so where were we? ah, yes. connecticut. the second stop in our three-weddings-in-one-day wedding blitz. where we kind-of-almost got married in the rain by a smoking justice of the peace and her effeminate male colleague.
before connecticut, we got married in new york (city), where i managed to cry yet again, despite a run-in with a lisping super-psycho anderson cooper fan the day before and the fact that i cheesed out of telling everyone i invented post-its at my big fat jersey high school reunion two days before that.
so the smoking justice of the peace and her effeminate male colleague wish us luck and we run, we literally run–like we’re on a gay version of that one show, i forget what the hell it’s called…where coupled contestants compete in this round-the-world competition…except instead of whatever they’re racing to do, we’re racing to get married in as many states as we can before 5pm–back to the car, which is parked across the street from the harford city hall. luckily there’s no hobos or pan handlers to fight off this time (ok this is starting to sound like a really weird kind of lame urban-gay video game).we get in and go go go to vermont!
we decided to get married in an artsy little town called brattleboro, which sits just over the vermont state line. (see map below.) at this point, it was like…2pm. and while brattleboro is only about 85 miles from harford, we were somewhat concerned about making it there in time. since we were in a rush, i decided it was probably a bad time to tell holly i was hungry, so instead i ate uninspired car snacks like sunflower seeds (gag) and mini pretzels (gag) with a applesauce chaser (GAG). but i figured getting married again was way more important than, say, finding a starbucks, so i decided to suck it up and help us navigate even though the ride was basically one road and one turn.
i didn’t know what to expect in vermont, as i’d never been there before. i really only knew a couple things about vermont: 1) maple syrup and 2) our friend christina whose family owns a maple syrup farm there. so yeah. basically maple syrup.
as we drove through the rest of boring connecticut and then the entire state of massachusetts (another supremely hard-to-spell state name), i crunched on my bad car snacks wondering what there was to do in vermont besides get married and eat local artisan foods containing maple syrup. then i remembered ben & jerry’s is headquartered in vermont. and cabot creamery, which makes a mean cheddar. the answer became crystal clear: indulge in dairy. i was really starting to like vermont and we hadn’t even gotten there yet.
so we roll into little brattleboro at around 4pm and i swear the place looks like a friggin postcard. it honestly made me feel proud to be an american. how i could have lived in this country so long without going to vermont? i wondered while silently chastising myself for not only living in smelly baltimore, but allowing myself to grow up in northern new jersey without ever at least trying to convince my parents to drop me off in vermont and grow up there instead.
it didn’t take too long before we found the brattleboro town hall, a picturesque historic-looking building on top of a little hill. being from baltimore (and in a hurry), we of course parked illegally in an adjacent parking lot, figuring we probably wouldn’t get a ticket, and even if we did, we were in vermont, how much would it really be? like, a quarter?? you tell me the one person you know that got a parking ticket in vermont. my point exactly.
we arrive in the town clerk’s office and the ladies were so nice to us i almost fainted. i’m not even kidding. as it turns out, the town clerk that issued our marriage license was the town clerk that issued the country’s very first same-sex civil union! if there’s a rock star award for town clerk, this woman totally gets it.
she provides a list of justices of the peace for us and holly starts calling them while i blabber to the clerk and her assistant about our exciting day. i’m not sure if i told them we went to the anderson cooper show the day before, i might have. i was kind of telling them everything, i was that excited.
holly finds a justice of the peace and before we know it, she arrives. we tell her we’d just like a simple ceremony, maybe outside? so the group of us ladies all go outside the brattleboro town hall on the top of the hill and we decide to stand under this pretty little lone tree.
it was a great view from up there. we were surrounded by all these rolling hills and it felt like we could see the whole town. we made it, i kept thinking. we’re really doing this.
we took off our rings for the second time that day, and handed them to the justice of the peace. as she started the ceremony, i got teary–again.
we took each other’s hands and looked into each other’s eyes, so far from baltimore, so many years–almost 11–since that night we met at 17th & Q. i’ll marry you 47 more times if i have to, i thought with a lump in my throat.
we legally pledged our love to each other for the second time that day, and placed our wedding rings back on each other’s ring fingers.
i would have loved the opportunity to share a photo or two with you guys, but all the photos the town clerk (annette) took during the ceremony with holly’s cellphone–ugh i can’t even stand to write this–were deleted somehow, we don’t even know when or why it happened. i can assure you, however, that my hair was likely pretty huge by that point, my eyes were watery and there’s the distinct possibility that i had a erstwhile sunflower seed somewhere on my sweater. the fact that holly still wanted to marry me again by that point is a testament to her love for me. (haha. ok, that made me laugh out loud.)
we thanked and said goodbye to the justice of the peace and the wonderful ladies in the brattleboro town clerks office (if you’re somehow reading this, a big giant hug to you guys!!! you made our day that much more special), and, with our new marriage license in our hands (the second of the day!), we jumped back in the car (NO TICKET!) and went to find the bed and breakfast we were going to stay at. (it’s called 40 Putney Road–highly recommended!)
the innkeepers suggested we celebrate at a restaurant called L.A. Burdick just over the state line in nearby walpole, new hampshire. i was like, new hampshire! get outta here! (like vermont, neither of us had ever been there before)
i’m telling you, this place was fabulous. plus they make chocolate there. we told the waitress about our day and before we knew it, the chef sent out special appetizers and champagne to help us celebrate. we were like, what the heck is it with these friggin new england people?? everyone here is so nice!!!! after our meal, she brought out a slice of…i think it was chocolate mousse cake? with candles!!! i was like, oh my gosh. it was pretty much the best chocolate anything i’ve ever eaten. it was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
to hell with connecticut, i thought. it’s almost impossible to spell anyway.
“two outta three ain’t bad, babe,” i said, lifting my champagne glass.
“two outta three ain’t bad at all,” holly said, lifting her glass.
“to us!” she said.
“to us!” i repeated as we clinked glasses.
only holly actually sipped her champagne, as i’m apparently an old jewish lady now with acid indigestion irritated by champagne, fresh cantaloupe and don’t even get me started about fresh pineapple do not get me started.
now we hold our breath that maryland will become the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage. it looks like it’ll be up to the public to decide. so if you live in maryland and you support same-sex couples like holly and i, get out to the polls and VOTE VOTE VOTE so we can finally get married right here in our HOME STATE.
if you have friends or family in maryland that are on the fence about same-sex marriage, send them here. one of the reasons i started this blog was and still is to show people just how normal we are. just as i told the CNS reporter the other day, we’re just a normal couple. mind-numbingly normal, actually. we go to the supermarket, we go to starbucks, we fall asleep watching movies on the couch. (some “gay agenda” right?) all we want is the chance to get married here in maryland so we can enjoy the same legal rights that other married couples do.
so there you go, folks! three states, 2.5 marriages, one day–and all between the hours of 9am and 5pm. (watch out, connecticut! we’re coming back for you!)