If I had one of those office magnet things that would allow me to choose my mood, today I would be gratefully annoyed.
Since moving to Greenville, most everything Marianne and I have tried to get as a couple has worked out. My work offers partner health benefits, the East Carolina University fitness center was going to let me join under the spouse designation, and now that we have the paperwork for our legal name change even that seems to be moving forward.
What I realized tonight though, was that we had to pass some sort of litmus test for all of these things:
- My work had me a sign a statement, under threat of job loss if I lied, that M and I met a certain number of requirements to be considered a couple and thus she be eligible for partner benefits;
- The fitness center was much the same, it seemed to be predicated on how long we had been together;
- The Clerk of Courts basically told Marianne with a wink and nod where to find the paperwork online because Pitt County doesn’t provide it over-the-counter.
While I am grateful that we “passed” all of the required tests to qualify for what we needed, I’m annoyed because you wouldn’t ask a married couple these questions. married is married is married. For two days or two months or two years. Married is married. Which is why the USA just needs to get on the ball and allow all folks to get married to whom we want.
Beyond that, I am super annoyed that all of what I we have since qualified for has been because of whom we’ve spoken with:
- Let’s assume that I didn’t know to ask about partner benefits at work and the HR manager didn’t tell me they were offered – it’s quite possible that she would be stuck with the super-expensive insurance provided by the graduate school;
- Or if Marianne had spoken with someone else at the fitness center who didn’t think that gay couples ought to have the same rights as straight couples, especially because ECU as a whole doesn’t offer partner benefits and it’s possible the worker M spoke with was being nice – I may not have been allowed to join the gym;
- And it seems that which counties in NC allow people to get the legal name change paperwork at the Clerk of Courts office is totally arbitrary, Pitt County doesn’t, Forsyth County requires you to have a lawyer get it, but Wake County puts it online. Had the worker in the office the day Marianne went to ask for the paperwork not been as helpful as she was we would probably be hiring a lawyer at this point to walk us through the process.
So that’s where I am, gratefully annoyed. Grateful that we have been together long enough to qualify for most of what we need, but super, super, SUPER annoyed that even after M and I have our Ceremony of Blessings for our Committed Relationship, we still won’t be married “enough” to do us much good at all.