Thursday, May 29, 2014

Living in the Whirlwind: In the Days Since We Married . . . .

I'm sorry to be slow about blogging this week, dear friends — and even more about failing to acknowledge your many welcome comments here in the past several days. To say that the past weeks have been a whirlwind for us would be an understatement.

The brief opening to same-sex marriage in Arkansas came while we were out of town in Richmond, Virginia, and we rushed back home to take advantage of the opportunity to marry before that window of opportunity got slammed shut, as we anticipated would be the case. And since that time, more whirlwind, as kind cousins of mine have put together a celebration for us that will take place this weekend, and we needed to come up with a guest list and invite folks. 

We ourselves are going to do something several weeks down the road, too — a reception for family and friends. As a result, we've been talking to musicians, graphic artists, event planners, caterers, the people who manage the hall near our house in which this will take place, etc. — all while sweet friends invite us to celebratory lunches.

I find myself more than a little exhausted by it all, by the constant activity and the mix of exhilaration and then sharp disappointment when the state Supreme Court slammed the door to marriage equality shut after, in one whirlwind week in our tiny state, with only one courthouse in the state consistently marrying same-sex couples, over 450 couples rushed to get married. The shutting down of the process leaves Steve and me and many other couples now with unanswered questions about things like medical benefits, tax benefits, etc. — and those questions add to the effects of our recent whirlwinds. Some of our meetings in the past week or so have been with friends who understand better than we do the ins and outs of our teachers' retirement plans, and who have advised us about changes we may need to make in those now that we're legally married.

Or are we? When states open the door to legal marriage for same-sex couples and then slam that door shut, they create serious questions for those who marry during the period in which marriage is an option.

Then there's this: yesterday, we visit our friend who will cater the soirée we're planning for family and friends. As we talk to her, I prop my arm on a display case, a kind of faux hutch in her beautiful store that I don't realize is faux and unmoored from its base, and it goes flying through the air, along with all of its expensive contents. 

Steve saw the case topple, and fortunately, he grabbed it and stopped it from falling to the floor, but not before its display had crashed to the ground. Fabulous unguents! Jars of aromatic emollients! Attar of rose! Lily of the valley! Orange blossom and cassia and vetivert!

Puddles of all the rich, intermingled perfumes of Arabia pool the brick floor of our friend's catering shop.

A floor through which I'd have been glad to sink myself, right on the spot, so overcome with chagrin I found myself as I surveyed the wreckage I'd managed to create all in the blinking of an eye.

"Can dress you up," Steve says. "But can't take you out." 

He's right. I have a sad history of such ill-advised mal-propping of my wayward limbs on display cases that turn out to be slyly arranged to give the impression of solidity when they're mere gossamer, as perfumes of Arabia go flying through the air. "For God's sake, don't touch anything," Steve advises, his face ticcing with anxiety as I saunter through the door of a certain kind of shop.

But how not to touch, when the gleaming china and antique crystal and delicate objets d'art are just there, positively begging to be picked up and admired? And who knew that if you pulled that particular box of cookies from the top shelf of the grocery store, every other box on the shelf would come cascading down?

Aren't you glad that it was Steve who married me and not you?

Thank you all for the many comments you've made here of late. I may not find time (or energy) to respond to them in the near future, as I mop up the messes I've been making on the floors of friends' establishments in these whirlwind days of our lives. 

But that doesn't mean I don't love them.

The photo of Dorothy and the tornado is from the website of Adam Baron Photography.

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