Marriage Project, Day 7

The footnote is from her wife. And it’s perfect. Meet my guest for today’s Marriage Project:

My wedding story

I have always been accustomed to the idea of being a bride. I was,
after all, brought up in Utah. It was routine growing up there to be
focused on securing a husband. Preferably early. I am a good girl so I
married by 21.

I remember the wedding with discomfort. I couldn’t stop laughing. Not
in that “Oh this is the happiest day of my life!” way. Think more like
that uncomfortable tickle at the back of your throat when you are in a
quiet space. Knowing you should be still, but being unable. Imagine
giving in to the giggle, even as everyone turns to stare and eyebrows
raise. That was my first wedding.

My groom digging his hand into mine in an effort to shut me up. A
routine in our marriage. Shut me up, calm me down, tame me. Needless
to say, ours was not a happy union.

I constantly felt I was walking about with two left shoes. To feel
more at ease with myself, I went searching for who I was. This is a
long story but imagine much soul searching and wandering about lost
for – oh, about 5 years or so.

I woke up to myself while performing in the Vagina Monologues. There
is a little ensemble piece called “What Would Your Vagina Say?”
Apparently mine had been wanting to say “Psst … you are a lesbian.

Less than a month from that moment under the lights at The Met theater
I met her.

Oh man, I can’t even begin to describe her or my instant sure
knowledge of our rightness together, but falling in love with Cassie
was the easiest, most perfect plan I had ever been party to.

We merged families and destinies quickly. I flung headlong into love.

It wasn’t all pretty. My family was shocked. There was a little talk
that I was not fit to parent my two children (then 18 months and 4
years). It was rough, but somehow in that storm of family
disappointment and attitude adjustment, I felt calm.

After 26 years of always feeling backassward and wrong, with Cassie I
felt perfectly normal. I have always joked with her that she is my
sleeping pill. With her I fall asleep soundly and promptly, safe.
Before her I had never felt this way, it is how I know we have
something special. Something to celebrate.

After 10 years together and  millions of giggles, 10,000 tears,
hundreds of struggles both minor and major and that ever-glowy, gooey
love, we now stand on the precipice of a day when our love might
finally become state sanctioned.

I am delighted, planning a ridiculous, ginormous over-the-top wedding.
I want to plan every detail, because I care. Because this will be my
first real marriage. Because we have earned it, my bride and I. We
have withstood so much disdain and homophobia to reach this place. And
we will now party in the most epic way. We will not make our love
small to keep society comfortable any longer. The happy brides are
coming and the grooms, too. Be ready with open arms and good dancing

Anne Dietz-LaVoie
Portland, OR

(I love you, baby-love! This story brings me tears of joy. I really do
love you! Yep, it’s me; I read it! – Cassie)

1 thought on “Marriage Project, Day 7”

  1. May you find continued happiness in all your dreams, and keep up the fight that society is insisting on inflicting on someone’s love, which is NO ONE’s business. You both are a fine example for all those how fight for their love, and human rights. Best Wishes

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Jill Malone

Jill Malone grew up in a military family, went to German kindergarten, and lived across from a bakery that made gummi bears the size of mice. She has lived on the East Coast and in Hawaii, and for the last seventeen years in Spokane with her son, two dogs, a hedgehog, and a lot of outdoor gear. She looks for any excuse to play guitar. Jill is married to a performance artist and addiction counselor who makes the best risotto on the planet.

Giraffe People is her third novel. Her first novel, Red Audrey and the Roping, was a Lambda finalist and won the third annual Bywater Prize for Fiction. A Field Guide to Deception, her second novel, was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley, and won the Lambda Literary Award and the Great Northwest Book Festival.

Giraffe People

Giraffe People

Between God and the army, fifteen-year-old Cole Peters has more than enough to rebel against. But this Chaplain’s daughter isn’t resorting to drugs or craziness. Truth to tell, she’s content with her soccer team and her band and her white bread boyfriend.

And then, of course, there’s Meghan.

Meghan is eighteen years old and preparing for entry into West Point. For this she has sponsors: Cole’s parents. They’re delighted their daughter is finally looking up to someone. Someone who can tutor her and be a friend.

But one night that relationship changes and Cole’s world flips.

Giraffe People is a potent reminder of the rites of passage and passion that we all endure on our road to growing up and growing strong. Award-winning author Jill Malone tells a story of coming out and coming of age, giving us a take that is both subtle and fresh.

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A Field Guide to Deception

A Field Guide to Deception

In Jill Malone’s second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, nothing is as simple as it appears: community, notions of motherhood, the nature of goodness, nor even compelling love. Revelations are punctured and then revisited with deeper insight, alliances shift, and heroes turn anti-hero—and vice versa.

With her aunt’s death Claire Bernard loses her best companion, her livelihood, and her son’s co-parent. Malone’s smart, intriguing writing beguiles the reader into this taut, compelling story of a makeshift family and the reawakening of a past they’d hoped to outrun. Claire’s journey is the unifying tension in this book of layered and shifting alliances.

A Field Guide to Deception is a serious novel filled with snappy dialogue, quick-moving and funny incidents, compelling characterizations, mysterious plot twists, and an unexpected climax. It is a rich, complex tale for literary readers.

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Red Audrey and the Roping

Red Audrey and the Roping

Occasionally a debut novel comes along that rocks its readers back on their heels. Red Audrey and the Roping is one of that rare and remarkable breed. With storytelling as accomplished as successful literary novelists like Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters, Jill Malone takes us on a journey through the heart of Latin professor Jane Elliot.

Set against the dramatic landscapes and seascapes of Hawaii, this is the deeply moving story of a young woman traumatized by her mother’s death. Scarred by guilt, she struggles to find the nerve to let love into her life again. Afraid to love herself or anyone else, Jane falls in love with risk, pitting herself against the world with dogged, destructive courage. But finally she reaches a point where there is only one danger left worth facing. The sole remaining question for Jane is whether she is willing to accept her history, embrace her damage, and take a chance on love.

As well as a gripping and emotional story, Red Audrey and the Roping is a remarkable literary achievement. The breathtaking prose evokes setting, characters, and relationships with equal grace. The dialogue sparks and sparkles. Splintered fragments of narrative come together to form a seamless suspenseful story that flows effortlessly to its dramatic conclusion.

Winner of the Bywater Prize for Fiction, Red Audrey and the Roping is one of the most memorable first novels you will ever read.

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