Sunday, August 30, 2009

European honeymoon

We booked a honeymoon to Europe a couple of months ago. We're planning on spending time in England, France and Switzerland. I'm particularly excited, because although I travel quite frequently, it's mostly to Asia. A bit of New Zealand and The US thrown in the mix... but I haven't been to Europe since I was 21. That's 12 years ago now (Agh!)

I've mentioned before that C hails from England. We're investigating how easy it is for the two of us to marry legally over there - gay marriage is legal over there, and we figured it would be lovely to legally marry in my girl's home country, but time will tell. We'll be visiting family but also having time to ourselves. We're aiming for a 50/50 mix of hotels vs. family visits.

So imagine my surprise when I've been given the chance to do some work while I'm in England at the same time as our honeymoon is booked. I can have a small amount of our accommodation/ internal travel/ food etc paid for. Though it's work related, the work wouldn't detract us too much from having fun. The question is... do we take the work money and have it contribute toward our honeymoon, or do I not work at all?

I was inclined to not work, but we see it as an opportunity to go to a different part of England... and me get some work done, so my whole trip isn't considered holiday leave. I think we might end up doing it.

On another note... I posted the order for the invitations today, so they're getting made as we speak. Our favours are also being sorted as we speak (more on that later). Finally, I booked a videographer! I was going back and forth on whether to hire a professional video person, and then they contacted me to say there was a special on. I booked it then and there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friendship is a wonderful thing

In our endeavour to get fit and healthy, C and I purchased a weights set. I'm talking a pretty huge home gym with four stations. We bought it second-hand, just as we did our exercise bike. Both times we got pretty solid equipment for the price you'd buy shaky equipment brand new. A lot of people invest in solid gym equipment and then realise they're just not using it.

When we first got together, my partner C and I would do loads of things with her best mate (The Guy). At first I thought The Guy was kind of daggy, and sometimes a bit of a drama queen, but I quickly learnt what C sees in The Guy. He's so kind and considerate - would do anything for either of us, and really respected our relationship, giving us ample time alone.

After The Guy started a new long distance relationship, we saw less of him. We made new friends, so tended to catch up at big group events more than just the three or four of us hanging out. C and The Guy are similar and I was the different one in our little group. But as soon as I met The Guy's boyfriend, A, I knew I suddenly had someone in our group that was similar to me. A moved down here a few months ago to live with The Guy.

A and I get on like a house on fire. C and The Guy get on like a house on fire. The four of us laugh lots, tease each other, and help each other out of tough situations...

So we squeezed the home gym into the trailer and got it home. We had asked the boys to come over and help us put it together. By the time they'd arrived, I'd managed to move half of it out of the trailer and into position (C's bad back meant she could guide and direct me but not lift much of it... very frustrating for a strong chick).

A asked who we hired the trailer off. The Guy said "It's C's".
A looked confused. "C has a trailer? That's a little... odd... for a girl?"
The Guy laughed and said "you don't know C very well!"

When A saw all of C's tools, he was even more amazed.

They unloaded the other half for us, and put it all together, except for the weight stacks. C and I put the weight stacks together yesterday, but soon realised we had to pull the WHOLE thing apart to put it back together. I was amazed at how logical I was with the whole thing and how I could see what needed to get done. C is amazing with a toolset, of course, but I shocked myself at how good I'm getting, simply by hanging around her and watching her do all the work she's done around the house. I might get my own toolbelt some day! (Actually, I much prefer sitting back and watching a woman in a toolbelt!)

Anyway, the boys invited us to a gay lounge bar on Sunday afternoon for a drink, and to listen to some live music. Just the four of us... So after putting the gym together and scoffing down some lunch, we got ready to meet the boys. Relaxing and entertaining. A went outside, and I followed having a D&M with him, while The Guy and C stayed inside, having a D&M. Loads of lesbians, not so many gay guys out, but it was a great afternoon just listening to a fantastic band (headed up by a hot lesbian signer).

It occured to me at the bar.... It's just so easy with A. We have no interest in one another (of course!), no need to impress each other, our friendship is real. He challenges me, too, which is important in friendship... but he doesn't judge. I've always liked a friend I can debate issues with, but not feel like everything I do is under scrutiny... and he seems to have a good balance of that. It's exactly what C and The Guy have.

It suddenly clicked that this is what friendship is all about. I have a couple of friends like this - real, genuine friendships where the trust is evident and we can talk about things that really matter without fear of being judged. It's funny though because for so long I'd never had these kinds of connections, instead having that with just my partner (before now my partners were all male and were more best friends than partners).... I guess this is something for another post, but now I see friendship differently now that I've come out. Somehow it's easier now than it was before to put people into the appropriate categories of friend vs. partner.

A and I are meeting for lunch soon, just the two of us. We've done it a few times before, but then work got crazy and A started his new job, so we just haven't done it in a while. I'm really looking forward to catching up one on one.

Perhaps the funniest part of the catch up was when my chair fell from under me. I fell onto my bum, knocking the glass coffee table over, along with 10 glasses and a glass bottle of water.

Amazingly I only broke one glass, but the band stopped singing and mentioned it over the microphone and every single person turned to look at me. C asked if I'd hurt anything.

"Just my pride" I said as everyone laughed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My first girlfriend

My girl, C, has been out forever. Gold Star. Most of you know I was married before to a guy.

The other night we went to dinner with a couple. I'll call them Jamie and Beth. Like C, Jamie has been out "forever" and Beth was also married to a bloke and has only been out over the past few years.

So we were talking about gay people, and a particular friend who isn't a lesbian and we're not sure if she considers herself bisexual or something else (having dated one woman).

"She might be pansexual" I said.
C and Jamie looked at me, completely confused.
"Panwhat?" Jamie asked me.
"Pansexual," Beth confirmed. "You know, you fall in love with the person, not the gender?"
C and Jamie shook their heads and grinned at us.
For two newbies, we seem to know so much about the lesbian culture that our Gold Star partners aren't aware of. Perhaps because we read lots, or perhaps because the culture has changed over the years.

I read so much about lesbian culture as I was coming out, learning "how to be" a lesbian and fit into the culture. C and I often talk about the sheer amount of research one of her exes did, and how I was similar. On the other hand, she just started dating girls.

I was just reading Sasha's post How To Be A Lesbian and thought the advice was good - make friends and realise that the LGBT community isn't scary. I read lots, I made friends, and finally I felt comfortable enough to say "yes, I am gay". Like the author of that post, it took me a while to move from the "I'm bi" category to the "I'm gay" category. It wasn't that I was interested in men, it was just that I had dated men for so long that I didn't even know being with women and not men at all was an option for me.

Note I'm saying "for me". I'm not saying I was that naive I didn't realise lesbians existed. I just didn't think that it was an option for me... I believed I had to be with men. I'm not sure why - my feminity? my socialisation? my history? the fact I didn't listen to myself?

I don't have any regrets. My mum was very supportive, but slightly concerned I might realise that I wasn't gay after coming out to everyone and regret it. Of course, that didn't happen. Instead my only regret was that I didn't come out earlier and take advantage of dating loads of women. As C says, however, I met her at the right time. I'm marrying my first girlfriend, and being with women has been nothing but positive for me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We've talked in great detail about the invitations we want. I have a bit of design know-how, but met with a graphic designer yesterday to have a briefing and get a quote. Without printing, the price is quite high. Reasonable when you consider she's a trained graphic designer, but not reasonable when you consider I know what I'm doing with some graphic products myself. We'd hoped printing would be the most expensive part of our invitations, but it looked like graphic design would be.

So we pondered. And while watching TV last night, I started making a movie, using pictures of the two of us and a small video snippet. A few title pages and suddenly we had a one song invitation on DVD. I showed it to C, who loved it. We have to fix it - change some photos, some transistions, add some new video - but I think this will be our invitation. We'll include the details on the cover so people can take it with them to the venue (and in case some people don't realise it's an invitation!)

Anyone done something like this before? Stories to share? Some you've seen?

I'm also really torn about whether we want a wedding video or not (DVD). I love them, but the cheapest quote we've had is $1300 and we do own a video camera already. I don't know whether to make our own, using our own footage, or get the professionals in. We are having a very personal ceremony, and I don't want to miss a minute of it through the excitement of the day!