03 April 2013

And now for something... completely different.

That was supposed to be reminiscent of Monty Python, perhaps there is a better way to "write" that, but I don't know what it is.

Actually it has a little to do with travel, we traveled to a funeral in Anderson, Indiana yesterday for the funeral of our good friend Greg's mother.  He and I were roommates for 1 semester in college and he was, and is, a great friend who we see every year at the 500 and usually for BWO when we play golf.  I didn't know his parents as well as I knew some of the other parents but I remembered them fondly and his dad remembered me and called me by name even though it's probably been at least 18 years since I've seen him.

Whenever possible our group of friends gets together when a parent or loved one passes away to lend support and let them know they are loved, it's just what we do.  And a nice, if bittersweet, tradition is to send a flower arrangement with all our names on it.  Only this time, for the first time ever that I am aware of, the florist protested, and resisted, putting our names, George and Clay, on the card.  I'm paraphrasing because I heard it secondhand, but she said something to the effect that that's not right and she wouldn't do it.  Now Pam can be VERY persuasive, both in nice and... not as nice... ways, and we did get our names on the card but that made quite an impression on me.  Before I continue, let me digress a bit.

My wife's name is Georgiann, her family generally called her Georgie growing up, but in college, and when I met her, she was George.  That's still generally what I call her over 32 years later.  Whenever I meet someone and I tell them about George it's usually followed by "her name's Georgiann but I've always called her George.  She is my wife, and a woman, not my special friend."  Laughter invariably ensues.  I feel the need to clarify, I am not anti-gay, or anti-homosexual.  I have close friends I knew were gay... I have close friends about whom it's commonly believed they are gay.  It makes no difference to me.  I know this kind of smacks of "Methinks thou doth protest too much"-ness, but it's true, ask anybody who knows me.  But i think what I am guilty of is not thinking about it enough.  Especially not thinking about it enough from their point of view.

What if George was my "Special Friend"?  Shouldn't that be celebrated?  And wouldn't it be nice if they didn't hear people like me make unintentionally snide remarks disparaging special friends?  I know there are more than enough intentional way-more-than-snide remarks made to and about them, but this is about me for the moment.  I need to stop doing that, please help me remember.  And I've vacillated on the marriage equality thing for a while.  If I think about it strictly from a church institution point of view I don't agree that churches should be forced to accept things against their beliefs.  But I see way too many bigoted, hateful people using that and any excuse they can think of to deny homosexuals any and all rights they can.  So while my preference would be to come up with some other name or term to "marriage" with any and all equal rights and responsibilities under the law so as not to cram that down everybody's throat, I don't think that's going to happen.  There are far too many people who will use that as yet another excuse to deny rights to people who are entitled to them.  So cram away, I say.

I don't know what all this means for me, I always joked that George was responsible for making me a kinder and gentler me.  There are other things I'm starting to think differently about as well, but baby steps.  Just not on this one any more.

2 comments:

  1. how I love you and your beautiful open mind.

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  2. This is lovely! Thanks for sharing, Clay. As you know, I'm firmly in the Equality For All camp, but only as it pertains to government. Religious institutions are free to marry only those people who they want to put together. But it's just not fair that, after 27 years together, should my brother or his partner pass away (God forbid), the survivor would be left with an enormous tax bill on the home, investments and possessions they own together. And I would think that conservatives would be with me on this ONE thing!

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