Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A 5-Year Old's View On Same Sex Marriage

On a recent trip back to the DC area, I stopped in to Kevin's sister's house to visit with her and her two kids: Quinn, who's 2.5 years old, and her big brother Griffin, who's 5.5.  Griffin and I were putzing around with PlayDoh while Kerry and I talked about wedding plans.  Griffin had apparently been listening to the conversation and decided to inquire:
Griffin:  Who's getting married?
Me:  I am.  I'm getting married.  Who do you think I should marry?
Me:  Uncle Kevin.  I'm going to marry Uncle Kevin.
Griffin:  You can't marry Uncle Kevin!
Me:  Why not?
Griffin: Because you're both boys!
At this point I looked at Kerry.  Both of us had the same expression:  very wide eyes with huge smiles.
Kerry:  Griffin, in some places boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls.
Griffin:  No.
Kerry:  No?  Why no?
Griffin:  It's not allowed.
Me:  But what if I told you that in some places, it IS allowed and that some people think it's okay.
Griffin:  And then there are some people who think that its NOT okay.
Me:  Yes, there are some of those people.  What do you think those people say about it.
Griffin:  They say, 'AARRRGGGGHHHHHH!'
Me:  Well, that's about right.
Remember, Griffin is 5 years old.  All he knows of life is what he's seen in Disney movies and what he learns in kindergarten.
Griffin:    But Belle marries the Beast.
Me:  What if the Beast married Gaston instead?
Griffin:  He can't, he's a bad guy.
All he knows is that in the end, a prince marries a princess and they live together forever.  But the really amazing thing is that Kevin and I got together about 3 years before Griffin was even born.  He's known me all his life.  He knows that Kevin and I live together in Chicago.  And it never occurred to me or Kevin or even Kerry that Griffin apparently just thinks of me as family without any other context.  It's apparently never occurred to him that Kevin and I are a couple just like his mom and dad, or like Grandma and Grandpa (Kevin's parents).  Or perhaps, if in kindergarten he has learned what an uncle or aunt is, he may just think I am Kerry's brother also.  Ultimately, Griffin just doesn't know any different.  It's the most wonderful and sweet kind of ignorance, free of judgment and open to discussion.

After I left, I took a detour to a bookstore to buy Griffin a copy of And Tango Make Three, a true story about two male penguins in Central Park Zoo.  The book is at least an introduction to the subject.  And it might come in handy a few years from now when Quinn is trying to figure things out, too.

Kerry continued the conversation casually with Griffin throughout the day, and Kevin called Griffin later once he heard about what happened.  By then, Griffin was accepting of the idea and was actually planning on marrying his best friend.  He said they would live in a house and play zombies and Angry Birds all day.  Which, on some Sundays, is exactly what Kevin and I do, too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Swapping Positions Back

In follow up to this post from two weeks ago, I wanted to report that we lasted about 5 days.  Neither of us was sleeping very well after we had swapped sides on the bed.  So before the week was up, we switched back and we both and our first good night's sleep in days.

There was a study completed a few years ago that deduced that people who sleep on the left side of the bed (if you are standing at the foot of the bed) are more likely to be cheerful that their partner who sleeps on the right side.  This would make total sense for us.  Kevin is far more cheerful than I.  Hell, a sack of flour can sometimes be more cheerful than I.

In any event, we gave it a shot and realized that things were fine the way they were.  Kevin will just have to keep putting on a heavier blanket to deal with the AC and I will continue to sleep with just a sheet.

But at least we will both be sleeping!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I've Hit 600 Posts!

Yesterday, I checked some stats on my Blogger account and realized that the my most recent post was also my 600th post on this blog.  I've unbelievably posted 600 different thoughts, ideas, and situations over the past 9 years on this blog.

Back in 2006, I recounted the reason I began the blog in the first place and was excited about how far I would go and where the blogging would lead.  And in 2007, I celebrated my 2nd Blogiversary, recounting all the wonderful things that had happened to me since starting this project two years prior.

Lots of you have been with me every step of the way since.  I've gained new friends and lost some old ones.  Life happens.  And I can easily look back through my blog and watch my life ... well, happen.

Thanks for continuing on this journey with me.  I'm sure I have another 600 things I want to talk about over the years to come.  The passenger seat may be permanently assigned now, but there's a welcoming back seat that all your's.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Positive Loitering

There's a group of folks in my neighborhood who randomly practice something they like to call "positive loitering".  They typically pick a location that they consider a "trouble spot" and stand together in solidarity in an effort to, apparently, prevent "trouble spot no-good doers" from congregating.  The thing is, I can't help but think how racist this practice seems to be.

I mean, I think I get it:  They think that by standing together they can, I dunno, ward off evil spirits or send some kind of message to the gangbangers in my neighborhood that this small band of residents is taking back the night in some kind of way.  It's cute.

The thing is, I've seen this group of folks.  They're all white.  They only messages they are sending as they stand there clinging to their Ventis and Grandes is that it's just fine if a group of white people want to hang out on a corner and talk, but it's not fine - in fact it's downright criminal - for a group of minorities to do the same.  Ok, sure, there may have recently been a scuffle at some point at the exact corner on which they are all congregating, but planting your J. Crew flag for the hour between 7 and 8 p.m. - when it isn't even dark yet - is about saying less "We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore!" and more "Are you all caught up on 'Orange is the New Black'?"

I think the gangbangers are just laughing at this.  Gangs are all about territory.  They think they own a plot of land to which they have absolutely no legal claim.  As the sad joke goes, You think you own the street?  Pay my property taxes!  Gang members know this group of white people are only going to stay out until the sunsets and then they will disappear back into their condos and the gangs can get back to bizniz.

I guess it's super that the positive loiters feel like activists, and that they believe they are really doing whatever they can within the law.  But the truth is there is no proof that positive loitering works in any capacity.  It won't stop crime; it will only suspend it - or just move it to another location.

I live in the neighborhood so I'm no armchair quarterback.  And I admit that I don't know what the answer is.  What I DO know is that you can't tell a group of people they can't do something but you can, especially when the two main differences between you are 1. Race, and 2. Socio-economic standing.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Swapping Positions

Like every other couple, KB and I decided last night to change things up in the bedroom.  After more than 8.5 years together, it was time to try something different, something new.  We were hesitant at first, and had to spend a few minutes discussing it.  But then came to the understanding that if it didn't work or either of us wasn't comfortable, we would immediately go back to the way we always did it.  And we would pat ourselves on the back for at least being adventurous enough to try it.  So for the first time since we've been together, last night we switched sides on the bed: I slept on the right side and he slept on the left.

Why?  What did you think I was talking about?

The AC vent in our bedroom is directly above the right side of the bed.  And during the summer, KB (who always sleeps with a blanket anyway) tends to pile on the blankets while I - sleeping just 5 inches away - sleep with, basically, just a sheet covering me.  So we thought that we would try switching sides since he is always cold and I am always, well, not.  This way, all the cold air from the AC vent would fall on me and spare him, at least directly.

To be honest, it felt quite weird.  While I've not always slept on the left side of the bed, it appears that I have been doing so for a bulk of my adult life.  Even when I think back to my times with Ex#1 through Ex #5, I was sleeping on the left side of the bed (with the exception of Ex#2 when I was on the right side.  But that was back in the early 90's).

You wouldn't think that moving a distance of 2.5 feet could cause such a stir to the psyche, but it did.  I had a hard time falling and staying asleep last night.  Perhaps my brain was on active command from the wedding conversation we had just before bedtime, or perhaps I was replaying events that had occurred earlier in the day at work, or perhaps I needed to adjust to the AC vent blowing air directly on me.

Our goal was to try these new positions through summer.  Since I practically sweat in my sleep, it makes more sense for me to sleep under the vent.  We'll see how it goes.  Perhaps we'll need to create a "safe word" for when one of us feels like this might not be working.

I think I'll choose "ladybug".