Wedding Day, Ventura County

June 24, 2008

I had been treating the whole situation as if I was going to renew my driver license. Make an appointment, take time off work, head down to the office, wait around with a lot of unhappy people even though you have an appointment – yeah, we’ve all been through it; if not to get our driver license, something equally as painful. It had finally happened – marriage between two men or two women was now legal in the state of California and I was getting hitched.

When we first heard the news, Thomas asked me if I wanted to get married. “Sure, why not?” was my underwhelming response. Not really the romantic response he was seeking, I think. Instead of the great joy in knowing that the California government had finally seen the light, I was kind of non-plussed. Big deal, so now the 17-year relationship that I have shared with this man has some validation? I don’t think so. We had our commitment ceremony 10 years ago with Thomas’ mom walking him down the aisle and my dad accompanying me. We held the festivities at the Marines Memorial in downtown San Francisco and it was the first gay wedding they had had there. The knockout reception and crazy time at the hotel that followed is still talked about amongst our friends. How can we top that? Now we’re “actually” getting married…“Sure, why not?”

Thomas registered for our marriage license online on Monday, June 16th. At the time the form still said bride and groom. “Which one do you want to be?” he asked. “Doesn’t matter to me,” was my response, still with the attitude. He told me it took four tries to finally go through. “Weird,” I said from the other room in-between reading baseball blogs. “The earliest appointment I can get is next Tuesday at 3” he said. “Well I hope I can get off work early,” returning to the blogs.

The week went by, I got permission to leave early and our lives continued as normal. The main difference was that whenever one of us did something the other found annoying, we would say "You know when we're married that shit's gonna stop."

We didn’t tell very many people; I emailed a few friends at work – no biggie. My friend Lica was happy and excited for us. She kept asking me questions to which I would jokingly respond, as I mostly do. She asked what we were going to wear. I told her I suggested we wear our matching blue, floral print shirts but someone wasn’t really going for that idea. Thomas asked Tammy to be our witness and she happily accepted. Good thing he did, I wasn’t going to pay the extra $22 to have the county supply one. It was already going to cost us $142.

So Tuesday is here and I log into work at seven as normal. Thomas says he will be off work at 1:30 and we will leave shortly after I get off work at two. He’s decided to wear a white dress shirt and slacks. “I’ll pick something out,” I say.

Eli and Rocco start barking. It’s not the barking of just someone walking by; it’s the “someone’s at the door” barking. Cody, next door joins the dudes’ woofing chorus. Man, don’t people know I’m working? I get to the door and see a FedEx truck driving away. I look on the doorstep and see a light green box from FTD. Ah, man, Thomas sent me flowers and I didn’t get him anything! I open the box and it is a bouquet of roses and lilies with a small golden box of Godiva chocs. I open the card and it says “Happy Wedding Day. From Nicole and Alysia.” I immediately lose it.

I quickly cut the ends off the stems and put the flowers in a vase – I gotta get back to work. I can arrange them later; hopefully no one will see them in the meantime and take away my gay card. That’s when the emails start… ”Congratulations!”..."Are you nervous?" What was I thinking? The California Supreme Court has now given you the right to get married. GET MARRIED. Buddy, you are getting married today.

Thomas gets home and has the same reaction to the flowers. We both are feeling very emotional and I’m starting to feel a little nervous. What’s that about?! I still have some work to do but now I cannot stay focused so that means I am mainly responding to email. I hear him in the backyard, chatting to someone on the phone.

The dudes start barking again. I go to the front door and there is a little old man standing there with a basket of purple and yellow flowers. At first, I think it is the husband of one of Florence’s friends but it is not. I thank the man and he walks back towards a van parked in front. I notice the name of a florist on the envelope and then look again at the van. There is another old man in the passenger seat. I imagine that these two men own a local florist shop and have lived together for many years. Finally, they have the right to marry. They are so happy to be supplying flowers to same-sex couples that they make the deliveries together. Then Julia Roberts walks up and bitch slaps me. No, wait, it’s Thomas and I show him the new flowers that are from Lica, Leah and Andrew. We are both a little amongst yourselves...and lucky to have support from good friends.

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