Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Me Want Monkey

Okay... so we officially survived 3 nights together in a sub-compact tent, erected in a dusty field with amazing winds, horrendous allergies, asthma, a bladder infx and no bathroom in the immediate area (we camped in area "4" and the bathroom was in "2"). Woo hoo! Go team! Did I mention, however, that the hikes were spectacular and that we were just short of rolling around in poison oak and still managed not to get it? That's lucky. And also Wen cooked wonderful dinners while I warmed my tootsies by the fire each night, so all in all not a bad deal. Good to know that we both have a sense of humour and can hold the optimism. When all else fails, throw your vegetarian caution to the wind, plop a marshmallow on a big 'ole stick and smile! It's the stuff that marriages are made of :)

We had time to discuss wedding plans briefly during the weekend. Well, really we don't have any yet - seeing that we've been engaged a whole 11 days now. But we did start talking about what we *might* like to do. I obtained a book that has rental information for buildings and restaurants in the bay area (and beyond) and decided to take a peek. I discovered that for a nominal $12,000 fee, we could get married at a posh winery up in the Los Gatos hills. Hee hee. Nope. Scratch that one.

While we were thinking of ways to manage finances, it occurred to us that we won't necessarily need to invest in a full-fledged pastor, rabbi, priest, etc. Seeing that the whole *legal* marriage thing is out of our hands at this point in time, we're simply trying to make lemonade out of the lemons... because really, what it means is that we have the freedom to be married by anyone we choose. Cool. Wen pointed out that really, a MONKEY could marry us and we would have the same legal protections as we would if we had a priest. That's sort of sad, but then again, who else do you know who gets to have a monkey at their ceremony?! :) Way cool. He'd probably have a tough time conducting the ceremony, but maybe we could rent one for the reception anyway.


Any time not spent on love is wasted. - Tasso

I'd say, according to this, that Tara and I haven't been wasting any time lately.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Acts of kindness, Part 2 - The Mormons

While I was walking the flowers from the office to my car for the journey home, I encountered a couple of patients in the waiting room. This woman and her daughter both saw the roses and exclaimed, "Wow! Those are gorgeous... who gave them to you?"

"A patient did", I explained. They probed for the occasion and I responded that it's because I'm getting married. Congratulations came forth followed by, "What's his name?"


I continued to smile. The mother caught herself and smiled back at me while her daughter looked like a version of some kid in the school play who is standing under the spotlight.

I've known their family for quite awhile now and they're very nice people. I also know that they're Mormon (I was raised as such), and that their faith does not allow room for "homosexual tendencies". Boy, was I a bad Mormon!!! Anyway, we've had brief conversations about my family in Utah and the fact that I'm no longer practicing the faith; still, we've gotten on just fine. In my business, there's no policy with regards to who gets to know me and who doesn't... I simply try to honor myself and stay true to who I am while maintaining professionalism. Many of my patients know I'm gay and others don't - just like some people know that I like listening to old-fart music (I prefer to think of it as ageless) and others presume that I'm a rap sort-o-girl. Hee hee.

Hopefully I didn't scare them too much and we will continue to get on just fine despite my heavily seeded gay agenda to overtake the world:) If I'd said that my fiancee's name was Ken, they wouldn't have batted an eyelash. That's the sort of comfort level I'd love this country to reach someday. Goes to show you, Harvey Milk was right - we are your doctors, we are your lawyers, neighbors and family.

I'll keep you posted on the Mormons.

Acts of kindness

There is something so sweet about an unexpected act of kindness.

This week, I've had the opportunity to begin telling people about our engagement. Tempting as it may be though, it's not necessarily appropriate for me to spurt forth all of the details of my personal life to my patients as they're laying face-down on the chiropractic table. So mostly, I've talked to friends and family.

Yesterday though, a patient came to see me... she is one of only a handful of outwardly lesbian patients I've had over the years and I love chatting with her. To give a little context, lesbians are not completely absent or extinct in the tri-valley area, they simply don't have much visibility. Pleasanton is socio-politically just about the polar opposite of Santa Cruz... conservative, republican-land which lacks the essence of living in hippie-ville where everyone is free to do their own thing, people aren't generally God-fearing, half the population doesn't eat meat, diversity rules and I imagine, acts of kindness occur every day. In Pleasanton, people go to work, pull the BMW in the driveway at the end of the day to greet their 2.5 children, walk the dog, and go inside their stucco homes until morning. It's a burb... one that I grew up in for my whole life and still drive to almost every day. I set up my practice there nearly 9 years ago because it's a good place to do business and quite frankly, I didn't know much else. Put it this way, Wen still teases me about shopping at Pottery Barn and playing golf (although I don't eat meat ;) So suffice to say that things about Pleasanton are great - the schools are good for one, and most people are very friendly - but diversity isn't the strongest point.

In walks my patient. Coincidentally, I was really aching to tell someone about this big 'ole lesbo wedding! When I told her , she seemed really happy for me, expressed congratulations and I said that I'd probably see her in a month. It was nice to share.

Today, a dozen and a half long stemmed red roses arrived, arranged with greenery and baby's breath... in short, gorgeous! I had no idea who they were from until I opened the card. It reads:

Tara and Wen,
D and I would like to congratulate you on your recent engagement. We wish both you and Wendy all of the happiness in the world. Getting married two years ago was the best thing we ever did. We hope for you all the best that life has to offer! Much love to you both!
K & D

It almost made me cry (well, okay - it did). I called her on the phone and she said, "in my life, I've known so many couples who've received flowers for their engagement... personally, I think WE should too". We, meaning me, Wen, and every other girl or boy who decides to walk this path with their beloved. The flowers were so touching, but what was most amazing to me is the fact that I don't know her and her partner very well and of what I do know, the flowers were certainly a financial consideration for them. It was so tremendously thoughtful -wow..

Ah... it makes me aspire to be more thoughtful in my own life. Today's smile was worth a thousand bucks.

As for the flowers... well, we're leaving for a camping trip in about an hour and will be gone through the holiday weekend. I was afraid they'd sit here and wilt, but Wen says that instead, they should be our picnic table centerpiece. Nice. We'll have the best-dressed camp site ever!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Today was an extremely busy day, filled with a multitude of projects to occupy my brain - and yet, every 15 minutes or so I'd think, "Good God, we're actually getting married!" And aside from a couple of tangents I took to briefly contemplate where Wen's stuff is going to fit in our home, I did relatively well in the not-freaking-out department. Mostly, I just sat and smiled. Yes, I still think it's all a good idea and I feel like a very lucky girl ;)

It's sweet to receive congratulations from friends and family - better of course than the alternative had she said "no". It's true that I couldn't conceal my intent from many people. Everyday, someone would ask, "what's new?", and I would spurt, "I'm going to propose to my girlfriend!" It was all a little giddy. Seriously though, to say that *everyone* knew except Wen is slightly inflated. My "closer" circle of friends and my parents knew... and all were cheering me on. Some of my friends don't really know Wen very well yet, but they know that she makes me all mushy and happy and therefore must be a magnificent person.

It's been an interesting road to this point. Wendy and I met about 2 years ago when she was teaching a dance class that I enrolled in. We were both with different girls at the time, this is true. On my end, I was captivated by her almost from the first time I saw her. There was this wonderful strength, silliness, intelligence and vulnerability that I adored and I knew that I'd love to have her as my friend if nothing more. Since that time, we've been through "phases" and while some of those months bring forth some of the happiest memories of my life, others were heartbreaking to us both and we discovered that we could bond even over sorrow. Through it all though, we've made conscious choices to move forward together, to trust, love, learn and grow. I have a deep respect for this girl who will someday be my wife.

That said, I did what any half-sane girl who wants to keep her girl would do: I went ring shopping. For those of you who don't know me (and probably many of you don't), I was once-upon-a-time married before and therefore am somewhat familiar with the whole "ring thing". The difference is that I married a man (the dearest man I know) before my days of sexual enlightenment and therefore did not do the askin', so really, the whole ring purchase was brand new to me.

I am not a big jewelry person. Actually, I love jewelry, I just don't wear a lot of it, nor do I own big pieces. I'm a simple girl in that respect. I know a bit about jewelry, but mostly I like to look at it through thick glass barriers and sigh... ooing and ahhing about it's sparkle and lack of practicality. Who needs a necklace in the shape of snake crafted out of 14 different shades of amber? Nope, not me! Well, I'm a Chiropractor, so that pretty much rules out many rings and most bracelets. But I do love to look at the pretty things! - which, according to my good taste are mostly ultra modern or antique - I seem to sway on both sides of the spectrum. Okay, so there is this jewelry store that I have perused on occasion in Union Square that has a number of sparkly, pretty things... and they have one other store in Las Vegas and one more in Walnut Creek of all places. Walnut Creek is on my way home from work.

I found myself speaking to Wendy on the phone one night on my way home from work while trying to park my car in the shopping district of Walnut Creek. Of course I didn't want to tell her that I had to hang up because I couldn't navigate in traffic while managing my nerves because I was on my way to buy her a ring.

I parked and approached the store to find a short man of foreign decent behind the counter. I looked at the cases for women's rings... and examined too, the men's rings... both were pretty and sparkly. I wasn't sure where to focus my attention. For a brief moment, I imagined Wen, clad in some sort of cathedral-set bling-bling - hee hee - and decided that maybe I should be looking in the men's section. Meanwhile, the man behind the counter, sensing my confusion, decided to approach me.

I explained that I was "considering" proposing marriage and would need a ring. Best not to commit too soon. I was thinking that he might just steer me toward the perfect bauble, but rather, he asked, "what is it you're looking for?"


Well, she is feminine, yet not exclusively and certainly not always most of the time. I want diamonds... but not really a big *diamond*. Do you understand? I shake my head as if to elicit a "sure". To my surprise, however, he really did understand. He helped me select the perfect ring. Mid-width between a man's and woman's band, diamonds for sure - but not a *diamond* - modern, white gold in a full eternity (all the way around!) setting. I looked at many styles, but this one... it was the one. Way to go George! I don't know what kind of employee sensitivity-training that Simayof demands of it's employees, but I'd say that they're really on a roll when it comes to same-sex engagements. Very impressive. Also let me interject that he wrote up a receipt for me and while the ring specifically came from the men's case, he provided a hand written description of "ladies ring, size x, etc... "

I ordered it to be made and waited. It was out of sight, so it must not have hit me for awhile. When the store called for the pick-up though, my heart skipped a beat and I imediately left work on a mission. I got to the store and George - my sweet man who helped me select the perfect token for my girlfriend was not there. In George's place was a woman I'd never seen before. Ahh. But wait... she finds the ring and says, "Oh, I see it's for your girlfriend... she's going to love it! Congratulations!" God, I love the Bay Area.

What do you do with a sparkly ring that you have in your possession for 3+ weeks? Well, sometimes you admire it in the box, but mostly, you put it on and parade around for yourself to see in all it's glory. You imagine what it will look like on a hand that is exactly the same size as yours minus the paint on the fingernails. You hope and pray she will like it. You sweat.

Now that Wendy wears the ring, I have to admit that I miss it just a little. No more midnight fashion shows starring myself. No more glittering diamonds upon the steering wheel of my car, reflecting the filtered light.

Have I said how much I love this woman? :) Thanks to all of you for your congratulations and good wishes. I do believe we'll be very happy.

Monday, May 22, 2006

48 hours

Well, we've been engaged for about 48 hours now, and to my knowledge, we both still think it's a good idea.

I'd love for T. to write out her story of shopping for the bling, uh, I mean ring...oh and the fact that everyone but me knew this was coming.


This is a test. If it had been an actual post, there would have been some interesting content.