Road Trip to Minnesota: Day 2 – Wyoming

parking lot, freeway, travelWe woke up to a cold, snowy morning in Salt Lake City.  A text message from my friend in Laramie was beeping.  I’m so thankful for Christi.  She kept me and Paul updated on road conditions and survival tips.  Apparently, traversing I-80 during a snowstorm isn’t a smart idea.  Of course, we waited until mid-April thinking such weather events would be in the past.  Sadly, no.

We climbed through the mountains of Utah and into Wyoming.  It took forever to get to Wyoming and the weather quickly deteriorated.

Did I mention that I have never driven in snow before?  I’ve been a passenger many times, but never actually drove a vehicle in such conditions.  This was definitely a trial by fire…or ice.

Paul was great at giving me advice, “Just as fast as you feel comfortable. Take it slow and easy.”  Snow was drifting across the freeway like a really weird fog machine at a rock show.  In other places, the snow was piling up, so I just followed the tire mark.

About 50 miles into Wyoming, we decide that we’ve had enough and start looking for someplace to stay the night.  I-80 was shut down about 150 miles east of us anyway, so we weren’t going to get to Laramie anyway.  We had planned to stay with Christi, but sadly it was not to be.

Finally, we happened upon Little America.  It was an oasis.  There was a hotel, restaurant, and gas station.  We could safely hunker down there until the next day.

Goodbye, Sacramento. Hello, Minnesota

The past two weeks I have been experiencing a lot of endings. Today I am unemployed. Work is over until I can find a new job or a new job finds me. I’m OK with this because I need a little break. Yes, it’s slightly worrisome, but I have a lot of beginnings to focus on now.

Well, I have a few more endings…a last meeting of the minds with some friends, one last family dinner on Sunday until the holidays or so. But, they will also be beginnings in a sense. My friends and some of my family will meet Paul. Yes, he’s real…oh so very real! Sorry, I started to swoon there for a bit, but can you blame me? He’s the most romantic person I’ve ever known.

Anyway, I’m trying not to fret about our upcoming road trip to Minnesota. Did I mention we are driving out there? We leave on Monday and four days and three nights later we will be beginning our lives together in the Twin Cities. We just have to make it through the snow and rain first. Correction, my car has to make it through the possible freezing temperatures first. The nice thing is that I won’t be alone in this endeavor. I’m not used to having someone there to support me, to help me, to share the burden. Mautomobile, vintagey family is very supportive, but it’s not the same. I feel guilty when I have to rely on them for something, like I’m not behaving like an adult.

Regardless, I want to enjoy my time in the car with Paul. We will get to listen to tons of music. Talk about how boring the scenery is in Nevada. Tell stories from our pasts. Make each other laugh. Plan for the future. How many couples get to spend that much time alone together at their leisure? Seriously, all we have to do is get to the next hotel.

One nice thing, a friend of mine from high school lives in Wyoming and has graciously offered to put us up for the night. It will be great to be able to visit with her and take a break from the road for a bit. And guess what folks? That all happened due to social media.

Relationships 2.0

Relationship thoughts in a heart“That will change…”  I have heard this and other comments about my burgeoning relationship that are clearly a reflection of the talker’s own unhappiness with their relationship.

I have heard too many damn people try to tell me that I am going to fall into traditional roles in my relationship.  Apparently, these people know me and my boyfriend better than we know ourselves.  I am supposedly going to be doing his laundry, cooking for him, and cleaning the whole house like some woman from the mid-century.

Hello?  Why is this assumption being made in this day and age?

Both Paul and I are adults who have proven to the world that we are capable of surviving on our own.  He knows how to clean a bathroom and I know how to kill spiders.  Oh, and I can even put oil in my car and somehow he manages to cook for himself.  None of these things should be dependent on our gender.

Over the weekend, a Twitter friend of mine shared this interesting article with me about how same sex marriage is threatening traditional marriage.  Now, that statement is a bit misleading.  It’s threatening it in a good way.  It’s helping to breakdown these ridiculous roles based on gender.

I have always stated that there is no logical reason to think women are better at raising children than men.  There are some really awful mothers out there and some really wonderful fathers.  To assume one’s success at child rearing based solely on their gender isn’t logical.

This is the portion of the article that really stuck with me:

I am struck in listening to the opposition to same-sex marriage by the persistent denial that gender is a socially constructed role. This is a “traditional” view of marriage in the sense that it is grounded in “biology is destiny,” or specific roles assigned based on sex. It is an extremely narrow view of “marriage” based on specific roles assigned by sex, rather than marriage as an emotional and physical and social partnership between two individuals.   Most telling, it is a view that denies that heterosexual people can be in egalitarian marriages, or should be. It is a belief in “traditional” marriage as hierarchical. Not as a true partnership of equals, but as a microcosm of society with a power structure that flows from husband to wife to children.

That’s what I want in a relationship…to be one of two individuals in a social, physical and emotional partnership.  We support each other.  We recognize our strengths and weaknesses and help one another.  I don’t want to become a martyr because I somehow get stuck with the mundane household chores.  Honestly, I’m not that good at them in the first place.  And I don’t want to put Paul into a position where that happens to me…us.  Because that too seems to be a traditional role…a woman who is

It’s interesting that in this day and age, after so many decades of change, that traditional roles in a marriage or any relationship for that matter, still exist.  You would think that things would be more equal and mostly, they are, but there are still a few vestiges of the old ways that hang on for dear life.  I see them when someone tells me I’ll be doing my boyfriend’s laundry six months from now.

Marriage Equality: Grow up, people.

United for Marriage

United for Marriage

It baffles me that people are so weirded out about letting gays and lesbians get married. Their arguments are ridiculous and illogical.

Today I saw a new one. If you want to let everyone get married, then brothers and sisters could marry each other.

First of all, gross. Second of all, that’s a genetic time bomb waiting to go off. Third of all, and most important, that’s like 0.000000001% of the population. Of course, I didn’t do the math. I don’t have to because it’s common sense.

Marriage is a secular contract. Religion is part of some people’s experience, but not everyone’s and the question here is a legal, secular one. What’s at stake has to do with equal rights.

When a man and a woman get married now, the government recognizes it as a contract. It’s an agreement to be a household. What’s mine is yours and vice versa. In California, we have community property. It can only be between a married couple. You have certain legal obligations to one another. You have a say in that other person’s life from a legal standpoint. The marriage license on file at the county recorders office says so.

How is it a legal contract?  Here’s how our government reinforces the idea:  Married people have rights to their deceased spouses Social Security benefits. That right there shows you the “domestic partner” status is NOT equal to being married. What about the tax breaks married people receive? If a “domestic partner” dies does the remaining partner automatically get to own the house they’ve shared?  Even if both of them held title to it?  Not necessarily, but with married people, there’s no inheritance tax obligation if one of them dies.  They can thank community property for that.

And of course if the “domestic partner” gets sick, there are no protected rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for them. Married people have that protection.

Marriage has traditionally been about economics anyway. Think about it. Dowries are not religious, they are quite secular. They are about stuff, things, and sometimes livestock, but not your eternal soul. Common sense dictates that it’s easier to survive with a helpmate than it is to go alone. Marriage is a contractual agreement between two people. It’s very simple. People’s ridiculous fears are what complicates the matter. Grow up and get over yourself. Who cares if two adults (or even three or four) want to create a household together? Do you want someone telling you who you can and can’t marry? I sure as hell don’t.

Life: Risks and Rewards

I don’t think of myself as foolish. Foolish people don’t have a plan. I have a plan. It may not be the best one, but at least I’ve got one. Moving to Minnesota to be with Paul feels like the right thing to do. Every time I think about being with him, I smile.

It never occurred to me that some people who hear our story might think I’m being a silly woman by giving up my life and moving out to be with him. I’m not giving up my life. I’m starting a new one.

A goal I am aiming to reach.

A goal I am aiming to reach.

I’m in my late 30s. Years and years of experience are under my belt.  I’ve lived on my own for a very long time. It’s time to try something completely different. I wasn’t always happy with my life. Correction, I was mostly happy, but something was always missing. Now, I have the opportunity not only to be with the man I love, but to also change career paths, reinvent myself professionally.

If you ask me, I’m being courageous.  Not many people have the guts to do what brings them joy.  They fear the unknown. They prefer the devil they know versus the devil they don’t. I know in my gut, I’m doing the right thing.

Sure, I don’t have a job lined up yet, but I’m not going to worry about that. I have a plan and I’m going to let the universe put me where I need to be. The right job will come along. I know it will. Until then, I’ve got savings and I can do temp work. See, a plan.

Maybe I’m meant to be in a whole different industry. Maybe I’m meant to start my own company. The possibilities are endless.  I’m open to whatever the universe wants me to do to earn a living.  My dream job is one where someone pays me to write, be it on social media, general marketing, or even just on the back of a napkin.

What I do know is that my goal is to expand my writing career. I make a little money at it now, but I’d like it to be more substantial. Writing is truly a joy for me. Sure, I’m good at being someone’s assistant, but it’s not where my joy lies. I want to be creative, not just pay bills anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to do something to pay my bills. I like buying stuff and traveling, but more energy will be put into my creativity and do more things that bring me joy…Like moving to Minnesota to be with Paul. It might be a little scary, but that risk is definitely work taking.  Like Paul wrote on that chalkboard in Caribou Coffee, my goal is to be more awesome.