I was eating lunch at my desk today and opened up the local newspaper site on my computer.
“BREAKING NEWS: DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional.”
I stopped chewing, in total shock, and then a few tears sprang to my eyes. I don’t know if they were tears of hope, that my wife and I might finally have a marriage that is recognized by our country, or tears of sadness at the idea that the worth of my marriage is something being decided in courtrooms far away, while I’m sitting in my cubicle trying not to drop sandwich crumbs in my keyboard. I emailed my wife the link and wrote, “Does this mean we’re a little more married now than when we got up this morning?”
I considered emailing the news to my son, since he generally spends lunchtime in the high school library surfing the web. (What are the odds that he’s checking out sites that we wouldn’t let him see at home?) But since his attitude toward email seems to be, “I will skim it, and reply only if it’s a teacher giving me a homework assignment, and then immediately forget I ever read it,” I didn’t bother emailing him after all.
And then of course the rational part of my brain kicked in, knowing that regardless of the verdict, it wouldn’t actually take effect any more than the previous lower court decisions had. Sure enough, when the news site posted a link to the full decision, it confirmed that the decision has been stayed until the Supreme Court gets to weigh in.
So that’s another year or so that my wife and I will have to listen to lawyers who have never met us arguing about whether our marriage should count or not. Another year of my wife paying more and getting less for her health insurance, than if I could put her on my health plan. Another year in which we’ll fill out 4 separate tax returns using 3 different filing statuses, and another year in which my father will ask, “Why do you have to do it that way?” Another year of wondering what it might feel like to be sitting at my desk, dripping crumbs in my keyboard, then learn whether or not my wife and I will finally get the same rights that other people have.
Oh well. Back to work. And in between tasks, a handful of emails back and forth with my wife. After all, we had to schedule when we can meet with the orthodontist to discuss the plan for the kid’s teeth. And will the cat be done at the vet on Friday in time for me to pick him up before racing home to get the kid off to his Scout trip, or will my wife be able to get the cat, but it’s looking like she’ll have to work late that day, so I better get the cat.
You know, emails just like any other married couple.