It's been exactly a week since our beautiful, wonderful little Trixie made her transition to what my old friend, "Madame X," called, "another address." We talk about her and miss her every day but at least the constant bouts of tears (which lasted, for both of us, about 48 hours) have slowed to a trickle once or twice per day. We are searching for the right kitten to be Alice's "little grasshopper," since it's clear that she needs cat company as well as ours. Alice has been extra-extra cuddly this week (even more than what I'd considered normal for her.) She's spending lots of time on my lap (in fact, she's on it as I write) and purring under the covers in the mornings. It has been SO hard to get up and go to work when there's such a warm little cat in the bed with me!
Lady Lucia left early this morning for a training day with the Civil Air Patrol. She'll be back in time for dinner this evening; then get up and do another godawful early morning tomorrow! I'm proud of Lady L but...better her than me!
I will leave sweet Alice for a little while today in order to ride a 'bus to downtown Brooklyn, where I will attend an "adoption event" hosted by a local animal shelter. While it's not likely that I'll find a female Siamese kitten (plenty of them end up in shelters but it's just not "kitten season" right now) I figure it's worth a try. 'Though Lady Lucia would rather be with me, she has authorized me to do the adoption on my own if I should happen to find the kitten we're seeking at this event. If I do, you will, of course, receive a report! And if I don't, well, I will still have gotten out of the apartment for a while and spent some time with wonderful cats and dogs (I will, of course, give a donation to the shelter, too, if I don't actually adopt today.)
Now about the "Wedding Belles" of my title...a few days ago I did something I would never have imagined doing (especially considering my history of divorce); I proposed marriage to Lady Lucia and she said yes. We are already Registered Domestic Partners and have had a committment ceremony in our church and, at the time same-sex marriage became legal in New York, we felt that what we had was enough for us. I'd been thinking for a while, though, that getting legally married might be a good idea and the thought had been getting more and more persistent in my brain as I read about the fast pace of progress in the marriage equality movement. There are now 9 states with marriage equality and several more have bills in the works. There's a decent chance the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) may be overturned this year, which would allow same-sex married couples federal benefits. And the military (which most civilians - self included before I got involved with Lady L - think of as such a conservative institution) has made enormous strides in terms of accepting and supporting the same-sex marriages of its members. This could be very helpful to us in the future, in terms of allowing me military family health benefits and even making it possible for us to live together on a military base (retired veterans can do that) at some point... There's also the fact that, because of the rather sadly extreme disparity in our incomes, being married to me could be a tax benefit for Lady L (though only on state taxes at this point.)
So, those are all the practical reasons for wanting to make the conversion from Domestic Partners to Spouses (neither of us likes the word "Wife," so "Spouse" is what we'll probably use most of the time.) The emotional reasons for my asking (and Lady L's accepting) are more complex. For me, the desire to be as committed as possible was exacerbated by the emotions stirred up in the wake or Trixie's death, which intensified my sense of "family." Going through that trauma with her and all that it entailed (the two of us picking up our Trixie's little body and lowering it into a bag to take to the vet's office for cremation - taking turns carrying that sad bag - riding back in the car, hands clutched and tears streaming) seemed to be the actions of a married couple. This was a family tragedy. It just intensified my desire for us to be family (in times of joy as well as sorrow) in every way that we can be.
One nice thing about having another ceremony (Lady L agrees) is that it gives us a "do-over." Our church ceremony was held the day after Lady L's mother's death (April 28th 2012.) We went ahead with it because people had been invited and were traveling, we'd bought food for the simple reception and...it just seemed the right thing to do. But there was such a shadow over all of it, which was exacerbated by the fact that Lady L had to leave for Florida the next morning (leaving me alone for a week) in order to take care of her mother's funeral arrangements. So, now we get to make a new anniversary. We're not going to have a big "do" (we didn't before either; it was very small and informal) but of course it will be a celebration. We'll go to City Hall and get a license and the have one of our many clergy friends do the ceremony; possibly in someone's home or outdoors; still figuring all of that out but we're going to try for a Spring or Summer date. More on that as we make our decisions and plans...
Let me leave youse with another picture of gorgeous Trixie, in "Adventure Cat" mode...
Blessings and well-wishes as ever!