Even butches get choked up

Marry Me?If you read my last post, you know that I proposed to W on Sunday via cupcake.

Of course, she said yes. I mean, what woman could possibly resist the sexy, handsome beast that is this butch.

Anyway, here’s what I failed to mention:

After I decided to go with a cupcake proposal, I drove to the cupcake place by our house. I had some ideas and wanted to run them by the baker and get her opinion.

I started out strong.

“I have an odd question for you,” I said.

“My partner and I had a commitment ceremony a few years ago, but we haven’t been able to get legally married in the state of Pennsylvania until last month.”

I sounded like this guy.

I sounded like this guy.

Somewhere in that sentence my voice broke, causing me to sound like I was channeling Peter Brady in my 47-year-old body. Not a pretty picture.

That’s what happens. I keep everything tamped down so tightly that every once in awhile some emotion trickles out. It’s inevitable. A side effect of being a butch, perhaps.

Deep down inside, I do feel emotionally about last month’s court ruling that opened up the possibility of marriage in Pennsylvania for all couples.

The cynic in me will tell you that, for those of my generation, gay marriage will always be a political statement of sorts.

Or maybe it’s not the cynic in me but that place inside that houses my fears.  I hide them underneath the bravado and the bluster, the flannel and the thermal shirts.  It’s the tender spot that pulses below the big words and the carefully articulated theories.

The other day I overheard my son talking to a friend.

“My mom’s a writer. She knows everything,” he said with a giant sigh.

Of course, I took it as a compliment.


Perhaps the greatest non-lesbian movie ever made (back when Nic Cage was a cool dude).

I know tons of weird things. Like the year that Hershey’s Whatchamacallit candy bar came out. 1978. And all the words to the movie Valley Girl. But I don’t know how to enjoy the moment. I don’t know how to not overthink things. I don’t know how to show emotion. I don’t know how to be vulnerable.

So, yeah, sometimes it trickles out of me. A single tear streaking silently down one pink cheek. My face slowly turning red like a garden rose. My voice cracking mid-sentence.

I wish I could have said something like this to the cupcake baker:

I’m sorry, but I get emotional thinking about how I’m finally able to marry the woman I love.

In the end, my voice betrayed me — cracking like a scratched 45. It was a small slip hinting at the emotion that bubbles inside me.

Because I really am grateful that I got another chance at love. And I’m grateful that W has agreed to take this step with me.  The fact that it’s all going to be legal makes it that much sweeter.

17 responses to “Even butches get choked up

  1. That’s wonderful for you and your girl. Of course you have emotions but is ok sometimes you just don’t want to feel completely naked about your feelings and that’s ok too. Enjoy your love and happiness always! I’m hoping for my turn to say the worlds of my love to my other someone special.

  2. My boyfriend and I have never been interested in marriage, but I know that there are so many other gay and lesbian couples that are, and deserve it. It makes me so proud that our country is finally starting to come to its senses. Congratulations to you and yours. That’s such happy news 🙂

  3. Congrats! Maybe we’ll run into each other getting the paperwork done at City Hall…We can arm wrestle to see who buys first round after.

    • You’re on! And congratulations to you, too! Better watch out — the Keystone State is getting, dare I say, progressive these days. Next thing you know, we’ll be able to buy a six-pack at Wawa.

  4. I’m curious, how did the baker react? If at all, that is.

  5. Femme Fairy Godmother

    We’re planning to get married. We have some Big Deal Personal Stuff that’s prevented us from getting married this last May but we will! I’m 47 and this is the first time I’ve ever really WANTED to get married. I mean to a specific person. I always knew I wanted to get married, but until I met Susan, I couldn’t say to myself (or God being as I’m somewhat a religious person) “Yes. This is it. I can say ’til death do us part’ and mean it.” So. I’m happy for y’all. Be sure to post pictures!

    • Best of luck to you both. As they say, good things come to those who wait. (I’m 47, too.). Will certainly post about the big day. Although we are doing something casual this time around. I’m thinking jeans and a white button down rolled up at the sleeves. Playing around with the idea of a vest or suspenders. Maybe a tie. Maybe not. This is the only kind of dress-up that I like to play.

  6. Congrats, So very happy for you both. Still waiting for the right to marry here in Australia. It’s bizarre that the second I came out, I lost my right to marriage. x

  7. Good to know I’m not alone (in the voice cracking dept). And congrats to you both!

  8. This post made me follow your blog! I live in the UK but hope to move to PA to marry my girlfriend. I had no idea that the legalisation of same sex marriage was even in the pipeline for PA and my gf seemed shocked that it actually happened.

    • It was a court ruling — not legislation. It certainly was a surprise. We weren’t expecting it and then had assumed that the decision would be appealed. Who knew Pennsylvania could be so progressive.

      Hope you make it to Pa. and marry your girl. Thanks for the follow.

  9. I was not all that intersted in marriage. When the ruling came down federally gay marriage was legal across the states it was a happy moment. I knew lots of people that would be happy. It was about time I thought. As my now fiancée and I began our third year together I started thinking about it. I feel so damn strongly about this woman. After four months of living together finally after 3 1/2 years living in separate cities, I popped the question.

    I understand the emotional you speak of here. It leaks through me as well at times. I feel like it is such an important special thing for us to be able to legally marry. It is quite an emotional thing for me and her. I never thought it would be possible nor that I would met a woman who captured my spirit with so much unconditional love.

    It was a beautiful feeling to go to the county courthouse last wrek, stand in line like everyone else, and tell them we wanted our marriage license. The ladies were wonderfully sweet and helpful to us. One of the best experiences of my life. 🙂 The next one will be when we are married and we change her last name to mine. *Holds back my own voice crack of emotion* *simply nods in your direction in understanding*

    Thank you

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