Midweek Musings

Hello, dear readers – welcome to another Thursday.

The past week is a bit of a blur in my mind. On Friday, I had an appointment with a rheumatologist out in the suburbs. A few hours before I needed to leave, I panic-rented a car – COVID numbers are out of control in Chicago (like they are most places in the US right now), and I didn’t want to spend an hour or more of my day trapped in a Lyft with a stranger. Of course, because it was so last-minute, I didn’t have the option of renting the car for just the day, so we unexpectedly ended up with a car all weekend.

The rheumatology appointment was disappointing, but the rest of the weekend was pretty nice. Sunday in particular was great – we went to our favorite breakfast spot in our old neighborhood with a friend and picked up some delicious food, and then later in the day we went back up to our old grocery store and loaded up on a ridiculous amount of food.

Tuesday was the tenth anniversary of my husband’s and my first date, so that was exciting. It was a low-key day, but it was nice to take a little time to acknowledge that hey, we’ve been together a long time.

Last night I had songwriting class. The song I wrote this week was unlike anything I’d ever done before, and I was super nervous to perform it, but I think it went well. It was a good reminder that vulnerability is often worth it.

This weekend I’m looking forward to the possibility of three D&D games and some other little chances to connect with friends (virtually, of course). It amuses me, sometimes, that my initial response to the pandemic was to pack my schedule with regular virtual social events – I am very much an introvert and would probably not socialize this much outside of lockdown. But I’m also increasingly aware of the importance of community and connection in these wild times, and I’m super grateful to have multiple little communities that I can connect with regularly.

Keep taking care of yourselves, friends. Wash your hands, wear your damn masks, stay in when you can. And check in on each other (virtually or at a safe physical distance). It’s the only way we’re going to get through this.

Bad News/Good News

Hello, dear readers! I apologize for the late blog this week – the holiday at the beginning of the week threw me off a bit, and also I overslept this morning. Whoops.

Y’all, it’s been a WEEK. Last week’s blog happened right before things started getting exciting. There is bad news, and then there is good news.

So, first, the bad news.

My partner got a call Thursday morning from the museum where they’ve worked since we moved to Chicago almost eight years ago, with unfortunate news – they were laid off (they helped manage the team that handled field trips and tour groups coming to the museum, so not too surprising, but still).

This, of course, was sad and anxiety-inducing. Thankfully, with my new job, we’re still going to be in a reasonably-okay financial spot for the time being, but health insurance is a major concern (particularly during a pandemic). So, I pretty immediately emailed the HR team at my work and asked what we’d need to do to get them onto my health insurance.

HR got back to me pretty quickly with the list of “Qualifying Life Events” that allow a person to change their health insurance plans mid-year. I didn’t see any information regarding a domestic partner losing their insurance, though, so I emailed back to clarify. They replied with a question: “Do you have any legal documentation of your domestic partnership?”

I turned to my partner, and said, “So…it looks like we should maybe get married?”

Which, if you hadn’t figured out where this was going, brings us to the good news.

After nearly 10 years together, we’re getting married!

We’d talked about it off and on over the years but never felt like we needed to do it – when we started dating, gay marriage hadn’t been legalized yet, so we didn’t even have the option…it was never part of the framework of how we thought of our relationship. I had my own internal resistance to it, too – I felt like it might be the only way to make some of my family members see my relationship as “legitimate,” and that annoyed me. I didn’t want to do it for them. But we’re at the point where we really do want to do this for us. We’re both committed to making this work, and it’s going to make the legal bullshit so much more straightforward…it’s a win-win all around.

So here we are, unexpectedly planning a wedding in the middle of a pandemic. I can’t say I ever had super clear dreams about what getting married would look like, but I definitely never pictured it would be just us on our couch in front of a computer!

I hope you’re all staying safe and that our happy news can bring some light to what are definitely weird and frequently dark days. Keep hanging in there, friends.

Important Days

The second half of November is full of important days.

I can now count on one hand the number of days until I am legally Alyx.

I’m nervous. I’ve bought a new outfit and started making lists of what I need to bring with me (and what I need to leave at home – evidently, knitting needles are contraband at the Daley Center). I’m a little overwhelmed thinking about the number of agencies I’ll need to alert to the change when it’s done.

But I’m excited. The actual process itself might be a bit of a headache, but it’ll be worthwhile and make for fewer headaches in the future. I can’t wait to have ID with a name that matches my presentation…a name that fits me.

That’s not the only big day in this half of the month, though.

This past Monday marked four years since my partner and I went on our first date. (Next Wednesday marks four years since we figured out that we were both on the same page in terms of wanting to take a stab at this whole romance thing.) It’s been quite the journey, from several months thousands of miles apart to moving in together several states from where we met, through changing identities on both our parts. I have never known anyone who has made me feel so safe and comfortable, and around whom I can be so totally myself. It hasn’t all been sunshine and flowers, but I wouldn’t trade a single moment – all of them, even the hard ones, have been worth it. I will never understand how I got so lucky, but I hope I’m always grateful.

On a rather less sappy note – also coming up at the end of this month is the first birthday of this blog! I wrote my first Accidental Fudge post on November 30, 2013, and have managed to post something every single week for almost a whole year now. (In honor of the impending birthday, I’m giving the site a bit of a makeover; please bear with me, as things will probably change a few times before I’ve really settled on something.) I had no idea when I started whether I’d be able to come up with words every week (and I still rarely know until Wednesday evening what I’m going to be writing about), but I’ve done it anyway, and that’s pretty exciting. It’s the most consistent and dedicated I’ve ever been with any creative effort, and while I may not have gained a cult following, I’m still pretty damn proud of this little corner of the internet that I’ve claimed as mine.