WHEN I WAS STRAIGHT, I didn’t want to get married. Always the hopeless romantic, I chased boys like crazy, daydreamed about finding true love, and watched Sixteen Candles over and over again on VHS until I could recite every line with the cast. But if someone used the word “should” in a sentence, I dug in my heels. The idea of buying into a state-approved, religion-supported institution like marriage sent me running.
Now I want what I can’t have. For fifteen years, my girlfriend and I have danced the Electric Slide at other people’s weddings. (Or more accurately, I danced the Electric Slide and Leah laughed at me.) Each celebration reminds us that we can’t legally have our own wedding in New York State.
“Go to Massachusetts (Vermont, Canada) to get married,” I hear from friends on a regular basis. But I don’t think exercising our civil rights should require a road trip.
It’s like shopping at IKEA. Now that I’m a domesticated creature, I can spend most of a day blissfully perusing the Glimma, Regolit, and Fartyg in this wondrous Scandanavian superstore. However, I have to drive four hours at a minimum before I can exercise my right to hipster shopping. Why can’t I have an IKEA in my town? When will the Senate vote on this gross inequality? We need to organize a rally.
As a kid, when I whined about injustices, my dad always said, “Life’s not fair, Amy.” (Yes, my parents called me ‘Amy.’ Don’t tell anyone.) Like almost everything, Pop is right. Bad things happen to good people. Everybody dies.
But some inequalities can be fixed, and I’m going to keep whining until I get my way. I want the right to charge a big fat wedding to my high interest credit card; to buy a fancy white dress that I wear once and then nostalgically stash in the back of the closet; to dance the Electric Slide, the Macarena, and The Chicken Dance Polka at my own cheeseball wedding; to check the “married” box on state and federal tax forms.
Let’s hope that the New York State Senate votes to approve gay marriage, because I’m ready to celebrate my love. And hopefully they’ll write a “Bring IKEA to Ithaca” clause into the bill, because I’m also ready to shop.
Amelia Sauter is a freelance writer and a columnist/cartoonist for the Ithaca Post. Her blog can be found at www.drinkmywords.com www.drinkmywords.com. You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ameliasauter.