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This summer, Sweety and I attended a truly marvelous wedding. It was in a tiny space by a pond in a gorgeous wooded hillside. Our considerate friends rented a B&B and hired nannies to watch all the guests' kids. And the ceremony was so moving that even the participants cried. We had to leave before the reception due to the kids' bedtime, but we swore we'd take our newly married friends, A and E, to a nice dinner to catch up and talk about the wedding.

A few weeks ago, A and E came to visit.  We spent a little time reacquainting them with the kids, who they hadn't seen in a while. We went out to a nice Italian restaurant. Wine, pasta, main dishes, dessert and coffee. We reminisced about the wedding, which really was one of the most touching and beautiful I've ever attended. We chatted about friends, former co-workers, and current events.

All the topics of conversation were interesting, but one of my favorite chats happened with A on the way to the restaurant. "How is it being married?" I asked.

"Not much different, really," he told me. "We've been together fifteen years."

I still get a little glow from being married, and I told him that. "But the best part is the way you suddenly become legitimate in society," I mused. "The neighbors ask you over. Everybody wants to help you celebrate."

A nodded. "It made a big difference with family, too." He told me that the marriage made their families more comfortable. Then he added, "No on 8!"

A and E are wonderful people. We've known them for years; Sweety used to work with A, and I always looked forward to seeing A at work get-togethers. When the twins were small, A and E bravely visited our chaotic household and brought lunch. They helped to feed and hold the babies. The babies clearly liked them.

A and E are a fantastic couple. They have the kind of deep love you want all your friends to have. Sweety and I were thrilled when their commitment ceremony became a wedding. And yes, they are both men.

Now the state of California is about to vote as to whether A and E, and others who happen to be in romantic and loving same-sex relationships, have the right to be married. I know that a lot of people are considering voting Yes on 8 to make gay marriage illegal, and I think these people don't have the whole story. Perhaps they just don't know a couple like A and E. 

If you came to this blog knowing me, you probably knew this would be my take on it. If you didn't, please think about it. The state of California is not going to require that marriage be taught in schools. It's not going to demand that your church perform gay marriages (heck, look at the hoops you have to jump through to get married in a church even now). And if you are married and straight, your marriage will not mean any less because gays can get married, too. After watching A and E get married, and hearing how it helped their families to accept them, it made marriage mean even more to me.

Please encourage all your California friends to vote No on 8. It will hurt no one, and it will help some people who are in love. It will help their families, too.
mimulus_borogove: (Default)
I was pleased with the last American presidential debate. It was an interesting, lively format, and we heard some details we hadn't heard before.

Health care is a big issue for our family. Although we're all healthy right now (knock wood), we've had some big scares, and we know the value of good insurance.

When I was pregnant, I worked full-time and got truly fabulous health insurance. This was excellent stuff, covering things I didn't use, such as acupuncture and fertility treatment. I was especially grateful for it when our spontaneous twins decided to continue their trend of spontaneity by arriving eight weeks early (nine weeks, according to some calculations). The total hospital bill for the kids' first five weeks ran $945,000. That's just the hospital bill; it doesn't include the doctors' fees and radiology and breast pump rental and so forth.

$945,000. And I was getting good nutrition and prenatal care. Sure, I had gestational diabetes--a common complication of twin pregnancy--but it went away shortly after I gave birth. The kids themselves didn't actually develop any major problems. The majority of the time they lay there racking up the bills, it was just because they were too small and undeveloped to swallow, to survive without an incubator, and do those other things that full-term babies are born knowing to do.

We continued our insurance through COBRA as long as we could, and then applied for private insurance. Since we weren't planning to have any more kids, we applied for one with no maternity coverage.

We were denied coverage.

I called our insurance agent and asked why, and the agent told me it was because of the gestational diabetes and the premature births. The fact that we planned to have no more pregnancies didn't matter. The fact that we planned to have no more births didn't matter. The fact that my husband, our twins, and I were all healthy didn't matter. We were denied coverage.

So when the candidates talked about their plans, I was interested.

How the candidates' health care plans would work for my family )

mimulus_borogove: (Default)
In last night's VP debate, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin both set their hypothetical John and Jane Smiths "around the kitchen table" having difficult talks about the woes of the middle class. Having just made a pasta frittatta for dinner, I had food on the brain, and that got me thinking of the debate in food terms. What if, instead of the mini-speeches we got, we were instead dropping by for dinner at their kitchen tables? Not a fancy Sunday dinner, mind you, but a weeknight "since you're in town, why don't you come have dinner with the family?" dinner.  So I tried to translate their words and messages into food.

One night in Wasilla... )

Then, in Delaware... )

In real-world terms... )


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March 2009



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