Blessings

My Love is an old-fashioned girl. She needed to ask my parents’ blessing before proposing to me.

When we came out to my mother, my mother told us that, if we married, she would not bless or attend our wedding. She could bless our love, but not a marriage. She firmly followed the Catholic Church that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”. And she would never back away from the Church.

Since then, she has come along amazingly. She and my Love get along famously, partly, I think, because my Love embodies everything my mother thinks a woman should be: Strong, capable, self-reliant, intelligent, neat, conservatively dressed – and feminine.

My mother and my Love’s mother have also gotten to be great friends. My Love’s mother is conservative – politically and theologically – but is sensible, warm, intelligent and good-humored. She is beyond tolerant, beyond accepting, to embracing. She has never believed that homosexuality or homosexual acts are a sin. She’s delighted that her daughter has found love. She has embraced me from our first introduction. And she loves me as if I were her daughter. She has been a terrific influence on my mother.

I haven’t pressed my mother to change her beliefs, and I’ve been careful not to ask her about them. Before I left for New York she told me that she had changed her mind: If we married, she would attend our wedding, and she would make sure that the rest of the family did, too. She didn’t say anything about blessing a marriage, however.

My Love was nervous about what my mother would say when asked to bless my Love’s proposal.

Perhaps amor vincit omnia. My father and mother both gave their consent and blessing.

Our first call as fiancées was to my parents. They were overjoyed.

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Problem solved

A few days ago, I read a blog post on the silly questions that straight people ask lesbians who are engaged. One of the questions was

Who is the one that’s supposed to propose?

I didn’t think that was such a silly question. Frankly, I was asking it of myself.

My Love and I agreed on some things before I came East. I would have my own apartment. We wouldn’t discuss getting engaged until we’d known each other a year. If the law changed in our home state, we’d marry at her parents’ ranch, but not before next year.


While I sat in the waiting room as my Love had an emergency appendectomy, I had a lot of time to worry and pray. And to think.

I understood emptiness for the first time in my life. It frightened me to my core.

I had never loved anyone before. I had walled out love all my life. I couldn’t be hurt, because I had nothing to hurt.

Now, I had glimpsed something beautiful, something sublime. I know that she’s human, fallible, imperfect. So am I, and she knows it. I know that we have much to learn about each other. I know that nine months, less than half in the same city, is little time compared to the rest of our lives.

I know that I see her, and our future, through a glass, darkly:

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

But sitting in that waiting room, I also glimpsed what life might be without her.

Of course, I would go on. We’re bred tough out on the range. We have our day of mourning, then get on with life. It’s a harsh land. Only the strong survive. Only the dead bury their dead.

She lived. But that knowledge of emptiness lives, too.

I resolved that when my Love finished her antibiotics and could drink a glass of champagne, I would break our agreement and propose marriage.

I wondered: Who is supposed to propose? She’s (a little) older and (a little) taller. Should I tell her I want to propose, so we could make it a joint operation? I’m an old-fashioned girl; I needed to ask her parents’ blessing. Did I need to fly home to do that in person? How could I do that without tipping her off?

On Sunday, after church, she solved my problem.

I accepted.