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.”
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.
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.