To Your Union, and the Hope That You Provide

4 Oct

Recently, as in two weeks after Dragon Con, my best friend got married. This was a big deal for many reasons, both obvious and not-so-obvious. There were rainbows. It was pretty great. I have a lot of feelings about the whole thing, but zero emotional power to parse them, so instead, here is the text of the speech I made.

I’ve known Caroline a very long time—long enough that I am used to calling them “Indigo,” the nickname we used when we were high schoolers whose idea of “delinquency” was skipping church youth group to hide in the bathroom and write stories. It seems fitting, then, that we each partnered up with the appropriate-gender version of the other: my husband is much like Caroline, in that both are subdued introverts who like solitude, tools, dogs, and obscure facts, and I call Kate “Mini-Me,” because we are, respectively, the Fun Sized and King Sized versions of the same enthusiastic, glittery, anxious candy bar.

Not long after Kate and Caroline started dating, I went to meet them both for lunch one weekday. It happened to be the day that Oberfell VS Hodges was decided, which effectively struck down all same-sex marriage bans in the US. The three of us gathered in Woodruff Park, eating our respective lunches—spoiler alert, Indigo had tacos—and enjoying the sunshine and celebrating the federal recognition of civil rights they should have had access to all along. I seem to remember that people around us were celebrating as well, but I may be misrembering based on how monumental a moment it was for us. As I sat there in the sunshine across from my best friend in the world and the woman they really liked, who I also really liked, celebrating the day that had sometimes felt like it would never come, I had what you might call a wild fancy that someday we might all be at this point. It would be a mistake to say that I knew we would. I didn’t. It was too soon for that, and I can’t see the future. But I hoped. And on the day of the solar eclipse, when I got what I believe is the first notification text, and ran around the Seattle airport crying and telling people “my best friend is getting married!” I couldn’t help but feel a little bit smug about being right. 

It hasn’t been an easy or a fun road for Caroline to get here, but here we all are, gathered together to not only share our love of these two, but also to eat tacos. So please raise your glass or your tortilla chip to Kate and Caroline. I’d like to quote a great philosopher: Nicole Cliffe, formerly of The Toast, who recently said on twitter that the secret to marriage is to always react like a cartoon wolf when you unexpectedly see your spouse without a shirt. I hope you will take that advice to heart. May your household never run out of your preferred drinkies and snackies, and may your marriage continue as your partnership has: in joy and respect and healthy communication and great love.

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