Proud of My President

I am so proud of my President today. Of course, there is little doubt in my mind that politics and Obama’s re-election played some role in his decision to come out supporting same-sex marriage. But do I care? No.

All I care about is the fact that our President (whether you like him or not) did the right thing today. There is no reason a same-sex couple should be denied the exact same rights that a heterosexual couple takes for granted. I married my husband almost two years ago and you better believe I’d be pretty pissed if the Government, no ANYONE, told me I couldn’t. Any couple who is in love and wants to get married should have the right to do so.

This view of mine may alienate me from some of my blog readers, or even some of my friends and acquaintances. But I have to say, I don’t really care. I can understand some people with strong religious beliefs truly feel that marriage is between a man and a woman. I can respect and appreciate their views, but I also believe that what other people choose to do with their lives does not affect me. It is not right to deny people the rights they deserve just because you personally do not agree with their lifestyle.  Do I want to have a romantic relationship with another woman? No. But do I care if someone else does? NO. Why would I? Another couple’s relationship has absolutely nothing to do with me and I definitely do not have the right to judge them for being with the person they love.

So, today, for this reason, I am proud of my President. Politics or not.

Watch the video here.

A Strange Tradition

Weddings are strange. Amazing, but strange. Two old and strange traditions that come to mind are when the bride chucks a bouquet of beautiful flowers at all of her un-married friends while “all the single ladies” blares in the background, and then shows a little too much leg to her friends and family while her new husband takes off her garter and throws it to all of his un-married friends, who in most cases run away and let it fall sadly to the ground. Oh, that didn’t happen at your wedding?

But I think the strangest wedding tradition of them all is eating your frozen-for-a-year wedding cake. Who’s idea was it to wrap up a perishable sweet in plastic wrap and let it take up valuable space in your freezer for an entire YEAR before eating it? I like to think we took great care in wrapping up our cake to avoid damage or freezer burn, but sadly, when we pulled it out of the freezer we could see ice crystals forming. Yet, we still moved it from the freezer to the refrigerator 24 hours before we planned to eat it, then set it out on a cake stand a few hours before dinner and expected it to taste like it did when we fed it to each other in front of 100 people (again with the strange traditions) exactly one year ago. 

We sliced open the cake with our engraved cake cutter and server, and served ourselves a slice each (on paper plates..hey, who wants to do dishes on their anniversary?). We took the first bite, after a year of anticipation (not really, I forgot about our cake a week after our wedding) and we were both pretty disappointed. Why would we think this was going to taste good? After twelve months in the freezer? Who knows. Maybe because it was our wedding cake. And it tasted so good that night, and wishful thinking never hurt anyone, right? The upside to this story is the cake still looked gorgeous after all that time! And it helped remind us of how truly wonderful that night was.

We paired it with a little pink bubbly that our friends brought us home from Champagne, France. Not too shabby.

Would I do it again? Can’t say I would. One bite of that grainy, stale, soggy, old cake was enough for me. Sadly, the rest went in the trash.

This is what our cake looked like in all its glory on September 18th, 2010…When it still tasted good..

What’s In a Name?

I got married last September and when I said “I do” to my husband,  I also said “I don’t” to changing my last name. Before the wedding I did go back and forth a little on the idea of having two last names. I remember thinking, “Well I want people to know we’re married,” and “Wouldn’t it be easier if we had the same last name?”  Ultimately I decided I didn’t care if people thought we were married, because we knew we were married. And having two last names on top of my already long middle name was just too much.

Photography by John the Photographer

Most people I tell this to don’t understand my reasoning. Some people (mostly older women) are shocked and even offended that I didn’t make the “full commitment” to my husband and take his name. Yes, that has actually been said to me before. Other people think I did it because I’m lazy and didn’t want to go to the DMV (this one could be partially true), and a “friend” recently told me in front of all her friends that I only did it because my mom didn’t change her name when she got married, therefore it must be a tradition. Cause you know, I can’t think or make decisions for myself.

So here’s why I didn’t do it-  It wasn’t because I am already established in my career with my maiden name and don’t want to confuse people, it wasn’t because I felt like it was something I had to do, or I had pressure from my family. I kept it for me, and me only. It is my name after all. My name is a part of me, and it always has been. I have had it since I was born, so why change it now? I also have a sort of love/hate relationship with my name. It isn’t the most beautiful sounding name or the easiest to spell, and I often get sick of people misplacing the ‘h’ or mispronouncing it all together, but once again, it is mine. It reminds me of that side of my family who although they’re kind of crazy, I absolutely love and wouldn’t trade for anything. I like being a part of that group, I like the connection we have by having the same name that was given to all of us as newborns.  My name also reminds me of my heritage. It is a Jewish name that has been shortened over the years, but I know where it came from.

Now, as much as I love my husband (and his last name isn’t too shabby either) I didn’t feel right losing my independent identity just because I married him. Because he is the kind of man he is, he didn’t care either way. When I was discussing it with him before we got married he even once said “Why change your name? Who cares? We’re still going to be married. If you don’t want to change it, don’t.” This is one of the many reasons why I know I married the right guy.

So, when we walked down the aisle after we said our vows, the officiant announced us and said “Amanda and Troy as husband and wife!” instead of “Mr. and Mrs. Troy____” I loved this announcement. That is what we were—husband and wife. I was not just the “Mrs” version of my husband, I was a part of a marriage and a commitment, but I didn’t need to lose myself to be in that commitment. I have always hated when women agree to be announced or even addressed as “Mrs. John Smith.” “Mrs. Smith” is one thing if you decide to change your name, but why in the world is it okay for your FIRST name to be replaced by your husband’s? As if you are no longer your own entity, and only his first name is important enough to be announced to all your friends and family.

* Disclaimer-  I am not saying every woman should keep her last name. That is a choice each woman needs to make for herself. It wasn’t right for me, but I don’t judge anyone who follows the tradition of taking on her spouse’s name. But why don’t the men take our names? Okay, okay, even I know that would never fly, but then why should we be judged if we don’t take theirs?