Well, it's been nearly 3 weeks since I've posted here, and as is usually the case with blogging pauses, there has been quite a bit of news in the interval. It's hard to know where to begin....
Eric and I took a brief vacation back to the US over the July 4th Holiday and through the following week. We went back to San Francisco to visit my family. My parents flew out to CA from Wisconsin and we were all gathered together to celebrate my Dad's 75th Birthday. But as usually happens with us, events took some exciting and unexpected turns.
After the recent United States Supreme Court rulings striking down both Prop 8 in California and Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), we knew that we wanted at some point this year to get married in the U.S. so we could start the process for Eric to get a Green Card. Some initial investigation of this revealed that getting married in the State of California is two-step process. First, you need an appointment to go to the County Clerk's office and apply for a Marriage Licence. Once you have that, you have 90 days to get married before the license expires. You can either do a church wedding , as many do, or do a civil marriage at SF City Hall, for which you need to also book an appointment ahead of time.
Getting an appointment on July 9th to get a marriage license was no problem, but there were no open time slots for civil marriage ceremonies at SF City Hall until October. (As you might imagine, the change in the law has resulted in something of an increase in weddings in San Francisco!) So we figured we would get our license, then in 2nd week of October, when I would be coming back to CA anyway for work, we would actually get married. Giving both us, and our friends and family a bit more time to plan the whole thing. Good plan, right?
Then things got complicated, Turns out our Best Man, our incredible and amazing friend Rudy Guerrero, was not available in October due to family commitments back in Hawaii, also there were no civil ceremony appointment slots open until the end of October not the beginning. Time when I was committed to business trips to Berlin and Dubai.
So we started thinking of Plan B's like getting married in Oakland at the Alameda County Court House which took walk-in weddings. If all else failed my Mother, a Lutheran Pastor could marry us in my Sister's living room if need be. So on the morning of July 9th we arrived at San Francisco City Hall, to get our marriage license.
As We filled out the paper work, the County official behind the counter casually mentioned that there had been a last minute wedding cancellation for that day at 1:30 pm, and did we want it that time slot, and also that we needed to decide right then as there were hundreds of couples calling every day to ask if any civil ceremony slots were available .... I looked at Eric, he looked at me, we both looked at our Best Man, Rudy who indicated that time worked great for him. We turned to back and said "We'll take it!". A frantic phone call back to my Sister's house then alerted my mostly still sleeping family that they had exactly three hours to get ready for our wedding.
It turned out to be a wonderful celebration with family and friends that ended up with Eric and I legally married in the State of California. In addition to the incredible honor of having Rudy as our Best Man, our amazing friends Julian, Josh and Joan responded to a last minute posting on Facebook, dropped everything they were doing and dashed over to City Hall to attend. It was an incredible day. Yet, we soon learned, it was a day that would prompt a question we would be asked repeatedly for the rest of our visit to the US, and again upon our return to London the past week...
"So.. When are you guys moving to the U.S?"
That is a difficult question, for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which is purely logistic. The lengthy, and complicated process of my move from San Francisco to London two years ago was physically, emotionally and financially exhausting. So the prospect of packing up our lives all over again to move half way across the world is a bit daunting. Yet the question keeps being asked, don't I want to come home?
Home.... That's a tricky concept. Yes I am an American (and always very proud to be one...). Yet my life is here. My spouse, our jobs, our home many of our friends, and some of Eric's family are all here in London. Yet, my family, and the vast majority of my friends are back in the States. It is in many ways like being caught between two different lives, trying to live with one foot in each. So the question of whether or not to move back to America is hardly a yes or no proposition.
In the meantime we say to all our friends in both North and South America, Continental Europe, Australia and Asia, our guest room here in London awaits you ! You are thought of often and always missed.