Last week was the 6th anniversary of our Civil Union.
Gabriella did not remember.
I remembered because I got an anniversary card from my supportive Aunt L. Also, it’s a recurring date in iCal along with the anniversary of our Domestic Partnership and the anniversary of the boys’ adoption. If I hadn’t added those dates myself, we’d both forget because frankly those anniversaries are stupid (not that I don't appreciate the sentiment, Aunt L). But I have to admit that I think of those anniversaries as stupid on a good day and outrageously egregious on a day less forgiving. These anniversaries remind us every year of our lesser-than status. Well, they remind me, anyway because of the iCal. Why should I force myself to make note of such barbed recurrences? Maybe I’m more likely of the two of us to acknowledge our affliction. Seems appropriate during this season of Passover to celebrate our liberties and bear witness to our subjugation. It never occurred to Gabriella to commemorate those days. Maybe I should take a page from her book and delete those events.
On that Civil Union day, March 19th, 2007, Levi was 5 months old. I was rockin’ the rack due to milk-engorged hooters, and I was still working the maternity trousers in all their elastic glory. Asher was 3 years old, not an ideal age for any kind of ceremony unless it had been a Thomas the Train ceremony. He was much more interested in the security at the courthouse than the Civil Union of his moms.
Asher would be our ring bearer and would be called upon to present us with the rings we had already been wearing for 6 years. He would be the ring-bearer at our friends’ wedding in May of that year, so we figured this was good practice. He managed not to drop the rings or run out of the room and chuck them in the toilet, so in spite of his impatience and occasional outbursts throughout the day, on balance he did a good job.
The judge was a lovely man who was more excited to officiate our Civil Union that we were to be unionizing. I tried to remain delighted in spite of my leaking boobs and general resentment for what I considered more of a procedure than a ceremony. So young and yet so bitter. Ah well.
It was because of that bitterness that we did not buy new outfits or throw a party or even prepare vows for each other. In hindsight, I believe that we missed an opportunity to exchange ceremonially appropriate promises. For what is a Civil Union other than the commitment to be civil to that special someone within one’s union? What I list for you now are the belated promises of civility I should have made to my Gabriella in honor of our very Civil Union.
I promise to stop kvetching about how you leave your dirty socks on the floor for me to pick up and put in the hamper because I know that you will never change your dirty sock ways, and it is up to me to adjust my expectations.
I promise not to eat all the leftovers before you get home from work even though I’m home all day surrounded by the amazing food you make, and I would hope that you would consider it a compliment that I would otherwise inhale everything in sight leaving nothing for you. A small portion, I can leave.
I promise not to force you to change your outfit the next time you put on the exact color combination that I am already wearing. Instead of walking out the door like two back up singers without a band, I’ll simply change.
I promise not to chew you a new one in front of the children when you blatantly play Good Mommy and offer the boys an extra treat or allow them to stay up a half an hour later or let them watch more television than I do. I shall admonish you behind closed doors knowing full well that you will listen, apologize and continue to undo all my efforts to provide our children with healthy boundaries, setting me up to forever be Mean Mom.
I promise to warn you when my menstrual induced hormones may be the cause of those occasional, emotionally charged outbursts that come out of my ass by way of my uterus accusing you of a variety of misdeeds, adding a new crime every hour, culminating with a grand finale of, “YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ME!!” I can’t promise it won’t happen, but I will warn you.
I think I will keep those recurring dates in my calendar after all. I can count all the years that pass before Civil Unions become a peculiar blip of the past. And when our relationship is recognized federally, the Civil Union will be irrelevant, and I’ll be able to be as uncivil towards Gabriella as straight spouses have always been to each other. I pray that day comes soon.