I don’t even know where to start.
Let’s go with Amendment One. Let’s go with that, because it’s fresh in my mind, and I just feel like, THE FUCK, NORTH CAROLINA? I’m shocked. Like, I know that my friends in other states have this vision of North Carolina as some backwoods Bible-thumping hickville– and I’m sure there are parts of the state where that’s true– but we live in a wonderful, open, progressive and fairly liberal area. In fact, one of the things I love about this town is how diverse the population is. I go out running in the afternoon; I’ll pass maybe two people like me, and twenty people from different cultures or walks of life. It isn’t unusual for me to see a gay couple, or a lesbian couple, or them guiding a small family on bikes or pushing them on strollers. And it always makes me happy. It makes me happy the same way some people must feel when they read a Nicholas Sparks novel: this is love, this is a connection, this is two people who found a home in each other. There is too little of that in the world, and it always needs to be celebrated.
Love is love is love. And hate is hate is hate. And this is a clear act of hate. This isn’t even an act of religion– not a single one of my church-going friends, not a single one of the pastors I know, not a ONE of them voted for this amendment. My Facebook feed was flooded by NC Christians, Catholics, and Mormons who were all deeply upset and ashamed at the bigotry that was passed yesterday.
I’m shocked. I’m appalled. I genuinely believed the outcome would be different. I based my assumptions on the thinking friends and loving neighbors I encountered. I’m just– heartbroken. Furious. Injustice of any sort makes me angry, and this is one of paramount importance. My father and I talked about gay rights in New Orleans; walking along the waterfront. We were actually behind a group of gay men, who were out having lunch and laughing. I was watching the men. Just men: just people, at the core, people who are no less in any way, who deserved to be loved, who are being judged and punished for how they love others. Who are being told they are not worthy of basic rights. Who are told they are not worthy of a recognized family.
I told my father I believe things will change. I believe Addie and Elias, or Addie and Elias’ children, will be told one day that homosexuals weren’t allowed to marry, and they will react the same way I did when I learned about racial segregation: it won’t seem possible. It will seem so monumentally unfair, so needlessly cruel, and so mind-blowingly stupid– it will be impossible for them to fathom. They will always exist in a world that counts the worth of a person by what he contributes to society, and not by his genetic makeup.
I still want to believe that. I will still fight for that. Yesterday was a deterrent. This isn’t over.
I need a minute to calm down.
Besides that– besides that, that super horrific issue– things are good. Things are really, really good. Things haven’t been this good in awhile, and it’s always hard for me to talk about my life when it’s good because– well, number one. It’s a fine line between sharing and bragging, and I hate bragging about as much as you hate reading about it. I like sharing good news and hearing good news, but I know there’s a limit where you’re like, WE GET IT. YOUR LIFE IS PERFECT, SHUT UP. Heh. And number two: good is boring. There’s only so much you can say about good. Bad almost always involves a story, and drama– bad is MY CAR EXPLODED! or MY DOG RAN AWAY! or OUR HOUSE CAUGHT ON FIRE! Good is like, I was happy. Again.
Jason had his birthday on Monday. We kept it pretty low-key, the way he likes it. He took the day off of work, and we spent the morning together in the office. He played ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’. I played Sims 3. Went to a noon showing of ‘The Avengers’ in IMAX 3D, which Jason said was TOO EXPENSIVE ($15 a person is steep), but I was like, A man only turns 33 once. (PS: JASON IS 33. PASS IT ON, INTERNET.)
The movie started late. Like, forty minutes late. It was still nice, being there with him and hanging out. I saw people on their cell phones updating Twitter, and I thought, I really hope no one is complaining about this. I’m not complaining. I’m sitting on a comfortable seat in an air-conditioned room, and I have popcorn and bathrooms nearby. Millions of people would kill to be this inconvenienced. I just felt– lucky. Very lucky, very grateful.
‘Avengers’ was great, and they gave everyone a free IMAX 3D pass for the wait. J wants to see it again. I was like, once is enough. He said he’d take Stephen Beaver then. We were out at Moe’s, and he was like, I’m gonna text Stephen right now and see if he wants to go. I was like, You do that.
Stephen was like, YES, and WHEN.
I like Stephen. I really like the kid; I think he and Hannah are great people. And it’s been kind of awesome to see a friendship grow like this from the beginning, from Stephen being the new guy at work, to Stephen coming over to hang out the first time, to Stephen being a fixture at parties, to Stephen and J becoming gaming buddies, to Stephen and J becoming lunch buddies, to going to Stephen’s wedding, to the way he’s been here to assist in every major change in our life lately. He’s loyal and smart and grounded and funny and responsible, and he’s the kind of guy I’d be really proud of raising. I’m glad he and J are such close friends. I’m glad he’s there to temper J’s wild schemes in my absence, too. Heh.
So there’s that. Work situation– it’s weird, but we feel fairly safe. Jason’s company is closing. We got the news before Christmas. At the time, I was on medication– remember, I had like that awful bout of some kind of throat disease? And I’m in bed, on J’s iPad, hoping to watch a movie and doped up on codeine, and his Facebook is open. And his feed is filled with coworkers saying, We need a new job, and I can’t believe this is happening before the holidays.
I assumed the drugs were making me hallucinate. No. It was real. Jason came home later and delivered the news himself, and I was distraught.
There was an upside: they were giving a huge advance warning. The doors close at the end of this month. So we had until June to find a new job, and while I can’t talk about anything in detail, it shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Things are happening. We should be okay. Added to that, all the workers who stay on till the end get severance, plus vacation paid out. Jason has not taken a vacation in years. So assuming we land on our feet here, we’ll have new employment, plus those extra checks.
I’ve been sitting on that news for awhile, and I’m glad to be able to finally say something. At this point, everything I wrote should be public knowledge– not just at Jason’s company, but online and within the field.
The kids are finishing up the school year, and they’re both doing great. Both got straight A’s on their report cards. That’s pretty much par for the course with Eli, who is academic-obsessed, but it’s a first for Addie. I was super proud. She and I have a thing where we dap, do a clock-wise hand slap, then explode our fists– it’s something she made up, but it always makes her laugh, and it’s usually reserved for celebrations or high points. This went on ALL DAY when the report card came home.
We also dap-slap-exploded when I told her the spring carnival was this weekend. SPRING CARNIVAL AT SCHOOL! I effing love the carnival, I kid you not. It’s almost as good as the county fair. It’s always sunny and hot, there’s sno cones, old friends, inflatables, midway games, teacher dunks, and I always see Uncle Louis, who’s the uncle of one of Eli’s friends. Uncle Louis is about my age, and is ALWAYS having The Best Day of His Life. He’s one of those people. Joyfully infectious. We always remember each other, we’re always like LOOK AT YOU, WITH THE SMILE! and then we catch up for ten minutes, say we’ll see each other in a year, and dap with no slap or explosion.
I have two kid stories from a long time ago I forgot to tell you. They’re just awesome, and I wrote them down, and I never shared. One is from March, around St. Patrick’s Day. Addie and her friends went on a leprechaun hunt. She came home one day, holding a green sticker in her fingers. Dropped her backpack dramatically and announced, “We never caught him.”
Addie: “The leprechaun. We found clues everywhere, but… he got away.”
So I’m like, what clues?, and she showed me the sticker. Bear in mind, it’s just a sticker she found on the ground at recess, but it happened to be green. Then they found a Lucky Charms marshmallow in the sandbox, a clover in the soccer field, a penny by the slide, a hole in the ground by the fence, and through this “investigation”, determined that a leprechaun had visited the school, and evaded them by digging under the fence. Why this is so funny to me, I couldn’t tell you. “You seriously looked for him all recess?” I asked her, and she was serious: “We looked for him all week.” When I laughed, she added, “We thought we found him, but it was just another kid in a green shirt.”
Eli’s was more random. He turned a Capri Sun box into a glove that he used to punch other boxes into submission. That is not the funny part. The funny part is when I picked it up, I discovered he wrote FACE THE FIST! across the front.
I’ll wrap this up because it’s long. Here are some photos I took and never shared.
From Millie’s Tangled party:
Terrible shot of both Michelle and I, but proof we were together and SCREAMING WITH FRIENDSHIP!
Surprisingly great Awkward Family Photo at the park:
On a nature walk with Mom, Dad, Michelle, and the kids (pictured):
It was our last day of the Virginia trip, and we were taking the path fast to meet the husbands for lunch before getting on the road. We took it too fast, though, and still had twenty minutes to kill. So we decided to walk it again. Addie got wise about five minutes later: “We’ve already DONE THIS, this is the SAME THING. We’re walking in a CIRCLE.” Some adult: “It’s not really a circle. It’s kind of loopy.” Addie: “I WANT TO GET OFF. HOW DO I GET OFF THIS THING?” Me: “It’s like the Hotel California, girl. You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Our hot mess of a kitchen after we finished grouting the tile:
Me scraping up the dried grout:
It’s done. It is actually DONE.
We still have to do the downstairs powder room, which is going to be straight up nonsense and I’m dreading, and I’m trying to get accomplished this weekend before J (and I) get ahold of Diablo III because we’ll be useless for at least a month after that– but the KITCHEN! It’s 100% complete. In fact, I even put the finishing touch in:
This is a little jar from Kirklands that only cost twelve dollars, a jar I fell completely in love with but felt too guilty about buying, so instead just came in to look at and take pictures of pitifully. For weeks. And then my mom said she would buy it for me while she was in town, but we got to the store ten minutes after closing. She gave me cash and told me to pick it up on my own. I said I would. My car threw up some check engine lights, so I waited till J was willing to make the trip in the Infiniti. Drove there with my cash, walked in.
They were completely sold out of the jars. I asked an employee. The item was clearanced out.
I cursed myself for waiting. It was TWELVE DOLLARS. I could have done that. I had this vision of that jar and my tea in it, and even though it was petty, I just– wanted it. Like, little kid Christmas present WANTED it.
Jason saw how upset I was. He promised to get it for me. I said GOOD LUCK. I’ll never have that jar and let it be a lesson to me about patience. NEVER BE PATIENT FOR ANYTHING, that’s my motto. And I deviated. I DEVIATED.
So this guy called every store for 50 miles and found one place that had ONE BLUE BIRD JAR left in stock, and he got up Saturday morning and drove out and bought it for me. For Mother’s Day. And he brought it back, and I got all teary-eyed and put it in the corner of our kitchen, and I put my tea in, and I just looked at it for like thirty minutes, and that jar became even more beautiful to me because it represented kindness and consideration and family. It was a token of love in a house full of it, and every time I pass it, it warms me up all over again.