Scissor sisters

“Are you sisters?” is the most common question I field from strangers when I’m with my wife. “No,” we usually answer in unison, only she smiles while I scowl.

This question angers me for many reasons, but mainly because I resent the implication that I’m fucking my sister. Take note, it’s a very fine line between pleasant small talk and incest.

It also angers me because I’m certain that we look nothing alike. I am the proud owner of a prominent nose, a set of wild eyebrows and prematurely sagging jowls, while her features are perfectly proportioned and her skin makes porcelain jealous. She is polished and put together, while my distinct (and hard to pin-point) fashion style and general demeanor ranges from messy to possibly unstable.

Less than a week from last being asked if we were sisters, and offering the questioner my most disgusted look, I found myself practicing her smile in front of our bathroom mirror where I had propped up her driver’s license.

Ho Hey

“You know how I’m signed up to The Lumineer’s mailing list?” she asked as I was serving dinner. “Well, I got an invite to a secret concert.”

My excitement was cut short when she explained that it was not a two-person invite.

“I love you so much,” she said. “I can’t imagine enjoying the show without you.”

I stood in the kitchen with a hand on my hip and the other one holding tongs and considered to wait until after dinner to tell her that I would gladly take her ticket and leave her behind without hesitation or guilt. Instead, I decided to say it right then and there because, let’s face it, I’m an asshole. I began my blurt with, “I love you too, but…I can’t let that ticket go to waste.”

We sat down to eat and continued the conversation.

“It’s not a ticket I can give you,” she said. “You need to show my ID.”

IMG_0288Big Parade 

She left for work that morning and also left behind her state-issued identification card
along with a print out of the email confirming her invitation, which contained a long list of demands:

  • Be in the lobby at 6 o’clock sharp
  • No additional friends or family members will be allowed in
  • Absolutely no mobile phones, cameras or recording devices
  • A state-issued ID is required to enter the show

Throughout the day I was particularly busy with work, but every once and again I’d remember what was ahead. But instead of rejoicing, I would descend the downward spiral. At best, they would take one look at my ID and deny my entry in the most embarrassing way possible. At worst, they would call the cops and arrest me for impersonating a librarian. To avoid either scenario, I decided to practice her smile.

ID

But the more I tried, the less and less I looked like her and the more and more I looked like a psychopath about to have a mental break.

Stubborn Love

Not before long, I headed out to the theater. I locked my phone in the car and walked right up to the check-in table armed with nothing but an ID that clearly was not mine.

I was nervous, suspiciously sweaty and smiling wildly. For some reason I kept repeating my wife’s name in my head in the event that I would suddenly blank out.

“ID?” the young lady at the desk asked.

I handed her the piece of plastic and she checked my fake name off of the list and wrapped a black wristband around my arm. She took one more look at the license as she picked it up to hand it back to me. We locked eyes and she said, “Enjoy the show.”

Just before putting the ID back in my pocket, I looked down at her smiling face and whispered, “Thanks, sis.”

thelumineers and me
“Me” and The Lumineers during their performance on the AT&T LIVE stage at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on March 3, 2016 in Burbank, California.

(Please note the slightly illegal, alleged events that occur in this story cannot be proved and will be vehemently denied in a court of law…which might also be illegal.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

White wedding

Everything went silent. I couldn’t hear the officiant. I couldn’t hear the waves. I couldn’t hear the seagulls. I was in a complete sound vacuum, as I watched her lips. I wanted to absorb the moment she said, “I do.”

Mrs. & Mrs.
Mrs. & Mrs.

Everything up to that point was chaotic. A whirlwind of ridiculousness, from a late start to a long drive caused by a disastrous manicure to a traffic delay due to weather and hunger. All of this compounded by an additional 25 minute tour of all of Key West’s dead-end streets in an effort find our hotel, which was outside of the purview of our GPS, but somehow still under the control of President Truman.

From the moment we finally set our bags down in our room, we had  exactly 30 minutes to get ready. Thirty minutes. Two brides. One bathroom.

“I need the eyeliner,” she said

I looked in the monster make-up bag I had packed just 5 hours prior. But there was no use, I knew the moment she said eyeliner that I forgot to pack it.

Nearly fourteen years of togetherness are all riding on getting through the next 19 minutes and counting. I was not about the let a shitty black crayon get in the way of marrying the woman I love. I contemplated a few options, like sticking one of her thin make-up brushes into the mascara tube or just handing her a pen.

“You’re not going to believe this,” I said, full knowing that she would believe it.

Profuse apologies followed and then her half-acceptance of them, but really, we didn’t have time to fight about eyeliner. We barely had time to look at each other. And every time we did, one of us would get teary-eyed, so I think it was a good thing we didn’t have the stupid eyeliner.

We made it to the beach exactly 2 minutes before our scheduled time, but our officiant was already there, which meant I didn’t have time to tell her all of the things I wanted to say. I couldn’t tell her that she looked more beautiful than ever. I couldn’t tell her that I loved her. I couldn’t thank her for planning this beach wedding because I am too much of a princess to get married in a courthouse where Alex Hanna is fighting traffic tickets in the next window. I couldn’t tell her that she made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I couldn’t apologize for forgetting to pack the eyeliner and all of the other countless stupid shit I do on an hourly basis. I couldn’t say a word. We were too busy making small talk and going over forms and making transactions.

And the more I desperately tried to slow down the moment, the faster it seemed to go. Before I could get my bearings we were under a palm tree holding each other’s hands. This was really happening. I was really marrying her. Officially. Legally. Forever.

I was asked to say, “I do” first. The words fell out of my head like the contents of a plastic Easter egg. Two words have never been said more clumsily. I could’ve as easily said, “Yeah, yeah.”

But now it was her turn. The person that swore marriage wasn’t for her. The person that argued the concept of marriage was antiquated and patriarchal. The person that even to this day feels like we are rushing into things when we make plans six months in advance. The most private person I know is now being asked to publicly affirm that she was completely cool with having a wife forever. For. Ever.

“I do,” she said in her softest, most graceful voice.

And with that my hearing returned. The roar of the ocean, the click of the camera, the officiant’s memorized speech about the significance of a ring. All of it came back and louder than ever.

Since then life has been just a little more bright and just a little more loud and just a little more perfect.

Here’s to another fourteen years…this time we get to be newlyweds.

Marriages and misdemeanors

On the second floor of Miami Beach’s old city hall, there is a rectangle-shaped room where, if you sit long enough, you may end up committing a felony to expedite your wait. But felonies aren’t handled in this room. No, this is the place for marriages and misdemeanors.

As I walked in, the first person I laid eyes on was a bride in full veil and train speaking in Russian, or something like it, to her future husband through a translator. The groom, his body in full suit and his head in full hair gel, then turned to his family to discuss what was said in Spanish. “The perfect marriage,” I thought.

Now Serving...
Now Serving…

I went on to collect my ticket, which indicated that I was the seven-hundredth and twentieth person in line, and glanced around the room to find the most comfortable seat possible. Perhaps one where I could rest my back against the wall and also be closest to the exit, in case that Russian bride went full-Bridezilla.

Unfortunately, an Argentinean national was taking up all of the prime real estate. Well not her personally, but her beach umbrella, which she placed upon an entire bench. I know I could’ve said something, but there was something off about her and I didn’t want to get into it.

There were two young black men that also didn’t want to get into it with her and they commandeered folding chairs, which they placed in the center of the room. They looked incredibly comfortable while discussing the discomfort of bureaucracy. I had no choice but to eavesdrop on their conversation all about the injustice of parking tickets, and found myself nodding along to all their valid points.

With only three windows open and numbers being called out in 15 minute intervals, I realized that I too was destined for a parking ticket. I had erroneously estimated to be there an hour. One single, joyous hour, where I, together with my partner of 13 years, was going obtain a somewhat-legal marriage license.

This is not what I had envisioned at all.

There were not a couple of Queen’s Guards opening the door to the courthouse for us. (Mainly because we were in the United States).There was not an enthusiastic host, much like one from a TGI Friday’s or Chili’s, that welcomed us and showed us to our seats. There was definitely not a short wait. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not sitting behind the glass to administer our oath.

After 53 minutes of full regret – not about getting a marriage license, but about getting our marriage license there – our number was called.

This prompted us to look at each other in that way those long-time couples only can. In that split second, only using our eyes, we said we loved one another and that what we were doing was ridiculously exciting. More exciting than we ever thought it would be. And just as heart-exploding as the moment I realized she was proposing and had not just fallen on the floor. As we made our way to the window, I flashed my half grin at her and she replied with her staple gorgeous smile, and right as we took our seats in front of the glass…

that fucking Argentinean lady and her malparida umbrella squeezed herself between us and the glass partition to speak to the attendant, disregarding the fact that it was clearly not her turn.

This prompted us to look at each other once again. And without saying a word, we agreed not to get married there and to find that bitch’s car and…

well, just find her car.