Yesterday I posted about my decision to ask Sal to marry me, and how I couldn’t wait to get home and ask… So much so that I considered and abandoned several plans to do so at various locations and times over the weekend, and rushed home on an earlier flight to ask as soon as possible. Well, here’s how that went.
Once I was assured that Sal wasn’t leaving early for work and would be home when I arrived, I hopped in a cab from the airport and got home as quickly as I could. I was still pretty calm, and feeling confident, but I wanted to make sure I had time to ask him and then deal with the aftermath, good or bad. I got in the door, collected my welcome-home hug, and shared a little small talk for a few minutes while I worked up my courage. Finally, I asked him to give me my birthday present early. He did, and it was perfect — beautiful, thoughtful, and clearly picked out with a keen understanding of what would make me light up with joy. I absolutely adored it, but he could see on my face than something was up. He asked me what was wrong.
I told him that his gift was lovely, but that I had wanted him to give me something else, and that this wasn’t it.
Imagine the look of shock and hurt in his face. I know, I’m an asshole.
He asked what I had wanted him to give me. I told him I wanted to wake up tomorrow and on every other birthday, for the rest of my life, knowing that he would always be there with me. I asked him, for my birthday, if he would marry me.
I can vividly remember the sheer terror that I felt. I had been nervous for days, but when I actually said those four words — will you marry me? — my voice cracked, and I felt my face crumple. Gone was my swagger, my bold confidence, my bravado. I’ve never felt more completely vulnerable in my life.
He gasped and stared at me. Immediately, his eyes turned red and the tears started. He first burst out with, “Really?!” and I said yes. He paused, staring and crying more, and croaked out a “You’re really asking me?!” I assured him that I was, and privately prepared to joke “Never mind!” if he asked again. He didn’t, though: he said yes, and hugged me.
I may have gotten a tear or two, myself.
We don’t have a date set yet, for reasons I detailed in yesterday’s blog entry: I want to wait until the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) no longer prohibits the Federal government from recognizing my perfectly-legal New York same-sex marriage. However, I do think this will happen in the next year.
Every court that has heard a DOMA challenge has ruled against it, even with some of the most rabidly conservative right-wing judges expressing clear-cut rationales for why the law is unconstitutional. (In short: just because you think gay sex is icky doesn’t mean it’s constitutional for the government to deprive gays of equal treatment under the law.) I’m cautiously optimistic that in the upcoming term, the Supreme Court will either hear one or more cases regarding DOMA in the upcoming term and decide against it, or perhaps even just concede that the appellate courts decided on points of law correctly and that there’s no need for them to discuss it further.
Either way, I think that at least some parts of DOMA will fall for good in the upcoming term. I think by this time next year, I’ll be able to get married in New York and have that marriage treated like any other by the city, county, state, and federal government. It’s just a matter of time, and when it comes, we’ll set a date. (But hypothetically, doesn’t Labor Day weekend 2014 in New York City sound nice?)
I’m engaged to be married.