27 March 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I read the transcript of the Prop 8 oral arguments on my lunch break. Theodore Olson started out:

I know that you will want me to spend a moment or two addressing the standing question, but before I do that, I thought that it would be important for this Court to have Proposition 8 put in context, what it does. It walls off gays and lesbians from marriage, the most important relation in life, according to this Court, thus stigmatizing a class of Californians based upon their status and labeling the most cherished relationships as second-rate, different, unequal and not okay.

Then the Chief Justice cut him off and made him talk about standing. But what struck me was, gracious, I don’t feel any of those things. Our lives are great. I just want to save money on my taxes. Tomorrow’s case means a lot more to us. I guess I don’t have that high an opinion of marriage. I mean there are good ones and bad ones, like anything else. Half my friends are divorced–divorces that improved their lives beyond measure. I’m happy for them. And their kids seem all right to me.

When Prop 8 passed, it did hurt knowing that more than half the people in the state think we’re less than they are. Having the court overturn it doesn’t change that. I always think everybody likes me. And some people don’t. But not even that is true. People just have a picture in their head that they can’t get out. If they think about me at all, which they don’t, they like me fine, but I don’t look like the picture. I’m sure Teresa’s entire Catholic family voted for Prop 8. They don’t hate us. They’re just idiots.

What happens with Prop won’t change our practical circumstances because the domestic partnership protections passed just in time for us. Like when Enzo was born, the domestic partnership law had just been upgraded so that Teresa was his legal parent at birth. It was new enough that Kaiser wasn’t set up to get us both on the birth certificate, but I insisted, and they were very nice, but not sure what to do with their form. We went back and forth, and I had to act a little bit like a lawyer. It never occurred to me that If I’d had a husband I wouldn’t have had to negotiate with Kaiser with a frozen diaper on my crotch. (They give you that for the pain.) And it didn’t occur to me until this moment that I should have billed Kaiser for teaching them what to do. Anyway, Teresa’s on his birth certificate, and they’re stuck with each other.

That reminds me that last night as I was snuggling Enzo down to sleep, he said, “I love you and Mama-Teresa so much.”

“We love you too. You’re the boy for us.”

“You picked the right mom the help raise me.”

I reported this to Teresa.  “What does he want?” she said.

 *

We’ve gotten into this mode of giving him rewards for good new habits. Like last week we had a deal that if he put his shoes away by the door for a whole week instead of shucking them off and leaving them strewn about the house, then he would get a Kendama (a cool Japanese toy). We had a chart and he earned a sticker each day and at the end of the week he got the toy. And now he thinks he needs a reward for the slightest act of obedience. “Because I said so” doesn’t have much currency around here. So yesterday I was still too sick to ride my bike to work, and I needed a ride, and Enzo was in the middle of one of his favorite shows. Teresa said, “Come on, we have to go take mom to work.” He ignored her. So she offered him a dollar. (“I was just so tired,” she said when she told me about it a few minutes later.)

*

Enzo: It’s easy to make home made glass.  There’s two ingredients you need. Fire. Hotness. Sand.

*

Enzo: I’m going to brush my teeth with each kind of toothpaste and wash my face.

Me: Why?

Enzo: So I can be fresh. And handsome.

(He has three kinds of toothpaste: Strawberry, Bubblegum and Sparkle-fun.)

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