I've finally reached that magical birthday where I honestly don't need any more stuff. But I do need the fiancé. More than air. And while our country's moral leaders struggle valiantly to convince the world that our love is something to be feared and loathed, I struggle to wonder if those moral leaders will ever know the happiness and stability we share in their own lives. Stupid fuckers.
So I sneaked out of work a little early tonight and met the fiancé at the Cook County Clerk's Office. Once we got the baby's breath arranged in our hair, we began our slow and hopeful march down the escalator to the subterranean Vital Records Division, where we had a brief but meaningful ceremony. We set the mood with the first two choruses of Standing In Line Behind The Couple With The Kid In The Bassinet. Then we had a reading of Please Print Your Names On The Form Exactly As They Appear On Your Driver's Licenses. After the obligatory Double-Checking Of The Driver's Licenses and the traditional Waiting While The Clerk Runs To The Printer, we declared our love symbolically through the charming local custom of Handing The Cashier Thirty Dollars.
And we were officially domestic partnered! Which is the best 40th birthday present I've ever gotten.
The county's standard ceremony package doesn't come with a photography service, so my newly minted domestic partner's brother—who was our witness—took this lovely portrait of us just outside the chapel with my cell phone camera, which I then slightly color-corrected in iPhoto so we'd look extra-tan on our special day:
And then we headed up a few blocks to meet my entire family at the architecturally fabulous Grand Lux Café for a celebratory dinner followed by molten chocolate cakes. Because no domestic partnership or wedding—or 40th birthday, for that matter—is valid without pastries that bleed when you cut them. And instead of a honeymoon-like cab ride back to our condo, we walked six blocks to the el so my niece and nephew could cap off their evening in all the joy and wonder that comes with riding a train.
I may have lost a fiancé today, but I gained a two-disc Sweeney Todd DVD. Oh, and a domestic partner. And as I type this, my domestic partner and his brother and my entire family–everyone I love the most in this world—are safe and cozy and asleep under our roof. And that, my friends, is how you have the Best 40th Birthday Ever.