My fam just returned from a terrific weekend spent with two married men; married to each other, of course. Great-looking, culturally informed wits (if I may briefly throw my lot in with the stereotypists), skilled parents, laconic commentators on the current bonfire, and most importantly this weekend, boat-owners. I have nothing culturally significant to add to the flood of typing that has erupted in the wake of the recent and historic death of DOMA, but to say that the dizzy and doomed legislation, when named aloud, sounds like the inarticulate threat one might puzzle over in the instant before being punched in the face by the idiot school bully after 6th period. By the bike rack. (yeah – he warned me. who knew?)
We zipped around a lake in a sleek motorcraft of some kind, occasionally towing behind us, in an inflatable SeaDoo, my 11 year-old daughter and one or both of their kids, and more occasionally my easily nauseated but otherwise particularly manly 17-year old son. Our kids clutched the pitifully small handles of the inflatable torture device till their hands cramped. Their kids had arms raised in the manner of rollercoaster show-offs. This says nothing about the B.F. Skinner distinction between kids raised by two dads and those raised by one mom and one hesitant coward. Does it? Behind the speed boat, buffeted by a rocketing flume of water, becoming madly and unpredictably airborne in the boat’s wake, and at the distant end of their wildly swinging nylon rope, the kids (mine) engaged in lots of hand across the neck gesturing, international maritime signal for ‘slow this ****** down or you’ll see my turkey and lettuce sandwich atop a bile geyser’.
By sheer happenstance this planned weekend at our friends’ lake house coincided with the historically raucous days immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision to give their long-awaited blessing to some of the clearest common sense ever waved into law by a panel of ostensible constitutional scholars. That it took this long to Enact the notion that you can’t legally be a jackass to some and nice to others just because you feel scared or nervous….it says less about our nation’s imperfect charter than it does about the frightened, kittenish morons we humans are, despite our mostly honest efforts not to be. We try, and very recently we have been trying harder. That little extra effort has CHANGED WHOLE LIVES NOW. LIKE A FINGER SNAPPING. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? WHY DOES THIS CRAP TAKE SO LONG?!!!! The parades and celebrations are tempered by the absence of those who couldn’t make the rehearsal, felled in the decades of utterly needless sorrow now ended by glib judicial fiat. Let’s try a little harder a lot more often. Our hosts this weekend were quietly celebratory, not triumphalist. They’ve been married awhile. They read with muted anger of the spontaneous, nearly algorithmic reflex-effort by a coalition of overwrought attorneys to get the Supreme Court to vacate its own decision. We are desperate bird-brains, all of us.
Well. Our cross-dressing Supreme Court, whose billowing black mumu could use an update, has spoken. They’ve essentially pointed at a cat and proclaimed amid trumpets and fanfare, after many decades of teen and adult suicide in this country, deaths by beating, and generalized soul-ruining mayhem, “IT’S A CAT.” Our be-robed, wizened village elders have spoken.
Sturm und Drang. While DOMA wasn’t about stopping people being singled out for beatings, surely a legal pronouncement of this scale augurs change all up and down the acceptance strata. Meanwhile, these Two Dads (as they would be known in a controversial oft-banned book about same-sex parents), like parents everywhere, have their hands full; they have to drag their kids off the electronics, exhort them to walk the dog, clean their rooms, empty the trash; THE MARVELOUS GOLD-LEAF NORMALCY THAT WE LUCKY HETEROS HAVE BEEN VARIOUSLY DRUBBED AND EXALTED BY THESE MANY YEARS. Married with Children. Now our willing gay guys and dolls can have the connubial experience of sitting bolt upright in bed at 4am of a particular morning and shouting hoarsely into the dark, “HOLY SHIT!! I’M MARRIED!!!! Welcome, Moms and Dads of the New Vanguard. If you figure out how to get your kids to brush before bed, like, every night? for g*d’s sake, SHARE!
Final note, apropos of absolutely nothing: at the end of our lake day I asked one of our hosts if the motor on a Jet Ski was an inboard or outboard motor. Was the propeller perhaps concealed inside the machinery? He regarded me with an arched eyebrow.
“Neither. It’s a jet.”
Oh. Right. Cheers, mate.