Don’t hide your lovely garden
Beneath a canopy of fear
Let the sun shine in
And burn the fog away
We are in Oregon now, the Northwestern part of our vacation loop, a vacation that has turned into a honeymoon with a spontaneous decision to be legally married while we were in California. The Oregon coast is often cold and foggy in the summer, but yesterday was warm and I even went swimming in the lake at Honeyman Park. “Honeymooning with my honey at Honeyman Park.” I could put that line on Facebook, up on twitter, and here it is on my blog. Old habits die hard, however, and after 38 years of avoiding “public displays of affection,” PDA’s as our daughter calls them, no one on the beach would have guessed that we were newlyweds. Which we are and which we aren’t.
We shopped around for wedding rings in California. Most of the jewelers were enthusiastic when they heard our story, a few were matter of fact, and one was pretty clearly uncomfortable. Still, it was California, and our marriage was fully legal there. The sun was shining. We could be “out” in a way we have never really had a chance to be before. It made us a little giddy. I even reached for my partner’s hand in a restaurant, a quite shocking PDA. We were legal, damn it. Odds were, it felt, that even strangers would be inclined to smile if they saw us holding hands
Then we crossed over into Oregon, realizing that the legal recognition of our relationship was now reduced to federal agencies. Don’t get me wrong, the demise of DOMA was a huge step forward. AND it is really, really not enough. The awkwardness is back in this state we are traveling through now. Having to ask twice for a king bed in a motel or being asked if we want separate checks in restaurants are minor, almost trivial things. We are very privileged to be able afford to travel and to eat out. I know that.
I don’t want to make out on the beach, but I might want to hold hands as we walk along the sand, gazing at the sunset. I think we could just relax and do that now in California, but Oregon doesn’t feel as safe, not yet at least. We might try it anyway. But it shouldn’t have to take courage for a married couple to hold hands in public.
Oregon can be foggy. When we get to Idaho and then to Utah, the sun will be shining bright and hot. I don’t think it will feel that way, however. Our honeymoon will be over in those states so hostile to who we are.
I know the sun will be shining for our wedding ceremony in January, in California, even if the rain is pouring down. We will get another chance at a honeymoon.