Tuesday, June 29, 2010

iPhone

Living in Spain permanently has been pretty much a dream of mine since my stint here in summer of 2007. As you can tell from previous posts, I was ecstatic to make the move. But there were parts of me that were a bit scared about relocating indefinitely to another country. Most of those fears stemmed from the large, more important issues, e.g., the language, the unemployment, the money, etc., but there was a share of more... petty issues I had with the plan, one of those being: my iPhone.

...a chorus of Angels sing...

We've been through alot, together. My first iPhone was accidentally run over by a friend, forcing me to revert back to my horrid old cell phone until I could afford to replace it. I was very leery about having to downgrade once again, but it would be a necessity due to money and well... pretty much just money.

Then I came up with a genius idea. I could find out how to jailbreak my phone, unlock it, and then I could slip in a prepaid sim card. Sure, I wouldn't have the internet, instant messages, GPS, and any other form of 3G goodness on the go, but at least I wouldn't be damning my baby to the status of glorified iPod Touch!

The jailbreaking process gave me a few headaches at first. There were many times in which, for various reasons, I didn't think I'd be able to complete the process. There were even some times in which I thought I'd ruined my iPhone for good. In the end, I was successful, yet still not at all prepared for what David would do next.

I now have a Spanish iPhone data plan! Can we cue those singing Angels again? I now have several iPhone-related ultimatums from David on daily basis, but it's worth it!

Embracing my newly tech-savvy abilities, I decided to go ahead and see if I could upgrade to the new operating system, which would require re-jailbreaking and unlocking. Psh! Child's play!

But that wasn't enough, oh no. The upgrade for the iPhone 3G doesn't support some of the best new features, e.g., multitasking! Well, I just worked around it!


It may not be an iPhone 4, but it feels pretty damn close to a brand new phone.

OK, I realize that in contrast to my recent posts, this might seem a little dull and insignificant, but what was I going to write about today? Organizing the wardrobe?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Back to Reality

Today was David's first day back to work. He's on his way home right now.

We both thought today would be rough, endless. Instead, David's reported that it's been a pretty decent day at the office. On my end, man did time fly!

I had all of these goals for the day. My To Do list went something like this:
  • Shower
  • Do dishes
  • Clean bathroom
  • Catch up on reading the blogs I follow
  • Catch up on my blog
  • Some hair removal (beach prep, as we still haven't been!)
  • Laundry
  • Organize wardrobe
I woke up with David at 6:30 am. He immediately called me out to the terrace to see the sun rise over Santa Coloma (as we live on the border of the city, we can see it across the river adjacent to us). It was a sight to behold.


I wasn't able to accomplish quite everything on my list. I did catch up on my blog reading, and I did manage to post at least one retrospective blog (found here). I even managed to epilate almost my entire left leg... David waxed the left one yesterday... this is Europe people, give me a break...

I did some organizing, as well. And the laundry's taken care of. But man... I'm going to need the whole week to take care of all the things I hoped to accomplish in one day! And the good news is, with all the busy work, I wasn't left missing David too terribly.

This little arrangement might just work.

Stay tuned throughout the week as I continue to post retroactively about my first week in Spain.

Also, meet Raúl. He's our new little friend that likes to appear on the terrace. I named him after a stuffed lizard my eight grade Spanish teacher had in her classroom. The first time I encountered him, I freaked out. But I'm getting used to him.

video

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 5: The ER

There's something I've failed to mention. For the first few days, David's and my post-reunion bliss was frequently interrupted by a major pain in the ass. Literally.

Two days prior to my departure, I noticed something awry in my rear. I immediately had flashbacks of the operation I'd undergone a year ago in which a cyst was removed from my tailbone. This new anomaly was remarkably similar, only quite a bit lower, in a much more delicate and inconvenient area. Understandably, I began to freak out. I no longer had health insurance, as I was now unemployed, and I certainly wouldn't be covered in my new host country.

The cyst removal and the many months following will forever haunt me. The recovery process was brutal. And then there was the infection. The recovery from that, again, brutal. I couldn't bear to even think about going through that again. It was too late to do anything about it in America, so I tried my best to just push the concerns to the back of my mind. I did, after all, have equally captivating positive events to focus on.

On day one, I informed David of the dilemma. For the next couple days, he consistently assured me not to worry and promised that everything would get resolved soon. Yet, the issue remained a trending topic in our conversation. I was constantly stressing about either the painful recovery, or the enormous debt the ordeal would cause us, or both.

My anxiety didn't even dull until a particularly revealing conversation I had with my mother a couple days later. It dawned on her that the condition I was describing was strikingly similar to a hemorrhoid. I finally eased up a little knowing that it was possible that what I had was much easier to cure than I'd initially conceived.

David, clueless as to how to go about seeking medical advice for a foreigner, made several phone calls to various friends in the field. It was finally decided that I'd go to an emergency room in a public hospital. So on monday, David, Elena (David's friend who's in medical school), and I went to Hospital del Mar.


We approached the receptionist. David and Elena explained the situation: that I was a tourist (as I technically am) and had no insurance, and that I needed to see a doctor about what was likely a hemorrhoid. Somehow, the woman ended up asking the right questions. She asked us if I intended to stay in Spain and become a resident. David explained that we were already in the process of getting married. She responded with a miraculous solution. She set me up with partial social security. When my status was complete, we'd submit my paperwork to the hospital. The service I received on that day would be free. Hurray!

We were ushered into a little office, where again, Elena professionally relayed the facts. I'll be forever grateful for her putting away her studies for a day to come help and support me. The amount of friends who, without ever having met me before, show such concern and care for me, is not only testament to David's character, but also to the good nature of this culture.

Within five minutes, I was wearing a hospital bracelet and being told that my friends could not come with me. A not particularly friendly doctor directed me to a small, cramped waiting area. I sat there contemplating what was to come for over an hour. To say that I was uncomfortable would be the understatement of the year. I don't think I have ever felt so ill at ease in my life.

FInally, an attractive, young, female doctor came for me, botching the pronunciation of my name entirely. She guided me to a room and had me confirm what we'd already informed the first doctor. Her English was shaky. The majority of the rest of the already terrifying experience would be a true test of my underdeveloped Spanish proficiency.

I was laying on my side, pants down, partially covered with one of those paper blankets. Four or five doctors were huddled around me at all times. She told me she'd be administering anesthesia, and that after that I should feel no pain. Well I would hope not! I now know for certain that the anus and needles do not get along. Luckily, I'd had to pee since arriving to the ER, so at least there was that to distract me.

After what felt like hours, all but the original doctor left. I twisted my torso to see her as she explained the procedure they'd just done. Her hands were covered in blood. She dressed the wound, then I dressed myself, and in a daze I wondered back to the waiting room to wait for her to bring my prescriptions and instructions. I tried to pay attention, but failed to grasp every detail, knowing that most of the information was probably on the sheet of paper she handed me, and that David could decipher it later.

Elena and David were sitting on some steps outside the ER entrance. Elena pointed when she saw me. I can't imagine what it was like for David, sitting there waiting for so many hours, with no clue even as to what the definitive diagnosis had been. I explained in few words what had occurred. The three of us made our way along the beach to a restaurant for lunch. I was in a strange, apathetic mood for hours.

David went to the pharmacy for my prescriptions leaving Elena and I to converse. She is really nice, and put me more at ease. We had not yet eaten and it was already late in the afternoon, so the food did me some good as well.

Finally, David and I made our way home. We took it easy, obviously, for the rest of the evening. This huge problem that I'd anticipated being the worst of the worst was resolved. And, apart from the few euros David had spent on the medication, it hadn't cost us. David always lives up to his promises.

As I write this, over a week later, I can say that I've healed %100. I'm in awe at how accommodating Spain has been to me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 4: Cubelles

We slept in until noon. It was wonderful, waking up up with no plans. The past couple days had been so full of activity that we were both anxious for a quiet day at home. Well, that's not what happened.

Just after we woke up, David's parents called him. Plans were made. We got ready as quickly as two gay boys can (read: not very quickly) and were on our way to his parent's summer home in Cubelles, the small town on the beach about an hour south of the city. It's been David's second home since he can remember, so I was looking forward to seeing it. It would also be my first time in Spain outside of Barcelona.

We hopped in David's old Audi, and put on some good music. I'd forgotten how wonderful our road trips are. But whoops! Gotta stop for gas.


In order to arrive, we had to take several long, ventilated tunnels under the mountains that circumscribe Barcelona. There were so many sights to take in along the way. The trip was short and sweet.

As we parked near the apartment, nerves fluttered spastically in my stomach. It was meet the parents time.

I was greeted with smiles, however they didn't rid the nerves. I'm sure his parents were probably just as nervous as I was, wanting to hit it off well with their future son-in-law, hoping I was as promising as their son had assured them. Not only would there be somewhat of a language barrier, but they had never before knowingly met even a boyfriend of David's. *Gulp*

Everything went smoothly enough. David's uncle was also present, but I didn't really understand him. We sat at the table to eat. I tried to answer their questions as completely as I could, and engage in the conversation frequently. I think it went well.

Many of David's closest friends also have dual homes in Barcelona and Cubelles. I suppose this arrangement, granting them the ability to get together all year round since childhood, is one of the reasons they've grown and stayed so close. I met many of them when I was in Barcelona three years ago. Gloria is one of those friends.

He called her mom's apartment to see if she was in town. She was, but she was sleeping. "Don't wake her, I'll be right over," he told her.

Moments later, I was standing over Gloria, who was sleeping on a long couch opposite another girl. It was all part of David's hilarious plan. "Gloria. Glooooria," I whispered, my face only a couple feet from hers. Her eyes partially opened. She looked around the room. You could tell her mind sensed something strange about the scenario, but it was also too tired to care. Her eyes closed again, and she tried going back to sleep. Our laughter finally woke her.

After some friendly small talk, we decided to go to the pool. This was my opportunity to see the true beauty of Cubelles.


That's Gloria in the last photo. Semi-pictured is her cousin, who made me certain that kids from all corners of the world can be little shits. Seriously. She was harassing David (who openly admitted-- to her face-- that he hated her) the whole time we were there, and I can't remember what she threw at me, but it hurt.

Some other friends soon joined, including María, a friend that played a pretty significant role in my first summer in Spain.

I got tired quickly. This was my first day of intense and nonstop Spanish. Also, the bratty cousin I mentioned spoke Catalan, which provoked David's friends to speak back to her in Catalan. My mind was so exhausted that it couldn't draw the distinction anymore, and it inevitably shut down. David excused us and lead us back to his parents' place.

After a bit of mingling, David and I decided to take a walk by the beach and grab a snack. It was windy as all hell, an anomaly in these parts. We found a table inside a little restaurant right on the beach. Over an enormous plate of patatas bravas and an "americano" made especially for me, we discussed Catalan, and what it's like living in a culture with not one, but two strong and distinct identities.

Exhausted, we hit the road, only to hit a pretty significant traffic jam on the way out. That's what you get for leaving the coastal towns towards the city on a Sunday evening. We were among tens of thousands.

Once home, we defaulted to some Buffy and bed. A huge milestone under my belt, I slept soundly, indeed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 3: Home

As sad as it was to leave our luxurious hotel suite, I was super excited to finally see my new home. After a delicious and satisfying breakfast in the hotel's dining area, we went outside to wait for Sonia and Manuel to pick us up; they'd graciously offered to drive us and our luggage to our apartment.

David and my first reunion (after two years) took place in New York. Because of how momentous and special the occasion was for us, that hotel just off Times Square, in which we spent our first nights in America, will always hold a special place in my heart. And so will this place.


I don't know when riding in a car through this city will lose its magic. I hope it never does. I remember my last week in Michigan. Every time I had the opportunity to be a passenger, as opposed to the driver (which occurred quite frequently towards the end thanks to selling my car), I would make a point to soak in the views. Pressing my forehead to the window like a child in awe, I'd make mental notes of the landscapes, the homes, the ambience. I wanted to remember where I was coming from, and give myself a drastic base for comparison later on. Let me tell you, I don't think what I see while riding through Barcelona could be any more different than Midland, Michigan. Is it better? I'm tempted to say yes, but I'm biased. Ultimately, just having the opportunity to notice those differences is what I enjoy most.

Thanks to mountains that surround the city on all sides (except, of course, the coastline), I could tell when we were nearing our "barrio" (ignore the negative connotation, Americans, here it simply means "neighborhood"). We parked. Manuel offered me a straw hat. Sonia remarked that he sometimes sold them. I think it was a joke, though he did have several in a stack in his trunk. I wore the hat, briefly, as the four of us each lead a suitcase towards the entrance.

It was amazing. Not exactly like I had formed it in my head. Even though I had seen many photos, my head hadn't processed all of the proportions correctly. Regardless, I was in love, especially with the view.


Moving to an expensive city like Barcelona, I was expecting so many sacrifices. This apartment is something I'd be completely happy with in Columbus, or Midland! Sure there are little things to get used to (e.g., the frequently extinguishing gas, absence of a dryer, a dishwasher, etc.), I am more than comfortable and happy in my new abode.

David and I spent a good chunk of time in "OMG, here we are!" mode before I got the itch to unpack and settle in. We found temporary homes for everything and cleared my suitcases completely. Although we moved quickly, this took quite some time.

A very short walk from here, there is a very large, very American mall called La Maquinista. We decided to go there (but in car) to do some grocery shopping. I was quite impressed with Carrefour, an enormous supermarket, much like a Walmart or Meijer (for you midwesterners). I wasn't use to that kind of shopping in Spain. We were so tired that it was nearly impossible to choose anything. In the end, both frustrated and barely able to function, we quickly gathered enough items for the next couple days and made our way home.

We concluded the night by watching Buffy and putting together the Buffy collectors' figures that were David's Christmas present to me, but which up until now I'd only been able to enjoy via webcam.


Sadly, we discovered a minor flaw with the region-free DVD player David had scored at a second-hand store. Every couple minutes, the audio and video start to go out of sync. When this happens, someone has to quickly hit "pause" and "play" to reset the alignment and stop the distracting lag. But seriously, if that's the worst of my problems, forget I said anything at all.

Going to sleep in our bed for the first time was amazing. It's amazing how quickly this is feeling like home. But I should have expected it. Where ever David is, that's where I'm most comfortable.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 2: Sexo y Nueva York

I can't describe how amazing it felt to wake up beside David. The enormous bed and beautiful hotel room was just icing on the cake.

We were in still in bed when room service arrived. Sonia had planned for us a romantic breakfast.


We enjoyed our meal at relaxing pace. We showered, and may have even taken a bath in the enormous tub the room provided. Then we decided to go and explore the city center some more.

Sensing I may be anxious to see that a little bit of America does in fact exist in Spain, David took me to Fnac, a humungous media store like a Barnes & Noble and Best Buy combined. There, I bought my first region 2 DVDs: Dollhouse season 1. Score!

After Fnac, we were already hungry again. I lead him to a little piece of the city I was familiar with right next to where my internship had been three summers ago. In a small, hidden plaza, accompanied by really nice live music, we "took" some shandy and some seriously phenomenal salads.


Next stop: La Boquería. This is a massive market in Las Ramblas that offers a wide array of both typically Spanish and bizarre foreign products. David lead me through the labyrinth of kiosks, pointing out his favorites and instructing me when to overt my eyes.


We followed this extremely Barcelonian activity with some Frappucinos from a nearby Starbucks. I made a point to memorize the code to the bathroom there for future emergencies. You know me!

On to the first highlight of the day: Sex and the City 2!


Earlier, when David had informed me that our only option was to see the highly anticipated film en español, I was dumbstruck. Not only were the voices not going to be in sync with the characters I've known and loved for so long, but I was certain I would hardly even understand it.

We entered the cinema, one David had never been to before. We ordered a Coca-Cola-- American sized. The theater was nearly empty but for a few stray elderly men. What exactly were they doing in the middle of the afternoon seeing Sex and the City 2 anyway? That's just weird. David turned to kiss me right as a man in the next row up turned and locked his eyes on us. I was a bit mortified.

The movie started, and right off the bat I was all but offended at the deep, suave voice that came from the lips of Charlotte's gay, Anthony. Carrie spoke exactly like the actress who's body she'd highjacked, quickly and with much sass. Not a great combination for the non-native speaker. As the movie progressed, however, so did my comprehension. At first, I understood roughly 50%. By the end of the movie, around 70. All in all, I can assume that when I finally watch the movie in English, I'll like it more than the first!

After the movie, we were allowed enough time to shower and get ready for the main event. David's cousin Sonia and her boyfriend, Manuel, were to join us at the hotel for dinner and drinks. We sat in the lobby sipping on margaritas. I was anxious to meet the girl that had so generously provided us with what honestly felt like a honeymoon; the girl that David had told me was so excited for us to be together again that she had cried on many occasions while discussing my upcoming arrival. Soon, Sonia arrived.


David wasn't wrong, the whole evening their relationship kept reminding me of the one I share with my own cousin, Shelly!

We eventually made our way up to the "Cantina" where a Mariachi flavored the night with some Mexican classics. We sipped on "Coronitas" (the Spanish monarchy owns the trademark "Corona") and enjoyed a buffet-style Mexican meal. The Mariachi made its rounds and eventually landed on our table, making any communication on my part virtually impossible.

After dinner, we went down to the lobby to see a fashion show by a Mexican lingerie designer. Manuel showed up moments later.


The resemblance I'd seen between Sonia and Shelly quickly escalated with Manuel's arrival. Their chemistry is freakishly similar to that of Shelly and her husband, Kiel. Manuel's thick, Southern accent makes it nearly impossible for me to understand him; just as Kiel's low, quiet voice and his tendency to mumble made it impossible for David to understand him!

We admired a lot of the designs on the "runway", but mostly just laughed our asses off at the girl who would come out every five minutes or so, seemingly to give the models a chance to change into their next looks. She did this weird little dance in circles around the crowd. Her strange flapper/lyrical/interpretative style had us laughing the whole time (and me secretly hoping she'd fall on her ass... or trip over somebody).

The show ended, and we quickly decided that that scene had been played. We wondered down the Eixample streets to a newer bar that was decorated like a museum. Some frames held classical pieces of art, while others contained TVs broadcasting the music videos of whatever song was currently playing. I was impressed! And the dancing commenced!


We decided to find another place to have our last drink of the night, which ended up being a small bar called:


An hour passed as we waited for the drag queen we'd seen upon entering to make another performance. Finally, to the fanfare commonly heard at the beginning of any 20th Century Fox feature presentation, she emerged from the very curtain you see above, decked out in flamenco attire.

I would love to report that I loved the show, but in fact, I didn't understand a word of it. The only joke I actually got, and which actually killed me, was when a little person squeezed by her to get to the bathroom. She turned around as he passed and mimed stomping on him as if he were a cockroach. Wow.

Inevitably, I had to go to the bathroom soon enough as well. I quickly darted behind the curtain and drew out the process hoping that if she had noticed me, that she would quickly forget, so that I wouldn't become another butt of her jokes. Yeah... not so much. As soon as I returned, she made some comment to the crowd that lead to a fit of laughter and a very confused, unhappy expression on my face. David later explained that she had compared me to, due to my hairstyle, a character in a Spanish television show from the eighties. Hm.

Standing there, watching the three of them as the queen did her schtick and later scrutinized Manuel for something I couldn't even fathom; I felt very, very alone. I knew exactly what to expect, as David went through the exact same thing about one year ago, but it doesn't make it any easier. It's going to take time and a lot of patience (something I'm unfortunately not known for) to get a handle on the language and culture of my new home. But for now, I am collecting an amazing multitude of experiences that are as practical as they are enriching. Sure there will be a lot of doubts and anxieties along the way, but I'm doing it alongside the man I love. I have the support and love of not only the family I've left behind, but of the new one I'm quickly forming here. And life without changes and challenges? Well, that's just not my style. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 1: The Arrival

My eyes were still fresh from the tears I shed while saying goodbye to my mother. I boarded the first plane with a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. As complicated as the human body is, it's sometimes impossible for it to handle the even more complicated emotions it's faced with. I sat nervously in my window seat, and was immediately greeted by an older woman. She spoke oddly and frequently. It was going to be one of those flights. Luckily, it was my shortest.

Awkward conversation turned into somewhat pleasant conversation. Upon hearing the reason for my travel, she revealed to me that she was gay herself (which didn't come as much of a surprise.) Hearing my story passing through my lips, my excitement and her perception of it, eased the nerves and obliterated any lingering sadness. We talked about gay rights and how the times have changed. Before I knew it, I'd landed in Chicago.

The flight from Chicago to Warsaw wasn't nearly as long as I'd expected. I took a pill to sleep, and was actually successful, although it was brief and choppy. I read the Sarah Silverman memoir I'd been saving for the trip almost in its entirety.

The memory of this and my last flight blur. Soon I was gazing at the coast of Spain, hoping each little outbreak of civilization that emerged would be Barcelona. This went on for almost an hour. Finally, I could make out familiar landmarks. The plane landed. My luggage was among the first to appear on the conveyor belt (this never happens.) I walked around the "items to claim" area and without even a blip of security, passed through to the awaiting crowd where I almost immediately made out David's face. He was jumping and waving to me. I paused and dropped some of my baggage for a second to wave back.

The reunion wasn't even close to the movie-like moment both of us had been imagining for so many months. He approached me even before I'd crossed the red line on the floor. We embraced... awkwardly. We'd simply grown unaccustomed to seeing each other in the flesh. I think both of us, for a few minutes there, wished we had had our Macbooks handy to initiate a Skype connection so that our minds could draw their own connection between the persons we loved and the bodies before us. Within a half hour, we were in a taxi. I was so excited to finally see our new home. The weirdness had been completely replaced with an indescribable satisfaction. The cab meandered through a city both familiar and new.

"Here is fine," David told the driver at an intersection in the center of the city. Though unfamiliar, I was certain we were nowhere near our new address.

"We're getting out here?" I asked, confused.

"Yes." Baffled, I complied.

"What are we doing?" I finally asked as we walked my suitcases down the sidewalk.

"It's a surprise," he semi-answered.

Concern radiating off me, "This wouldn't happen to be a surprise involving other people?" I was a mess, in desperate need of a shower. "David?!"

"Just trust me."

I huffed as he lead me into a very posh hotel. I muttered something about how we'd agreed that the "hotel thing" was unnecessary now that we had our own home to spend our first nights in.

"I'll explain soon," he assured me. I tried to put on a pleasant face as we checked in and were lead up to our suite.

As soon as I walked into our gorgeous, temporary abode, my frustration and resentment vanished. It was über chic.




We were greeted by champagne and fruit, as well as a card. He explained that the whole thing was a gift from his cousin, Sonia. She had planned it before we knew we'd have place to call home so soon, and even after the fact she insisted. Then he went over a little itinerary we had for the next two days, all compliments of Sonia. We barely had time to get settled before we had to get robes on and head down to the spa for a sauna session for two.

Later in the evening, we set out on foot to find a place to eat. Just observing the streets and plazas was exhilarating and exhausting. I fell in love with this city before, when I knew my time here was limited. Now I am here to stay. Will I ever fit in? Will this ever truly feel like home?


We settled on one of David's favorite restaurants in the city, Rita Blue. It was tucked in the corner of a gorgeous plaza that was bursting with nightlife. We dined on delicious tapas and Sangría. I smoked indoors.


We didn't stay too long. My stomach felt a little destroyed from jet lag and all of the nerves from the past 24 hours. We walked home and soon went to bed, clinging to each other as if the unconsciousness to come could undo all of the wonders that day had contained.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ready Ready Set Go!

Well! It's here! I never thought this day would come! Everything is set, and this is the last thing I'm going to do before leaving!

I'm going to stop at my sister's house to say goodbye to my niece and nephew, and then stop and see my sister at her work. In a few hours I'll be on a plane, and will probably let out a huge sigh of relief just for being done with all of the goodbyes! I'm sick of them!

I wanted to document more of my last few days in the United States, but I've been so busy. I hope after I get settled into my new home, and after David and I finally stop staring at/touching each other in disbelief, I'll have time to recap a little on these events. I really don't want to forget them! But just incase, let me just leave you with a few "goodbye" photos from my last days in the good ol' USA.

Gabby! No send-off's complete without your bestie! Here we are enjoying some American Beer and America's favourite pastime at my first Great Lakes Loons game.

I will miss Christine, too! She's saved my life so many times. I hope she can learn to get her butt on Facebook more often so we can keep in touch!

The parents of another bestie. These are Tess' parents and they have been so kind to me over the past decade. I'll really miss them, too! I can't wait until my eventual wedding ceremony when all of these friends and more will finally surround me again!

Wish me luck!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Creep

Yes, that may be a TLC reference.

I was just sitting outside having a cigarette before bed. A small storm seems to be rolling in. The wind is rustling the trees. There's lightning in the distance. And it started to hit me.

It's creeping up so steadily. Only days stand in the way. And each day is passing so quickly now.

Excited. That's what it feels like. It's dawning on me just how truly exciting this part of my life is.

And tomorrow is my party. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's Smart vs. What's Right

OMG you guys. One week left. That's SEVEN days.

This many!

The closer it gets, the more anxious I am for it to sink in. Knowing myself as well as someone who... well... is me, I can try to predict how it's all going to unfold. It probably won't set in until after this weekend. My party will be over, and most goodbyes will have been said. I'll then only have a couple short days left, which will probably seem like barely enough time to pack my suitcases and brace myself.

I really don't know if I'll ever get that feeling, though. I've been preparing myself for and dreaming of this shift for so long, that I think it's already sunk in for a huge part of me. Hanging out with my friends and my family doesn't have that same bittersweet undertone that I feel it should. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have the time here! Also, I can feel my stress and anxiety levels decrease with each Michigan-paced day that passes, something that'll probably be an enormous plus when I first get to Spain.

All that I'm saying is that at any given second, I'm ready to go. I've tried to refrain from getting too sappy, I save all of my emotional rants for the emails I send David. However my longing to be with him again is driving this entire event. Our deep connection and all of its implications are an integral part of the plot. I agree that it is important to maintain, even in the healthiest, deepest rooted relationships, a certain degree of independence and personal identity. But I know in my heart I will never again feel "right" without his physical presence in my life. It often feels like we're one soul split into two separate bodies. (I know, I know, but sometimes cliches exist for a reason!)

Having gotten all of that off my chest, I'll finally tackle the title of this post.

Over the past week I've begun the tedious task of selling my car. Today, a family came to test drive it. It'd be the 16 year old daughter's first car. When asked if I'd drop the price down a little, I admitted I'd sell it for two grand. I added that that was about how much air conditioning would cost in my new apartment in Spain, and so I was trying to sell it as soon as possible. And then, not surprisingly, one of them asked why I was moving to Spain...

This family is from here in Sanford. Sanfordians, as a rule, aren't necessarily the most open minded people. Would revealing my sexuality to the potential buyers have costed me the sale? Probably not. Was there a chance of this happening? Yes, I'd say there would be a small chance. So maybe I did the smart thing by omitting the significant details by answering that I was "starting a new life over there," but it definitely didn't feel like the right thing. Sure I could have played the vague card, saying only that I was getting married, but that would likely prompt more questions.

I can picture extreme gay activists shunning me, arguing that "it's all about making our presence known", "letting them know we're among them, and that we're not so different". But if you've ever experienced this first hand, you're probably familiar with the internal feud that takes place.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only case of my "omitting the details". Although I do not know him personally, and am prone to minimizing small chat anyway, I'm still truly sorry that I did not tell the man at Radio Shack that my reason for leaving the country is that I'm about to enter into a homosexual matrimony. Why? Because I love David, so much so that I sometimes want to shout it to the world! Also, I am so proud of him, of our relationship, and of Spain's decision to recognize it. So why did I open my mouth in the first place, when I was almost certainly going to have to either divulge or backpedal?

I don't always hold back. In many situations, I share all, beaming. But the guilt and confusion brought on by a few select incidents have brought me to share the issue in this blog, and ask what you all think. I suppose I want to be that person that will proudly proclaim my story to anyone. I want to contribute to making random people think a little about the issue, which shouldn't even be so taboo in the first place! So, perhaps I will. Starting now?