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We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Blog…

Ok, I suck.  It’s been way too long between blog posts.  And while I’d like to blame it on things like impromptu trips to Florida, AC, Philly & Wisconsin (and I sort of do), I take full responsibility (except see above).

First off, before I even get into wedding-y stuff, the response to my last blog post was…amazing.  I got emails and facebook messages and tweets from so many of you who were touched by our sentiment.  I wish I had the words to tell you how much it hit my heart to know that what we wrote was so well received.  It’s always a little scary to take a stand that you know full well will (and did) alienate some people.  I can tell you that in hindsight after the TENS OF THOUSANDS of webhits my last post received, not only did I feel heartfelt appreciation from so many of our gay friends, but I also received a couple messages from people who stopped to rethink their position and have started to feel differently about the issue.  That’s beyond words amazing.  It takes a lot to admit you may have been wrong about something (ask Richie- I think he’s heard those words come out of my mouth maybe once? And if pressed I might still deny it), so I wholeheartedly congratulate those of you who paused to reflect.  I know, I know- a little blog that made a couple people think is a drop of water on a blaze, but it’s also indicative of the fact that change begets change and one voice can inspire thousands.  So, you know, say something.

Speaking of saying, I need to say one more thing about the subject before I return you to your regularly scheduled blog, as promised by the now slightly misleading blog title.

My dad LOVES the picture Richie & I took with NOH8.  Loves it.  To an embarrassing extent.  Like, he’s had it printed in 8x10s, had it blown up to poster size, mounted it on foam core board, and had some sort of canvas portrait created as well.  I literally can’t get away from myself, which is completely creepy.  I’m waiting for my next birthday present to come wrapped in custom marriage announcement wrapping paper as I sit home in my NOH8 pic checkered pajama pants, cuddling with my custom printed throw blanket, sipping coffee from a mug with my face looking sternly back at me.  Essentially, our duct tapped faces are everywhere & it’s gotten slightly out of hand.

So, it came as no surprise that my dad sent our picture to a popular website to have custom postage stamps printed so our smiling faces could haunt the upper right hand corner of every letter he mails out (also, who even sends letters anymore? But I digress).

Imagine his surprise when his order was rejected & he received this email:

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Dear Frank,

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to accept the image you have submitted as part of your order.

For this reason, your entire order has been canceled and your credit card will not be charged. We were unable to accept your image for the following reason:

This image was not accepted because it did not meet our content guidelines. Click here for more info on our content
guidelines.

Please note that owing to privacy concerns, our customer support representatives do not have access to any submitted images and they cannot provide additional details on why your submission did not meet our content guidelines.

We thank you for ordering from us and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We encourage you to try again.

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So naturally, I looked up content restrictions and found this:

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Content Restrictions: You agree not to upload, order for print, or otherwise transmit or communicate any material for any unlawful purpose or that is obscene, offensive, blasphemous, pornographic, sexually suggestive, deceptive, threatening, menacing, abusive, harmful, an invasion of privacy, supportive of unlawful action, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, violent, or otherwise objectionable.

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Ok, seriously.  Blasphemous? Pornographic? Deceptive? Obscene?  Do I need to post the picture again?

What about our pro-marriage equality statement did they find so thoroughly offensive?

There are many companies who print custom photo stamps.  I thought long and hard about whether or not to publicly blast these guys on here (umm, obviously I found the CEO’s home address and I’m not gonna lie- it might have been fun to start a friendly campaign of sorts- perhaps exploring stamp designs more…overtly…in violation of the aforementioned “content restrictions”), but ultimately I’ve thought better of it.  When I look at what happened as a whole, it just serves as a reminder that as open as NY has proven to be post-equality vote, the rest of the country’s just not there yet.   If more people speak up, hopefully we can get to a point where any loving relationship….can be pictured on a postage stamp?

Sigh.

Ok, so it’s now clear that my blog post title was a complete (but unintentional!) lie.  Seriously though, how could I go back to dress shopping (OMG! I have so much to tell you!) and cake tastings (I’m trying the chocolate peanut butter invention next week!! Wheee! Free cake!!) when the custom postage stamp industry had some ‘splainin to do? 🙂

 

Love to all of you-

Rach

Love is Love.

I interrupt this frivolous blog to bring you an important message.  Feel free to tune out if you were hoping for a diatribe on save-the-date etiquette (which I totally have questions on…but now’s not the time).

Richie and I released our engagement announcement today.  And we waited until now for a very specific reason.  As I type this, same sex marriage is being put to the Senate floor for a vote in New York.

Although I have strong beliefs across the board, there are very few political issues that I speak about publicly.  Coming from a family I love that happens to be filled with staunchly opposing political viewpoints, I’ve learned to shut my yap & just enjoy playing dominoes with the people I absolutely adore.  Because at the end of the day, they’re so much more than a party ticket.  Nothing I say will change their minds, just as nothing they say will change mine.  And instead of the frustration of trying again and again to craft the perfect argument that will cause some big “a ha!” moment where they’ll all see why my perspective clearly makes the most sense, I learned a long time ago that I don’t need someone to agree with me to make me “right”.  And when you really let go of that quest for approval of your opinion, you’re free to just love and appreciate other people, exactly where they are.

That being said, there are times when it’s important to take a stand.  When sitting in silence legitimately hurts another person.  I have too many gay friends not to stand up and say that equality matters.  I’ve watched them be mocked behind their backs, rejected by family, passed over for employment, turned down for adoptions.   I’m not speaking theoretically, I’ve seen every one of those examples first hand.  And it breaks my heart. 

So why is the word Marriage important, versus a Domestic Partnership or a Civil Union?  Very simply, our country tried “Separate but Equal” and we saw how well that turned out with Jim Crow Laws.  The truth is, separate is never equal.  It’s separate.  It separates.  It inherently teaches our children that one group of people are of a different class than another. 

I believe our grandchildren will look back at this time in history with some shame, and that saddens me.  It saddens me in the way our country’s discrimination towards women prior to the Suffrage Movement and, more poignantly, the dark blemish our practice of slavery left on our Nation’s history saddens me.   

All this to say that today, as this vote goes to the Senate, I’m encouraged.  I feel the excitement, the ground swell of change.  I feel an awakening and an awareness of an evolving generation that says “enough is enough”.  For the first time, I think progress is truly imminent.

So we chose to celebrate our engagement by standing up and saying something:

Love is love.

-Rachel

UPDATE 06/24/11 10:51 PM ET: GAY MARRIAGE PASSES IN NEW YORK!!!!  New York is now the 6th (& largest) state in the Union to adopt gay marriage!  Here’s my favorite quote: “when Republican Roy McDonald famously defended his unexpected decision, saying “fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing” — the scale in favor of gay marriage seemed to tip.”

What an amazing day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!