And yet, conservative politicians, religious leaders and other groups keep trying to convince me that allowing homosexuals to get married threatens the very foundations of the institution of marriage.
I'm here to tell you that what threatens my marriage is not the notion that my across-the-street neighbor might one day want to marry his adorable boyfriend, or that my friend a few streets over is planning to have a baby with her girlfriend. And I definitely do not see a clear and present danger in two septuagenarian/octogenarian women who have loved each other faithfully for 45 years while making great contributions to their community and generally being nice people.
If you really must know, here are a few things that are an actual threat to the health of my one-man-one-woman, walked-down-the-aisle, have-a-license-to-prove-it marriage:
- My children get up absurdly early. Every. Single. Day. My son is up AND DRESSED no later than 6 a.m. Even on Saturdays -- okay, he's still in his pajamas on the weekend, but he's up nonetheless. My daughter, convinced she might miss out on something fun, is up with him at the same time. And they expect to be entertained. Otherwise they start whining and annoying each other.
- My husband has his own opinions and ideas. I mean, I thought he was just going to agree with me. Who knew he'd have his own vision about decorating the house, planning vacations or scheduling our weekends. Now we have to work together and compromise to get things done -- this means disagreeing sometimes, even arguing or fighting occasionally. After 10 years, there are no deal breakers, but it still takes work.
- Babysitters can be expensive. In order for us to spend time together without our kids to nurture our relationship, we have to hire a babysitter. Then we have to go somewhere, which means spending more money. Without even doing anything fancy, we can easily spend $100 on a evening out. It might actually be cheaper to go to a marriage counselor who offered childcare in the waiting room than to plan a date night.
- Social media is a time suck. After the kids go to bed, when we should probably be engaged in quality conversation together, we both tumble down the rabbit hole of Twitter, blogging, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Pinterest, Gentlemint and a hundred other online traps. Not that there's anything wrong with reading blogs (ahem), but it does keep our focus off of each other.
- Downton Abbey and Mad Men are too good. Again with the night-time distractions. But seriously -- how can we focus on each other when there's Lady Mary and Don Draper to worry about? Plus there's Modern Family and 30 Rock when we need a laugh, or Psych and White Collar when we want some investigating, or Portlandia when it's time for something random and hilarious. That TiVo box is seriously hazardous to our marital health.
- The house is not self-cleaning. Even if we manage to turn off the TV and other electronics, there's still the laundry to fold, the dishes to wash, the grass to mow, the bathrooms to clean, the dinner to cook, the lunches to make, the bills to pay, the groceries to buy, the appointments to schedule. It would take six adults running this house in order to free up enough time for us to really stop and just be with each other. Again, Downton Abbey seems like a good idea.
So if you're really serious about wanting to protect North Carolina families and preserve healthy marriages across the state, you have a few options:
a. You can volunteer to babysit my children for the weekend free of charge.Just let me know when you're ready to schedule that babysitting weekend.
b. You can donate time or money to an organization like Protect NC Families, the Equality NC Foundation, Race to the Ballot or We Are NC -- or attend the Love Wins dance this weekend in Durham.
c. You can make sure you're registered to vote NO on May 8.
d. All of the above.