Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Archive for February, 2008

Blue and Red Make Green

Posted by jos76 on February 27, 2008

I have had a good friend for about three years who is a Republican. We worked together for two years and she is really the only person from my old job with whom I have stayed in regular contact since I began my new job about six months ago. We get along really well and we both have very similar senses of humor. This has been great. I love having a friend that totally gets my sense of humor.

It’s an election year and Massachusetts held it’s primaries on Super Tuesday along many other states. Dac and I both voted Democrat. We actually believe in many of the Republican fundamentals (like limited government, low taxes, and individual responsibility), but our relationship and certainly our marriage is not supported or respected by the Republican party. We vote Democrat because on a social level, we want to eventually have access to the over 1,000 rights that are granted only to straight married couples. The Republicans would never go for this.

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Back to my friend and former co-worker. We had dinner the other night and, as usual, we had a great time. We laughed, we joked, we talked about everything from financial advisers to job interviews. At the very end of the evening, as I was driving her home, I asked, “So who did you vote for?” She told me Romney. I’m never quite sure what to do with this sort of information. She is clearly supportive of me personally, but she votes for candidates that are completely opposed to allowing me and Dac access to the tax dollars that we pay to the government (in the form of marriage credits and Social Security). When I think about it, I guess that there are people who vote for Republicans for their own personal reasons, but may differ on social issues. I can only hope that she would in fact vote to legalize gay marriage if given the opportunity, even is she votes Republican in Presidential elections.

When I tell my gay friends and colleagues that I have Republican friends, they are shocked. I wonder if Republicans get the same reaction when they tell their fellow-Republicans that they have gay friends.

Jos76

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In one ear…

Posted by jos76 on February 23, 2008

Are there any new people living in your building?

ARE THERE ANY NEW PEOPLE LIVING IN YOUR BUILDING?

A-R-E T-H-E-R-E A-N-Y N-E-W P-E-O-P-L-E L-I-V-I-N-G I-N Y-O-U-R B-U-I-L-D-I-N-G ?

Welcome to an evening out with my grandmother. For years she has been saying that she doesn’t need a hearing aid. No matter how many times we tell her that she can’t hear anything that we are saying and she needs to get a hearing aid, she tells us something along the lines of, “I don’t need eyeglasses!”

I love Alice, crazy as she is, but Dac and I began to dread taking her out for lunch or dinner because the entire restaurant would have to be in on our conversations.

DO YOU WANT MASHED POTATOES OR FRENCH FRIES?….MASHED POTATOES OR FRENCH FRIES?…POTATOES OR FRIES?…She’ll have the mashed potatoes.

But this past weekend, during our monthly trek to grandmother’s house, we got a wonderful surprise. There was a little brown machine in her ear…just the right side…baby steps. We only had to say things twice at the most.

Soup or salad?….SOUP OR SALAD?

I won’t keep you guessing any longer. There are three new people in her building, she got the mashed potatoes, and a salad. Exciting stuff, huh?

Jos76

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That girl can “carey” a tune!

Posted by jos76 on February 20, 2008

The first picture I ever saw of my partner Dac was of him sitting on the steps of an animal hospital where he used to work. Along with him in the picture were two of his best friends, Carey and Echo Doppler. Echo is Carey’s dog, a fun-lovin’, lick-your-face, sniff-you-all-over pit-bull cross. It was telling that I first encountered Dac along with Carey and Echo because they were, and still are, important “people” in his life.

When Dac and I began to plan our wedding ceremony, one of the first things that we both decided we had to have was the song He’s Got a Way. The song was originally Billy Joel’s She’s Got a Way, but we had to change it a little to make it work or us. There was no question that we wanted our (I can say that now) friend Carey to sing this song during our ceremony. Click HERE to hear her sing it just as we heard it during the ceremony.

Check out her videos HERE.

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I have such admiration for Carey. I have always been amazed at how she sets goals, goes after them, and goes further than anticipated. Before our wedding, she moved closer to New York City to pursue her singing career. I never thought that we would lure her back to Massachusetts to sing in our wedding, but she of course did. And, her voice, presence, and emotion added a personal touch to the ceremony that could never have been there otherwise.

Jos76

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The Best of Intentions

Posted by jos76 on February 16, 2008

We had just dropped a friend off and were heading for Dac’s parents’ house. It was the first time I was going to meet his parents. We pulled up to their driveway and before we got out, Dac said, “Don’t worry about it. It will be fine.” Though he was out to his parents, he had never introduced them to someone he was dating. I got out of the car and headed up the stairs to the front door. I don’t remember if Dac had a key or if we rang the doorbell, but somehow we ended up on the inside. I shook Dac’s father’s hand (from now on referred to as Rock, per his request). I kissed his mother on the cheek. The hard part was over, or so I thought.

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Rock had not changed out of his corporate garb, so he looked rather formal sitting there in the living room. Dac’s mom was sizing me up a little bit. After all, Dac is the baby of the family and she needed to protect him. As we sat there I waited for one of them to ask, “So what are you intentions with our boy?” But, that sort of question never came. Rather there was another question asking me to join them at their house on Christmas evening, where I would have the chance to meet the rest of the family! I graciously accepted. Dac and I had only known each other for a few weeks and it was getting serious fast, but everything worked out great. 

Dac first met my mother in the parking lot of a Bed Bath and Beyond of all places, where we had happened to meet up while out shopping. He later met the rest of my family when we went out to dinner one night (I think that it was Bugaboo Creek or the Outback.) Dac later met my brother and his wife and their kids when we went to their house for dinner one night

First meetings always give opportunities for good memories. I will never forget sitting in Rock’s living-room contemplating what my intentions were with their son, just in case they asked.

Jos76

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Studies have (not) shown…

Posted by jos76 on February 13, 2008

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I have two siblings, a younger sister in her twenties and a brother in his mid-thirties. The three of us could not be leading lives that are more different, yet somehow we grew up in the same house with the same parents. My brother is married (to a woman of all things) and has five children. My sister is still finding her way in life and is pretty adept at dating. I usually get the update from my mother as to who we should ask her about. Then there’s me, the well-adjusted middle child, no longer dating, no children

Dac, my partner, has two brothers, both older, both married, both with two children. Well, as of the writing of this post one of the wives is pregnant, so they have about 1.3 children. Then there’s Dac, the youngest child of the three brothers, married, no children.

Given that we have somewhat different sibling situations and that I was in the middle and Dac was the youngest, I can’t help but laugh at claims that relationships with parents (male or female) in any way contribute to “making” a kid gay. I grew up with a male and a female sibling who both grew up to be straight. Dac’s brothers grew up to marry women and soon became parents.

Both sets of our parents are very supportive of our marriage and no one (especially our parents themselves) think that our upbringing had anything to do with our sexual orientation. How could it have? We would have to actually accept the possibility that our parents had specifically different relationships with each of their children, so different that it influenced their sexual orientations. For anyone who understands the demands and time commitment required to parent even one child, he/she would clearly understand how ridiculous it would be to even try to do it two or three different ways. Who would have time to make sure that their kid is gay?

Jos76

Posted in Family, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

It’s (broke)Back-Breaking Work (Part 2)

Posted by jos76 on February 9, 2008

There are times when you just need to get away, to try something new, to experience something that is out of the ordinary.  Dac is a musician and I’m always amazed at how he can throw himself into a new musical instrument or style of playing.  For him, music is his way of getting away, trying something new, and experiencing something out of the ordinary.

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Dac plays viola, cello, and violin.  He is now trying out the guitar and the ukulele (you know, for a change).  His music is what makes him happy and it gives him something to look forward to.  I know that when he is on the train coming home from work he is day-dreaming about learning a new chord.

Dac’s father and his two brothers (Dac’s, not dad’s) take their yearly trip to North Dakota as their way of getting away, trying something new, and experiencing something different.  We all joke with them about their trip and being real “cowboys” (I was scolded for referring to them as farmhands in the earlier post), but I think that having an opportunity to retreat from your everyday life once in a while is necessary and commendable. 

For some people it might be getting caught up in a good book, for others it might be a sport, and for some people it might involve the inoculation of cattle in several feet of manure ….the point is, taking a retreat from time to time gives us an opportunity to rejuvenate our mind, spirit, and body.  My retreat is writing these posts and I am lucky enough to have people in my life that are interesting and give me something to write about.

Yippie Yi Yo Kayee…or whatever it is that cowboys say these days.

Jos76

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It’s (broke)Back-Breaking Work (Part 1)

Posted by jos76 on February 6, 2008

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If I had to describe the people in my our lives, I would have to say that they are completely diverse. There are the grandmothers, whose combined age is 166 years old (who were both at our wedding by the way), nieces and nephews (8 in total), colleagues (doctors, nurses, teachers, musicians, board directors), and friends (from church, life, and work). We have not chosen these people on purpose, or perhaps on some level we have, but we have confidence in our country and our world when we see that all of these different types of people are not concerned with our (gay) relationship, but rather respect it.

So, did you notice that I left out our immediate families on the list of those who support us? It is not because they don’t support us, it is because Dac and my relationship and marriage are such a non-issue for both of our families. It is not something that we discuss very often, but then again we don’t talk about all of our siblings’ marriages all that often either. Our families only contribute more to the diversity of supporters in our lives.

For example, each year, Dac’s father and his two brothers (Dac’s, not dad’s) go to a ranch in North Dakota where they work with the farmhands to inoculate the cattle and round up the livestock. (Don’t you like how I use the word “inoculate” as if it is a common word that I use all the time?)

It is real back-breaking work… from what I understand. I haven’t been and don’t really have any expectation of going. I have never even seen a “western” movie or Brokeback Mountain… and we can add these guys to our list of supporters.

There are more details involved in the North Dakota trips, but I’ll have to leave you in anticipation for now. If you are truly interested in what goes on there in the meantime, you can put on your cowboy boots and your hat, and watch the DVD with Dac’s dad and brothers, the city-slickers. There is something to be said for these guys having a gay couple in the family.

Jos76

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One last question

Posted by jos76 on February 2, 2008

I began a new job back in September of 2007. I have been teaching mostly middle and high school for the past ten years, but this new teaching position is in an elementary school. A whole different ball game. I am teaching first though eight grade in a small suburban independent school after having spent the past six years in a public charter school in the city. I could go on and on about the differences, but to be honest, financial situations aside, there are not a lot of differences in the kids. I have found that kids really are kids no matter where they are or how much or how little they have.

One thing that I was dreading when leaving my former school was not seeing my great colleagues/friends everyday. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dac and I are particular (luckily we can be) about where we work in that we have come too far with our relationship to have to hide it from anyone, so we have had the luck of taking positions where we can be out and respected. This was definitely the case for me in my previous school.

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When interviewing for my current position, I asked one of the administrators (the tenth and last one that I had met with that day) if I could be frank with her. She said yes. I said, “I’m married to a man. How will that go over in this school?” She turned to me and simply said, “We don’t put up with any nonsense around here.” She said that she was honored that I had asked her this questions. She was wearing hot pink and white striped pants. I figured anyone who was comfortable wearing pants like that understood what it was like to be different, so I took a shot. Nothing but net!

Jos76

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