How Does It Feel Now?

Every few minutes after Fernando and I exchanged vows, Stephanie would tease us and ask, “So, how does it feel now?” In truth, it felt surreal — both during the actual ceremony and in the moments that followed. “Is this a real wedding?” Fernando mused with the guests. “Where are the mariachis?” And later, once prompted again about how it felt, I think I embarrassed Fernando with my effusiveness and said: “I feel overwhelmingly happy because I’m realizing I just married the most beautiful man in the world.”

Our first weekend as a married couple was mellow and pleasant, marked by a certain serenity as the momentousness of what we have done sunk in. On Saturday we went to Peggy’s Cove and later went out for a lovely dinner with Jain at Halifax’s best Thai restaurant. Sunday, Fernando called his mamá and then we went shopping at Pete’s Frootique, saw the pictures from Friday night for the first time, and came back home for supper and watched the Academy Awards.

But how does it feel now for me, as I return to the routine of work? Well, as corny as it is, I told Fernando I didn’t think it would be possible, but I feel like I’ve fallen in love with him all over again on Friday night. In a sense — although certainly not completely — the Whore of Babylon has been tamed. For as the fox explained to the little prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Day Has Come

Never would I have thought, but…

— Maurice Yvan Michaud, will you take Fernando Revilla Espinosa here present to be your partner, to have and to hold and to be faithful to him from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, so long as you both shall live?

— I will. And as a token of the solemn vows of this marriage, I, Maurice Yvan Michaud , give this ring — a symbol of love, friendship, and loyalty.

February 22, 2008

No other words — I repeat no other! — could have filled me with more joy.

The Queen of Sheba hosted and Grand Poobah of Culinary Delights prepared the most wonderful, intimate wedding reception we could have ever imagined. Present were the Queen’s daughter and her partner, the Queen’s son, and the incomparable BeeGoddessM and Stephanie. And to our mutual delight, Cleopatrick called us during the dinner — another true mutual friend in the same league as Jorge and Alejandro and Jovana back in Mexico.

Also making a surprise appearance: an unexpected 10-centimetre snowfall. There must be irony therein; I never expected I would marry, let alone in the dead of a Canadian winter, and, until two weeks ago, Fernando had never seen snow. Or, perhaps rather than irony, the snow crystallized what neither of us ever expected would happen in our lives. It is -6C in Halifax while I write this, but 17C in Mexico City.

My beautiful loving spouse is sleeping now. We both indulged in much wine tonight, and clearly he is feeling its punch a bit more than I am. But, at least for now, he is near me — very near in every way — and that’s all that matters.

Pictures coming soon.

Here Come the Grooms

Cartier Gold Trinity RingEl Poema and I have come to terms with the fact that we’re a little bit crazy.

This week we spent a lot of time planning our big day. To be truthful, before this week, I didn’t know anything about the Cartier trinity ring portrayed here. And now here we are: that is what we selected as our wedding bands. In the 1920s, Jean Cocteau adopted it and turned it into a symbol, where the three interlocking rings represent the three virtues of love: loyalty, honesty, and romance. Not, as the Queen of Sheba feared, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

We have a date set — soon, obviously — but we’re giving ourselves license to postpone if, at the last minute, we feel we’re rushing too much. In other words, if we feel we’re being a bit TOO crazy.

Speaking the Name

This new year started like no other for me, for never have I started a year when I could say that I’m engaged to marry the man I love. But one thing wasn’t different as this year started: the fact half my family — and only half my family and no one else in the entire world — wasn’t clear on the fact I like men, let alone am prepared to marry one. Hence the necessity to have that talk with Mom.

Much has transpired since then. A week later I called her and we spoke for three hours. She had had time to absorb the news. She didn’t backtrack, but she did have a few pointed remarks which I totally respect and a few even more pointed questions about El Poema. The speed at which everything is happening hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone, and certainly not by her. Her most pointed remark amounts to a “I support your decision but you’re making your own bed.” Fair enough; she would have said that even if I’d decided to marry a woman. She really would have. And her pointed questions were exactly the type I could expect from a practical person like her.

Then, a week after that, she called me. “J’ai été bavarde”, she started. (“I’ve been speaking a lot.”) She then explained that while one of my brothers — the one closer in age to me — was at the homestead to help her set up her new TV, she told him everything. His reaction, as expected, wasn’t one of surprise. Apparently (really no surprise!), it was a brief topic of conversation within his little family at one time or another. So before he left, she showed him the pictures of El Poema and me she had saved while I was there and he asked her to e-mail them to him. Then, Mom went on to tell me that my other brother was in town earlier that week …and she told him, too! (Geez! She really did speak a lot!) He was even less surprised, from what I gather, and instantly grasped the link between marriage and immigration. And he thought and asked the same questions she asked me a week later. At any rate, she told them both not to act as if she hadn’t told them the next time I talk to them. I think my comment that I was tired of pussy-footing around for 25 years resonated stronger than I thought it did.

All is right, as far as I’m concerned. My main concern all along wasn’t them as much as her. The last thing I expected is that she would “speak a lot” as she did. But I did want her to call the shots because she is the head of this family. I didn’t want her to feel broadsided by me.

Tonight, Mom called again. The topic feels like a plain matter of fact, as it should. Except there’s one little hitch. Well… it’s a big hitch, but because it’s my mother, I’m cutting her some slack for now. She can’t bring herself to speak El Poema’s name. For now, he is him or your friend. A lot of that is generational, namely that it’s hard for her to associate a male name to another male name, especially her son’s, after 25 years of trying not to think too much about what said son might be up to with males. I suspect some of you reading this might think that I’m cutting her too much slack, and to be honest, the fact I’m now writing about it suggests that it DOES bother me that she can’t yet formulate a simple subject-verb-complement sentence with the subject Fernando — a name that still makes my heart skip a beat whenever I hear it or read it, even if it’s not in reference to THE one.

But you see, as they say, on the other hand there are five fingers. A while ago — before our “talk” — I mentioned that I was wondering what I should do with these three wool sweaters she knitted for me years ago. I don’t wear them anymore but, as I told her, I hold on to them because she made them for me and, on that basis, I cherish them. And tonight, knowing how big a deal it is for him to come to Canada in the dead of winter, she asked why I don’t give them to him. She couldn’t see the smile on my face when I said, “Because I don’t think they will fit him.” I mean… he’s 3 inches taller than I am, and I’m pretty sure much of that difference is reflected in his torso and the length of his arms, although he is very slender.

In short, it seems that she can’t speak his name just yet, but she’s thinking about how not to have him rush on the first plane back to Mexico.

Now lend me one of your hands, because I’ve used both of mine and I need five more fingers.

I played a huge role in her not associating a male name to me. For 25 years, she heard the names of all the guys in my life. The significant ones, that is. I suspect I did so because, at some level, I wanted her to ask me the infamous “Is he more than just a friend” question. But she never did, and I never pushed the envelope. So, really, I’ve been complicit. At least until three weeks ago. I let her not think about what she didn’t want to think about. She and I both need time to adjust to being frank and formulating simple subject-verb-complement sentences. About how he and I met. About the kind of person he is. About the big and little things that bring me to love him so. About the beautiful things he says to me. About how we manage to communicate in spite of the nearly 5,000 kilometres that separate us.

But I’m pretty sure all of that will change after she meets him. He will no longer be an abstraction. To help her get there, I need to say his name, frequently but matter-of-factly. So that eventually, even to her, he won’t just be him. He will be Fernando, my (future) spouse.

Look at This One …No, That One!

El Poema and I have spent a lot of time in the last 24 hours looking at online ads for apartments in Montréal.

It’s a frustrating exercise in many ways. First, there are the places that look right but are available immediately or a month sooner than we can start renting. Then, there are the places that are incredible but just THAT much over the budget. Then, there are the places that are perfect in every way …except no smoking or no pets, or neither. Then, there are those places that are amazing but make you wonder why anyone would pay that much rent instead of buying a house. And, of course, there are many, many that fall in the “You’ve Got to Be Joking” category.

There’s one prospect that came unexpectedly yesterday. El Poema still has to pronounce himself on it, but based on what he indicated he liked and didn’t like, I think he’ll like this one. I think I like it, too, although I’m hoping to get more details on room size and natural lighting. But the price would be right. There’s always the complicating factor that we’re still 21 days from our apartment-hunting visit in Montréal, but by golly: who wouldn’t want to rent to guys like us! 😛 In all seriousness, though, not that I’m the type to screw anyone around, but with this prospective landlord in particular, I really don’t want to raise false expectations.

Meanwhile, from the “Don’t They Make You Sick” file, something cute and funny happened during our Skype session last night that still has me chuckling. He was talking on the phone, so I sent him a goofy chat message through Skype: “Who is the beautiful prince I see on my computer screen?” When he got off the phone and read the message, he kept a poker face and said, “Oh! I don’t know… Maybe your computer has a virus!”

And then we both burst out laughing.

I WARNED you this anecdote was from the “Don’t They Make You Sick” file!