Sunday, May 15, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes!

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Allowing Contentment, and Even Excitement

"You haven't changed. You're a worrier," said a mentor emeritus; he retired in 2006. We were at a party to celebrate two other colleagues who retired this year and we were talking about my self-questioning nature -- to put it tactfully.

The declaration, "You're a worrier," was both upsetting and a relief. On the one hand, who wants to be recognized as anxious, rather than resolutely confident, and on the other hand, it was a healthy dismissal of the things I was saying as nothing more than free-floating anxiety, rather than as reality.

...which reminded me of how I had been thinking of Pat's and my upcoming marriage a week ago: tons of questions with a big helping of internalized homophobia. How different I feel just a week later. Here's why:

  1. Pat & I met with our rabbi to discuss how she'll officiate and it sounded beautiful, and she acknowledged, and did not dwell on my internalized homophobia, but rather spoke in practically, purely positive terms
  2. I told more people our news, all of whom were happy for us and encouraging
  3. Pat & I bought rings yesterday, which are beautiful and which we'll give each other during the rabbi's service; we also liked how the seller spoke of his company's early granting of domestic partner benefits
  4. I told another couple -- women who've been together for 23 years -- of our plan and they were persuaded to consider marrying in a country or state, where it's legal, too; like us, they did not realize how relatively simple it now was to transform themselves into a legally-married couple.
The rabbi wants to meet with us again and wants us to bring written answers to the following questions that we'll share with each other and her at the same time, at that meeting:
  1. Why marry?
  2. Why marry now?
  3. Why marry each other?
The request is so appealing to me, but so unappealing to Pat. In her typical irreverence, she said to me as we drove home from meeting with the rabbi, "Would you do my answers, too?"

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