Friday Morning

Chris works late on Fridays, so I made breakfast for us before she had to get ready. We sat at our dining-room table, at eggs and drank coffee, and discussed plans for the weekend and beyond. We pretended we were on vacation and had no responsibilities we had to tend to.

It was just one of those perfect mornings where all seems right in the world.

Later on, I successfully negotiated a lower rate for my anti-virus software. I’m pretty much a badass.

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Here is a picture of Graham with a bunch of stuff on him. Because Friday.

Happy weekend, friends.

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Nineteen

Today Pennsylvania became the 19th state to allow gay marriage.

As I read different Facebook posts and the messages my friends and family were sending me, I felt very lucky to be me in this life.

I cried multiple times — when I got the text saying “love wins,” when I texted Chris to tell her the news, when her cousin referred to me as the love of Chris’ life, when I talked to my mom and, after telling me how happy she was, she mentioned a friend of hers called to say how happy she was. All of them. I cried all of the times. At work. In the bathroom at work. At my desk at work. You get the picture.

Part of me wants to get a license and get married RIGHT NOW, before they can take it away.

I’m realistic enough to think that this isn’t it, that there will be some sort of opposition. But I’m optimistic enough to think think Pennsylvania will come out on the right side of history, and come next fall, these ladies will be good-naturedly complaining about the hassle of getting a marriage license…and look super cute doing it.

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Pins and Needles

A decision on gay marriage in Pennsylvania is expected today. I’m simultaneously nervous and excited. It’s like I felt before my first date with Chris — excited that it could be awesome but nervous that it would go poorly.

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Here is my obligatory Whole30 picture of today’s breakfast. So delicious.

I signed up for a text alert for the decision, so I’ll be anxiously checking my phone all day.

I have to go do something, or I’m going to drive myself crazy. Have a good day, everyone, and send positive gay thoughts toward the Keystone State.

Random Friday Thoughts

• There aren’t a whole lot of “quick” Whole30 options, but thankfully Chipotle is one of them. Granted, my lunch only vaguely resembles my normal meal (salad with carnitas, guac, and extra pico vs. chicken bowl with rice, veggies, pico, corn, and cheese), but it’s still delicious, just in a different way. Fresher and not as rich, maybe?

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• I have had scrambled eggs for 15 days in a row, and I’m nowhere near getting sick of them. Special thanks to co-worker Linda for homemade Whole30-compliant salsa, which is delicious on them.

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• I have eaten more avocados in the past 15 days than probably in my whole life combined. The one pictured above is pretty sad-looking.
• We are selling a bunch of stuff at a yard sale tomorrow. One of Chris’ aunts lives in an area that is having a community yard sale, and she kindly agreed to let us set up a table. Unfortunately, I got the dates mixed up in my head and thought it was next weekend, so I’m not as prepared as I would like. But I never am because I have impossibly high prep standards.
• I have never had a yard sale. This should be interesting.
• I had to go shopping for food to bring with us because her aunt very kindly agreed to let us spend the night. We don’t want to get caught with our Whole30 pants down.
• Therefore, I will be breaking my scrambled-egg run. Egg “muffins” with sausage from our meat CSA will stand in. They are a worthy sub.
• Gay-marriage decision any day now, PA. Any. Day.
• Got to see Chris a little bit extra last night and this morning, so that was nice.

Off to work. Ready for the end of the day! We have some pricing to do!

Second Date

I just posed a TBT picture on Facebook of Chris and my second date. Like all second dates, it took place three months after the first.

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Literally days after our first date, she flew back to LA. We saw each other a tiny bit in the time between, but not a whole lot. I asked what she thought about me coming out to see her in the fall, and it made her very, very nervous. I kept pressing for a while, but eventually I just backed off (which is very hard for me — major personality flaw). Soon after, she agreed that I could come visit, so I booked my ticket for a long October weekend in LA. I had never flown before by myself — always with my family — so another thing checked off the bucket list thanks to her.

I landed at the airport over a half-hour early. When I called, I don’t think she had even left her apartment yet. So things were a bit rushed. And when she picked me up, there were paper flowers she had made waiting for me on the car seat. The sweetest thing anyone had done for me. I still have them — they’re in our dining room — and I think they’ll make an appearance at our wedding.

It was an amazing trip. I tried pho and Thai iced tea for the first — but definitely not the last — time. I strolled the beautiful streets of Westwood, saw Marilyn Monroe’s grave (among others), watched the fog roll in on the Venice Pier (which was seriously cool), drove a tiny bit up the PCH, watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and went to Disneyland. That’s a typical second date, right? I mean, no U-Haul (that was the fifth date), but pretty regular, I guess.

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And I fell asleep on the way home from Disneyland, another first-but-not-last experience. She’s much more able to stay awake than I am.

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It was rough going back, especially because December (her next trip to Pittsburgh) was SO LONG from then. That weekend cemented what we both suspected from the moment I asked her out — this thing was pretty real. And pretty special. And pretty awesome.

It was such a short trip, though, that we didn’t get to do all of the things we wanted to. Eventually, I booked another trip in June of the following year so we could cross another set of things off the list (one of which is seeing the bridge from the “BTVS” episode “Once More with Feeling.” You know the bridge. With Willow and Tara, of course. Because I’m a gay nerd). None of those plans ever happened, though, because a last-minute decision to move back to Pittsburgh crossed all of our LA plans off the list and replaced them with “drive cross-country and move in together.”

Which trumps Willow and Tara any day.

Come on!

Short post today. I’m on a quick break at work — because 10:15pm is the ideal time for a lunch break — and have some random thoughts.

The possibility of marriage equality for Pennsylvania is a very real and tangible thing. The thought of it makes me anxious and happy and emotional and angry all at the same time. Anxious because I want it to hurry up. Happy because marriage. Emotional because holy crap. Angry because why so long?

I’m not perfect, but I deserve the right to get married. You may think it’s a sin, and that’s fine. Let God deal with that. You live your life how you see fit, and I’ll do the same.

“You” as a general term, because I’m pretty sure most readers of this blog are Facebook friends and would have unfriended me by now if you really had a problem with me.

Today’s random Whole30 thoughts today. This was my breakfast.

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Delicious. And it caused Frank’s Red Hot to follow me on Twitter, so that’s pretty awesome.

I’m feeling good. Some cravings but doing okay. Much better than expected. So much so that I’m afraid I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I should have a little more faith in myself.

Anyway, say a prayer to your god/goddess of choice or just send warm thoughts toward the efforts to strike down Pennsylvania’s gay-marriage ban. I’m ready for a decision. I wonder which one will make me cry harder.

Probably the legalization, because…happy. Lots of happy. Snotty, sobbing happy.

Fingers crossed!

Mother’s Day

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I had grand plans of making a Mother’s Day post this weekend, but I was at a birthday party for Oh Honestly Erin’s son, Chooch/Riley, then it was off to Ohio (for dinner) and WV (back home) for celebrations with my mother. So, you know, a busy weekend. And I feel like spending time with my mom is an excellent reason not to have time to write about her.

The picture above is from last summer. Mom and I are in the back of her pickup truck, trimming the shrubs beside my driveway. After some trial and error, we discovered 5 years ago that this was the best way to get the tops. I always joke and say that my mom says I’m not allowed to use the electric hedge clippers without adult supervision, but, really, it’s a smart rule. I’m often awkward and someone should be there in case I slice off a thumb trying to make a thumb’s-up.

My father passed away almost 11 years ago, so for quite some time, my mother is the only parental influence I’ve had. Even when he was alive, he wasn’t much of a talker, and we weren’t a lot alike, so I was always grateful to have her. Even though she didn’t maybe always understand what I was thinking or what I said or who I chose to be with, she was always supportive. I mean, is, too. Not just was.

I have said before that I am a hardy country woman, like my mother, but that isn’t exactly true. She’s much hardier. During a health issue a few years ago, one of her main concerns was whether or not she could mow the lawn. Now, when I say lawn, I don’t mean the tiny space that I struggle with mowing. I’m talking hours of pushing a non-self-propelled mower over a large space of land that includes some hills. When I have an issue with the house, she’s my first call. “What should I do?” is probably something she’s tired of hearing from her 37-year-old daughter, but I can safely say she won’t be hearing “Don’t worry. I know what to do” anytime soon. For instance, she’s been asked questions about recipes, lawn care, windows, and gardening in reference to one party Chris and I are planning. And that doesn’t include the years of help with this 100-year-old house and its yard, all of my apartments, my dating woes, and “can I eat this if it’s expired?”

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My brother insists that I tell one particular story about her during her eulogy that he somehow thinks I’ll be able to deliver without being a snotty mess. (Yes, we talk about things like eulogies and funerals for all of us. We’re not the only ones, right? Mine will involve the theme song to “The Greatest American Hero,” of course.) Shortly after my father died, I ran into some friends of hers at Perkins. They asked how she was doing, in that concerned, affectionate voice that people use. “Well, you know Mom. She’s a tough old bitch.” Going out on a limb, I’m going to say think I may have surprised them.

I was raised Roman Catholic in a small town in West Virginia. I could actually go on about all of that and my being gay, but I’ll write about that another time (always leave them wanting more!), save for this one thing. In college, I came out to my mother through tears at the kitchen table on a visit home. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it was along the lines of “Well, okay.” No big deal. She wasn’t worried, either about my well-being or my soul. She knew that this was just something about who I was, like having big feet, and it was no reflection on the kind of person I was. When I expressed concern over my dad disapproving, she assured me that he would be fine…and then assured me that if he wasn’t, she’d have a talk with him, and then he’d be fine. (By the way, he was fine. Worried I’d run my mouth and get my ass kicked, but fine that I was gay.)

I could share a lot of funny stories, but a lot of them would get me in trouble. There was that Christmas that I had to explain what a tossed salad was. There are our code names on vacation when we used the walkie-talkies (she was Storm; my sister-in-law was Wolverine). There’s the fact that she laughs and shakes her head every time I refer to one of our family members as Foghorn Leghorn. (It’s accurate.) There’s that time she told the church-directory photographer, “Wait. We need one more picture. My daughter-in-law wants to put on a horse’s head and have some pictures taken.”

As you can see, my mom is pretty awesome. I think the best part is that she always forgives me for being a mean, always loves and supports my brother and me, can always make me laugh, and laughs at most of my stupid jokes. She’s my sounding board, my partner in crime, my advice column, my shopping partner, and one of my best friends. (If you know me, you know I do not throw that phrase around lightly.)  I feel very lucky to have been blessed with her as my mother, and I hope she feels the same.

I love that tough old bitch.