a knowing smile and a nod as she passed. Standing and clapping for them seems such an understated way to express the feelings that we all feel towards those people…but hopefully they all know how much we appreciate them.

The parade is always a good time with an interesting mix of people participating, but this year it seemed especially poignant for me…even with the crazy sunburn I got during it!


Sunday night we were able to go to the Indigo Girls concert. I had never seen them in concert, so I was excited for that. It was held at the Minnesota State Zoo which provided a perfect background for such a great concert. Brandi Carlisle opened for them. Kristin and I both really liked her music, and I downloaded all of her music from iTunes as soon as we got home.


Laying in bed Sunday night, exhausted from the busy weekend and unable to move because of my sunburn, I reflected on the weekend – it was amazing in so many ways.

Most years I find that I’m really excited for it but once it rolls around I find myself disappointed. Not that it’s not a good time, I just usually feel that it doesn’t meet my expectations. This year I found myself not looking forward to it as much as in the past. Maybe that was because of the previous years of disappointment. I was pleasantly surprised, this year, however to find that I was sad when the weekend came to a close, and I'm already looking forward to next year – to volunteering, to marching, and to watching!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pride Pics

I owe ya'll a new blog post, I know. And I will post about the big weekend soon, but in the mean time, hopefully these pics will tide you over!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wedding Shower

Last weekend a coworker of mine threw us a shower. While it definitely put me out of my comfort zone, it was a good time and we appreciated everyone that was there. A special thanks to Anna and Lindsey for hosting the event :)

Here are some photo highlights...



Me and Kristin

Anna - the hostess!

Molly and Kari

Kristin and me opening gifts

The beautiful cake -
"Two hearts that share one love, one life, will always know true joy"

Kristin and me again

Marilee, Kent, Tammy, Jamie, Lisa, Sarah, and Cassi

Lisa, Sarah, Cassi, Amy, and Kelly

Lou and Brenda

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flowers...

Today I had the day off because I’m officially “transitioning” into a new position at work. There is much to be said about that, but I’ll save that for another day.

We took advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to work and Kristin could get away since school is out, and we went to pick out our flowers for the wedding.

First of all, a little history. We had decided awhile ago to do our own flowers. Heather, a bridesmaid, had experience and had offered to help, and it didn’t really look too difficult. Then we started looking for a place to get the flowers. We had a tough time finding an affordable place to buy roses. We talked more about it and realized we wouldn’t really be able to make the bouquets until the day before the wedding. We decided that the extra price it would cost to have them done for us would be worth the time and stress it would save us. So we started researching florists online.

We came across a small floral shop in Saint Paul called Payne’s Floral. We called and set up an appointment.

We didn’t really plan ahead all that well as to how we were going to break the news to the head designer that there would be two brides and no grooms – big mistake.

As soon as we went in she asked “and who is the bride?” Kristin and I just looked at each other as if to say “who’s going to be the one this time?” before Kristin said “both of us.” Her face lit up and she asked “is this a double wedding?” Again, we glanced at each other for a moment before I said “yes!”

Oy vey. Why do I do these things? Immediately she started talking a million miles an hour about how she had never done a double wedding, and this was going to be soooo exciting with TWO brides!

I probably could have clarified a bit at that moment, explained that it wasn’t really a double wedding as she was thinking of it, and we could have gone on with the planning. But no. I just smiled and pretended that this was really the best moment of my life while Kristin sat down on her stool looking like she wanted to cut my tongue out.

And so the planning began. First, the designer asked us all about the colors and the dresses and the bridesmaids. She asked what we were thinking about for the flowers and I told her we wanted roses. Lots and lots of roses. We talked about colors and styles and looked at the various choices of greenery to accent the bouquets. We talked about the bridesmaid bouquets and how they would differ from the bridal ones.

And then we got to the grooms and groomsmen. At this point it was too late to correct the situation. The designer wanted to know if there would be four groomsmen. “Um, yeah,” Kristin mumbled. She talked about how she would make the boutonni√®res for them – the flowers she would use, etc. We just smiled and assured her that whatever she thought would look best would be fine by us.

She finished up, gave us a grand total, we paid our deposit, and then ran for the door.

Kristin was not happy with me. At all. She wanted to know why I had quickly said it was a double wedding. Why I hadn’t thought of a way to tell her? I hadn’t planned it out. And when faced with the moment of unplanned awkwardness, I folded.

This whole planning process has really been a test of our “outness” which, before this whole thing neither Kristin nor I were very good at. We have both commented at various times about the awkwardness of having to tell complete strangers that we’re gay. Neither of us are the type to flaunt our gayness to the entire world. I have always figured that straight people don’t go around saying “I’m straight! I’m straight! Look at me!” so why should I go around shouting the opposite?

I mean, come on, could you imagine going in to some random place – like a shoe store, for example – and saying “yes, I would like to try this shoe in a size 8 and by the way, I’m straight . . . you’re okay with that, right?” Then going to a restaurant and saying “I’m a heterosexual, will you still serve me?” Then heading to the movies and having to explain to the ticket salesman that you sleep with someone of the opposite sex and hoping that they will just give you your ticket without making a big deal out of it or denying you entry.

With every vendor we’ve dealt with we’ve had to face telling them about our personal lives and hoping they won’t judge us unfairly because of it. Some people will say “who cares what they think? Just tell them! If they don’t want to serve you it’ll be their loss!” Sometimes, unfortunately, it just isn’t that easy (possibly a subject of another post?).

Granted, some things have been easier than others – the DJ and the reception place were relatively painless, for example. It just kind of flowed into the conversation or emails to say, “oh, by the way, this is a lesbian wedding – just wanted to make sure you were okay with that.” Other things, like the dresses and the flowers have been a little more delicate and difficult.

But I ask – why does everyone have to know? Does it really matter if the floral designer knows that we will be marrying each other? She won’t be there, so why should we have to tell her? And of course, the answer is that we don’t.

I guess that just leaves one question:

Does anyone need six boutonnières on or around July 27?

Totally Amazing...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Invitations


Our wedding invitations have been a long journey in the making.

Robyn and Dejan graciously agreed to make them as a wedding gift to us. We poured over hundreds of sample ideas before we narrowed it down to a couple of layouts we liked. We spent hours considering paper choices then drove in the pouring rain to buy it. We wrote everything out that needed to go in them, scratched it all and then rewrote it. We looked at different fonts until I couldn't tell the difference between any of them. We spell checked and proofread it a million times.

Finally, we sent everything to Canada for the pros (or one pro and her semi-pro assistant, rather) to assemble the masterpieces.

We listened helplessly from afar to all of the drama that surrounded the creation of the invitations. We heard about the 100+ cuts each and every invitation took and about the bleeding fingers caused by the tiny brads. Kristin had nightmares about how the finished product might turn out (doilies and rusty paper clips).

And then, word came. They were done. We all celebrated as we waited for UPS to deliver the box to Minnesota.

When it appeared customs had intercepted it and was going to hold onto it for an undetermined amount of time, we all met in the land of IM to discuss exactly why that would happen (theories ranged from the fact that it said the big box only contained one invitation, to the fact that it was going from one business to another, to my theory that it was because I just received "Death of a President" via Netflix and I'm certain the Secret Service is watching me a bit closer).

As it turned out the package was not stopped by the Secret Service. UPS’s tracking system was just behind and the box was delivered on time.

And now we have them. They are more fabulous than I could have ever imagined. It’s all coming together…

And we couldn’t have done it without the unending help of the greatest two Canadians we know. Thank you!