Sunday, July 21, 2013

News Round Up- Weddings, and Questions in a Post-DOMA World.

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.  

Of course I miss the United States, but I also love our life  here, I love  our friends and family  that we have here .   So  in truth  the only answer  I  can give is,  we  have no  plans to move back the United States right now.  But we are  incredibly happy to now have the option to move  back.  Options we didn't have prior to the recent Supreme Court rulings.   Options that  we may well  decide to pursue down the road.  

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.


Biki Honko said...

I'm so happy for you! Yippeee!! Married in California at long long last.

The whole where to live thing is so complicated it defies logic. Good luck on this thorny decision!

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