Wow…final episode, final blog…final parting thoughts on what has turned into one of wildest journeys I’ve ever been on. Where to even begin…
It’s probably best to address my mom’s surprise visit first and foremost, because till this day (three months later), I’m still in disbelief over her arrival. If my face didn’t paint an accurate enough picture of my shock, allow me to further detail my utter disbelief. I had NO CLUE that Nik’s friend was a decoy and that my mom was en route from the East Coast to spend an invaluable week by my side planning the wedding. I mean, how did I miss any and all signs of that surprise as it was being planned under my nose?!?! My girl was tense, my mom was avoiding my calls for days on end, and Nik insisted we arrive at the airport early enough to see the newsstands opening their gates…All things that seem just a touch off, but only in hindsight. At the time, I paid no mind and went with the flow.
Well sure enough, the surprise unfolded perfectly! I was patiently waiting for Kath when I spotted my mom in the crowd. It took a moment to register that I was seeing her because I couldn’t comprehend how she could be there. I stared for a few long seconds, my mouth fully agape with incredulity. I think my tonsils were even visible! Sure enough, when it did finally compute, I bee-lined up the escalator, grabbed her tightly and didn’t let go until we got to baggage claim. It was then that I finally had the calm and sensibility to ask if my dad was here too and perhaps hiding behind the carousel. (He didn’t join her for this trip, because he wanted to allow us a girls weekend.
Besides, a free pass to play golf, all day every day, for a week vs. wedding dress shopping with the ladies? Who could blame him?) All in all, it’s very amusing to see this play out on screen now, because in the moment I was completely unaware of myself and my surroundings.
The surprise was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received, and I have the two most special women in my world to thank for it…my mom and my bride. During the amazing week she spent with us I finally bought a wedding dress, something every bride hopes to do in the company of her mom. It was a dress that my best friend helped me find during a “maid of honor” outing one day. I liked it but (no surprise here) was also a bit uncertain. The reason being, it was far from what I was looking for. I initially thought I wanted a dress that was less structured and more draping/sexy (similar to the first one I tried on). But when I put it on and saw the reaction from Nik, mom and Barbara, something made me look at it again with fresh perspective. I felt special. This one felt right, albeit a bit too big and not in my color choice…but it was indeed “IT”.
The rest of the week was filled with non-wedding related fun too. We had a birthday trifecta celebration (me, Nik and my mom are all back to back birthdays - April 15th, 16th & 17th, I kid you not. Our poor future kids!). We brought our moms to meet the cast during a network photo shoot; we saw extended family and we ate and drank well all over town. Not bad for having not a single plan in place when she arrived.
Her visit was perfect. I have a hard time expressing just how grateful I am for the love and support that surrounds me…the very love and support you got to witness on the beach. To hear my mom tell me how proud she is of my life, how much she loves Nik and how much my happiness means to her and my father renders me almost speechless. I knew from the moment I brought Nik into my world that my family’s acceptance was never a guarantee, but a hope. A very strong hope considering how much family means to me. Well, not only did I receive their blessings, but our relationship secured a spot in their lives and a valuable place in their hearts. For that I am eternally grateful. (Seven hugging scenes and a box of Kleenex later, I have no doubt you all got that).
And so, on a bit of a mushy note, our three month journey concludes…
Sharing my life on screen was one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had, but in turn, also one of the most rewarding. Nik and I (along with the amazing other women in this cast) shared a tremendous vulnerability by opening our doors literally and figuratively for the world to see in. And by doing so, we’ve been thanked, we’ve been judged, we’ve been praised and we’ve been criticized. No denying, it all took some getting used to.
But we opted to put ourselves out there, and so the myriad of responses, both good and bad, were expected and appreciated. From this all, we’ve grown and gained in ways neither Nik nor I couldn’t have imagined.
It’s been a lot of fun to look back on the past 9 episodes and see our story play out. We laughed. We cringed. And we learned, A LOT. But as we watched, we also recognized that the view you had into our lives was not always the fullest and didn’t always provide you with the most complete backstory or most detailed context. With six plus women, a one hour time slot, and a weekly episodic structure, it simply wasn’t feasible to delve deep into each of our stories unfortunately. So you were left with a partial perspective of Nikki and Jill, and to me that is a bit unfortunate. For instance, you never saw us busy at work to actually earn the money we seemed to have spent week after week on the wedding, nor did you ever see Nik’s rendition of Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It To My Heart” as she skirted around the living room in her underwear. And you rarely saw us outside of our house. I ran almost 5 days a week during filming but remained pretty sedentary on screen. Point is, there is much to our lives and relationship that extends beyond the wedding (did we mention we’re getting married? Lol). And beyond Macbooks, puppies and our little Bhudda statue outside the house. I wish you could have been privy to it.
However, since you couldn’t, I do hope that our wedding story proved enjoyable and served a meaningful purpose in this show. Love is a beautiful thing, regardless of the genders its shared by. We all deserve the right to honor that love in whatever form of celebration or acknowledgment we so chose.
So what’s next you ask? Well, lets see…
We’ll continue to spend time with the fun, beautiful, bright, adventurous and amazingly special friends we made from this cast.
We’ll continue to Flip and document those crazy nights with the girls on our Facebook fan page.
We’ll start discussing Honeymoon locations (since I promised to make the decision painless).
We’ll, correction…I will study up on lesbian colloquialisms so I can carry on a conversation with Whitney or Rose.
We’ll share our Sexual Fluidity documentary with you.
We’ll do advocacy work to continue the important discussion surrounding gay rights and acceptance.
We’ll kick back with a bottle of wine and watch reality TV shows with a bit more sympathy and understanding.
Thanks for sharing in our lives! Stay in touch.
Wow…final episode, final blog…final parting thoughts on what has turned into one of wildest journeys I’ve ever been on. Where to even begin…
Goooooing to Malibu and we’re gonna get maa-aa-aarried…
Finally! Signed, sealed and delivered. I have to say it was a bit of an exhausting process trying to research other venues. We saw, at most, two other homes, looked at a local hotel and reviewed a number of properties online…and nothing compared to the magnificence of that very first home.
I appreciate that Nik gave me the space to do my due diligence, because it made my final decision all the more certain. As I’ve said in previous blogs, deep down inside I had a feeling that nothing would touch me (us) the way the Malibu home did. But I also knew that I needed to make sure. And so I did, and let me tell you, making that pivotal phone call to Camilla felt really damn good…for all of us. I mean, come on, Nik almost fell out of the chair and everyone phone hugged! That’s a sign of a happy verdict.
Now the real fun begins! I feel like we finally secured the canvas, and now we can begin painting. Music, food, flowers, invitations, etc…all colors to be applied. I can tell you though, that after the elongated three week decision making process, I vowed to Nik and myself to make all upcoming brush strokes with a little more ease. If the caterer suggests chicken, then chicken it will be! Can you imagine if I put us through the same rigmarole again?…“But Nik, there are so many types of poultry, shouldn’t we try turkey, or duck, or hen? Ooh, what about that multiple stuffed thing called Turducken? Then we can serve all three!” Yea…I’ll be turning over a new leaf.
And on the list of things I am now definitive about…I am positive that I’ll never be able to parlay my TV career into a stint on “Dancing With the Stars.” Wow, what a sad display of grace… holding hands to learn the box step?! I really think I must have been absent the day they taught that in gym class. If only I could find out and redeem myself and my inabilities slightly…But no, instead I have to watch and relive the two of us butcher the most fundamental, by-the-book dance step AND on national television no less! Ohhhh the shame…
But this is where I attempt to save some face and refer you back to my blog from Episode 103. It was there that I explain that I am not completely incompetent on the dance floor, I’m just not trained in anything slow. Well, that, or trained period. But I do have a smidgeon of rhythm, which is why I think it’s brilliant to have our first dance be to something by Madonna or Ludacris. Hey, we’re all about writing our own rules with this union, so why not come out pop locking?!
Well, we laughed, we bruised toes, and we gave that lesson our damn best effort. And that is what it’s really about anyway — creating funny and lasting memories together. To clarify my playful remark on the show, the only reason two women dancing feels a bit strange to me is because we can’t figure out who’s leading! So it ends up looking like we’re wrestling our way across the dance floor. That could make for a great scene on this show (especially if you threw in some creamed corn), but maybe a bit less appropriate for the wedding. And so, we fully intend to wing it on our special day. I think being in one another’s close embrace, coupled with a small hip sway, will make for a beautiful and memorable first dance.
We end this episode and this weekly blog putting dance lessons to rest and by rolling up our sleeves to really delve into the planning. And nothing gives me greater pleasure than to be able to do so for a marriage that will be LEGAL! It’s about time California…Equality won!
Time to change it up a bit, so tonight we’re bringing you our collective Jill and Nikki blog entitled:
Top Ten Notable Thoughts About Episode 107
“It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To.”
10. What is the likelihood of the gargantuan chandelier being installed, falling on the same day and getting caught on camera?! You can’t write this stuff!
9. Two words… Designer Dan.
8. A dining room table turned into an extreme home makeover.
7. Nik thinks “More is more.” Jill thinks “More looks like the Ritz.”
6. During the eight hour chandelier installation, the following conversation took place between Nikki and the Electrician, which you never got to hear. (Maybe because it would have really looked like a scripted set up, when indeed it was NOT!)
Nik: Will this thing stay up?
Electrician: Oh certainly!
Nik: Are you sure? Like will it really stay in place?
Electrician: Ma’am, if there is an earthquake, and your house falls down, this chandelier will be the only thing still standing.
Alrighty then, thanks for that bit of reassurance, Mr. Electrician.
P.S… Chandelier “Take Two” never occurred. We very comfortably (and safely) enjoy the lighting supplied from the pre-existing high hats which reside in our living room ceiling.
5. When Dan took away the “dead” space in our living room, our Wii Sport Court went with it!
4. It took nearly two hours to clean up all the glass from the crashing chandelier. We were definitely thorough, but should you ever come over, please do keep your shoes on.
3. That transition from Whitney and Romi into our Passover seder was priceless! Great friends and family moment, but really, who can compete with that?
2. Having a little Weiss-Goldstein is definitely in our future, but no, we’re not pregnant yet. First we are going to make honest women out of one another.
1. There is life beyond wedding planning!
Those pre-season promo clips were pretty spot-on. If you recall, we were introduced when I coyly smiled at the camera and pronounced “I’m a family girl”. Well you’re starting to see the proof behind the pudding. I am very close to my family. My parents and brother mean everything to me. It’s funny, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized that the closeness, unconditional love, support and encouragement that surrounded me throughout my childhood and followed me through adulthood were gems to be cherished, not conditions to be expected. So I feel tremendously fortunate to have the loving family I do and I don’t ever take them or their role in my life for granted.
When I told my family about my affection for Nik, it was a very frightening time for me. My mom knew, (because moms always know), my brother embraced my happiness, citing it as the only thing that mattered, and my dad requested a small second to digest the news. There was no disappointment or disdain, he simply had to readjust his vision for me and embrace my new choices. It actually was a very poignant transition to witness. As he got to know us, and saw us interacting, he very quickly learned how much affection and respect we shared for one another. Within a very brief time, my dad began to see Nik and I as two individuals in love… it wasn’t about being gay, it wasn’t about being women. It was about a connection - the very connection he had always wished me to find with a special someone throughout my life. From that point on, we’ve had his unconditional support. So once again, I can cite how grateful I am because I am surrounded by such special family. And now I’m about to add one more amazing person to the mix… Nikki Weiss-Goldstein, ESQ. (Kidding, but it does sound like a law firm!)
So all this said, you can see how much I enjoyed tonight’s Episode topic. The only thing I may have enjoyed slightly more, was the view from that Malibu estate! HELLO!! Did you happen to see Robin Leach meandering around the property?? Because he sure as hell belonged there. That house was exquisite! I’m fairly certain that our on-camera interview captured our very articulate reactions:
From the moment we stepped foot on the front lawn we were ready to marry. I think we even exchanged a few “I do’s” by the driveway. The home was truly spectacular and it was so easy for us to envision having our affair there.
BUT…(get ready to be shocked here)…
I needed a minute. I wasn’t ready to sign on the dotted line as you saw in the scenes that followed.
A theme I’m beginning to sense? I clearly like to take my time to think things through…do my due diligence if you will. Is this normal or is it pronounced because my lovely fiancee is a very strong decision maker? Hmmm…can’t decide. Ba dum dum.
What I do know is that none of this is really a case of me being indecisive. That would require my having TWO things to decide between. And that was my point exactly! We hadn’t seen any other venues so I had nothing to compare the estate to. How was I to be certain that that place WAS it if I didn’t have the opportunity to see a place that WASN’T it?? See my logic? I tried to explain to Nik and Camilla that I wanted to research other options - or just even have another option. Deep down inside I believed that little would compare but at least by seeing something else, I’d know for sure.
In the coffee discussion that followed our Malibu outing, you heard me narrate that I am unsure of myself…that growing up, I was always self-doubting. These were actually emotional insights that had everything to do with coming to terms with my love for a woman, and very little to do with selecting a wedding venue, or anything else for that matter. At 34 years old, I am actually sure of many things. For instance, I am sure that:
1. The Michigan football program will make a comeback this Fall
2. Coffee should always be strong
3. I can run a half marathon again if I put my mind to it
4. I’ll never eat red meat again
5. I am marrying the true love of my life
6. A made bed is more enjoyable to get into at night
That self doubt thing was left with my 20’s, along with my obsession with Party of Five. My 30’s are all about being thorough.
And so, we face yet another wedding-related selection. But we have a pact, and that pact is to enjoy the process. We are, we’re just enjoying it with hint of tension and a pinch of disagreement. Fortunately there hasn’t been screaming and yelling as we hash out our differing p.o.v.’s, it’s simply not our style. Instead we like to coerce one another with a little nudging, some eye batting, some creative persuasion. (Don’t tell her I said this but she did make a few valid points in the backyard that afternoon. If I sat too long we could risk losing the house or the price going up. She’s a savvy one that Nikki.)
I just need to get there in my own way, on my own timeline. And after a good intense stare that read “don’t push me any further babe,” she gave me my space and agreed to continue the search.
Oh, I also got a killer foot massage as an apology. I’m no dummy.
Admittedly, a hundred feet is ridiculously long for a Subway sandwich, but I kid you not - it was the first answer that came into my head when asked what a hundred footer was. A close second had something to do with a golf shot. Yea… so apparently I need to brush up on my lesbian lingo. Who makes these terms up anyway? I think I was absent the day they were taught because I seem to be 0-4 on my knowledge of the show opener topics. I’m clearly not getting picked anytime soon for a RLW jeopardy tournament. Quick, someone ask me about the expansion of the Big Ten Conference. Or how the Medici family came to rise in Florence in the late 14th century…things I know!
Ok, 4 episodes left. I can make a comeback.
So, wedding planner. Check! I am so excited that we solidified Camilla because now the fun stuff begins - venue, flowers, music, rabbi, invitations, photographers… gulp, I’m becoming stressed as I type this one little sentence. So much to do!!!! But seriously, that’s why we have our planner, she’ll guide us through the options. I’m actually really excited to finally get going on the logistics. Nik and I have brainstormed so much about our wedding vision and we’re finally able get started, making it a reality. (Sidebar: Am I allowed to gloat for a second? I think by now you know I’m a bit of a softie, more creative than cut-throat, a girl who has little negotiating swagger to her step. But I DID know that we hadn’t offended Camilla with our counter offer. My gut told me she’d be fine, and I was right. So now I can be 1-4 on the scoreboard of being correct. Thanks for indulging me, the cameras missed my full victory dance in the kitchen last week).
Now here’s where I get choked up… Did you see my beautiful bride-to-be in Les Habitudes??!!! I still cannot get over how gorgeous she looked when she slipped on her dress. I actually got chills up my back. Seeing Nik standing like that before me made the wedding very real suddenly. It stripped away the logistics, the contracts, the price tags and reminded me of the underlying reason for this entire event - I am making a commitment to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life. An incredible wave of gratefulness came over me as she she stood there turning and twirling. In fact, I actually felt myself drift off for a second…not sure if anyone noticed, but I had a “moment.”
I’m so thrilled that she found THE dress. The dress that requires not a stitch of alterations mind you! You have to know it’s meant to be when something fits you that well off the hanger. It really seemed as if the fit model and my bride-to-be were one and the same because every single measurement of the dress was precise. We could’ve had our nuptials at the cash register and she’d have looked perfect. I on the other hand was not as successful. That was the first wedding dress I tried on, and while it was pretty and sexy, it wasn’t “it.” I’m not even sure what “it” means other than a feeling of just knowing it’s the one. But I still liked it enough to put it on hold. Ah, “on hold”… a concept I’m very familiar with… a policy that makes me very comfortable when I shop…one you’ll probably see me employ from time to time. Unlike Nik, I can’t decide things in a pinch. I’m the type that tends to marinate, to think it through a wee bit too much. Some call it indecisive. I actually don’t find myself indecisive, I just think I’m very good at deciding not to decide!
In any case, the search continues…I will make Nik and her mom come with me because the experience of buying a dress in one another’s company looked so special. I want that. In fact, what I really want is my mom to be with me. It’s hard - my family lives over 3,000 miles away and I can’t call up and plan a day of dress shopping on a whim. So my mom and I make a lot of phone calls - and in the case of dress shopping - a lot of descriptive phone calls. And thank g-d for picture text. It doesn’t replace her seeing me try something on in person, but she’s still a
part of the process…and like any good Jewish mother does, she still weighs in.
Wow, these show openings are getting more and more salacious as the weeks pass!
Itʼs not that Iʼm a prude. Iʼm actually quite the opposite, and youʼll never find someone calling me shy. I just canʼt quite grasp the need to elucidate the practice of lesbian sex. Are we that unimaginative?! Ok, ok…I suppose I should lighten up or itʼs going to be a looooong season. And besides, inquiring minds want to know. So dad, cover your ears. Because Iʼm talking about my hands!
As you can see, Nik and I have begun our search for that special wedding dress. Itʼs a very emotional undertaking, moreso than I expected. Even as we sat looking at fabrics and sketches, I could feel the goosebumps making their way up my body. Iʼve been to so many weddings and bore witness to so many beautiful brides, but this now, this is my moment. I get to play the princess. Or more correctly, co-princess, standing next to the most beautiful bride in the world. Itʼs every bit as fun as it looks to share this step with Nik. Weʼre clearly tossing the old superstition of “you canʼt see the bride in her dress before the weddingʼ out the window. Or at least for now. Iʼm sure weʼll reinforce that rule the day of the wedding.
Fortunately we are in sync with our styles, colors and overall dress preferences - similar enough that weʼll look like weʼre attending the same affair, but just different enough that we donʼt look like the Bobbsey twins. Or was it the Doublemint twins. You get my drift.
Working with a designer will help us achieve that balance. I have to say that we never considered having our dresses made from scratch - in fact, we were in the process of researching local bridal shops when we met designers Anna and Ella. The fortuitous meeting happened on the set of one of Nikʼs commercial shoots. We told them about our wedding, our quest for complimentary designs and the desire for customization and they immediately jumped on the challenge of outfitting two brides. Fine by me! Amazing European designers wanting to take a gander at our dresses? Letʼs do this!
A bit of a side note - Nik claiming she canʼt buy a dress off the rack had everything to do with fitting her body type and nothing to do with being “fabulous.” It actually was a much funnier remark in its original form… ”I canʼt buy off the rack, because the dress wonʼt fit my rack.”
So at this point, I have a fairly good vision of what I want my dress to look like. Iʼm leaning towards a very simple slip dress thatʼs one part sexy and two parts elegant. I suppose because our wedding is a bit untraditional, (there being two brides present), Iʼm steering away from the more typically structured dress - what I call the big poof. Or the long train. In fact, I think we both are. Good thing or we wouldnʼt fit together under the huppa!
When Anna and Ella left we were elated. But that balloon was about to pop as soon as the estimate came in and the old financial needle struck. Nik and I reviewed it and the initial quote of $2,000, (which the ladies presented to us in our first meeting, which you didnʼt see), was now three times that amount. Ouch… Is this what it feels like to get kicked in the jewels?!
And so, the conversation quickly turned from excitement to practicality. But hereʼs where I have a bit of an issue with the episode…
Why must this entire wedding story line be centered around money? There are so many important factors driving our decisions with this celebration and Iʼm sad to see only price tags taking the wheel. Sure itʼs a reality of wedding planning, but how often is that the only entity you hear about when discussing someoneʼs nuptials? Iʼd be very happy if you were all invited into see the love, hard work and careers that are contributing to this special event in our lives.
Speaking of careers, you all know by now, I write for a living. I very intentionally do not sell for a living, and after seeing Episode 3, itʼs clear why. I was apparently born without the negotiating gene. After making the decision to move forward with Camilla, the wedding planner, I made a futile attempt to play hard ball with her and lower her fees. After all, it was our first big step out of the box with this wedding and I was determined to be a force to be reckoned with. I canʼt even say that without giggling. Really, how long did that even last? It took one small mention from Nik that my counter offer may have offended her and I was off writing apologetic emails.
What did I learn from this experience? Itʼs simple. I should never bid on eBay, play poker, attend an auction or haggle with a car dealer. Itʼs evident, my little tuchus cannot bargain.
But Nik is right because the truth is, Camilla is the wrong penny to pinch. Sheʼs a talented, bright, accommodating and very pleasant woman, whom I know will turn out to be a tremendous asset to us throughout the planning process. And by securing her services, at her deserved rate, I know weʼll be able to rely on her vendor relationships to bring down other costs. So our cards are on the table as we wait for her to call back and decide if sheʼll accept our business. Truthfully Iʼm not too worried, it feels dramatic to think she was screening our call. Wait, maybe thatʼs because of the heavy background music. Please tell me you noticed.
Until next week…when maybe we can be seen outside of the living room and kitchen and off of the laptops.
You say potato, I say patato…
And such explains the differing perspectives on Valentine’s Day.
Some relish in the romantic nature of the day, deeply engaging in celebration. Gifts, cards, flowers, chocolates - and of course passion. Others view the day as a manufactured, capitalistic scheme created by card companies and florists alike.
I say, whatever works for you.
To me, Valentine’s Day is a simply a reason to pause. Just as we stop to appreciate and honor our moms on Mother’s Day and our dads on Father’s day, February 14th has always represented a day to simply take a moment to celebrate the love you have in your life. That by no means suggests that I view such a holiday as the only time to appreciate our sig o’s. In fact, I try to honor my relationship with Nik daily because I know how lucky I am to have her. But reality is such that life happens and we are not always as expressive of the love and appreciation we have in our hearts as we could be.
So when Cupid comes with his arrow in tow every February, I see him as a traffic cop screaming “Slow down! No need to move so fast! Your surroundings are special, take them in… Gush a bit!”
And that’s exactly what we did. We gushed, starting bright and early at 6 am. The fact that you saw me awake at that hour is remarkable, (and most likely, a one time occurrence). I am not one for waking up when it’s still dark outside. My marker to rise on the weekend is highly dependent upon whether the sun found it a reasonable enough hour to show up. Clearly he didn’t on that early morning, and I was struggling. But we had to be in Irvine that day for Nik’s mom’s dance recital. So it was up and at ‘em at an ungodly hour.
When I was able to peel my eyelids open, my fiancée surprised me with a gorgeous card and highly thoughtful present of dance lessons for the wedding. So adorable, so touching and so very practical… It is in fact a gift that keeps on giving! Well that may be the case only if we survive them. As Nikki so kindly pointed out at Balliamos, she and I are not exactly Fred and Ginger. Not even Ginger and Ginger. BUT I have to interject here and request a little credit where credit’s due, since my bride-to-be neglected to share with you that I have some rhythm. And by some I mean a little, and by a little I only mean that I don’t have two left feet. When I was in college, I spent a few weekends with my best friend dancing at Bar & Bat Mitzvahs as the hired entertainment. (No really I did, stop laughing J) We called it “punching it out.” Our job was to get the group of prepubescent, 13-year-old party animals going on the dance floor. That entailed leading them in popular moves (I’d be dating myself if I told you what those steps were, let’s just say pop locking wasn’t in fashion yet). Point is, I may not be turning heads or getting cherry picked for next season’s Dancing With the Stars, but I’m not THAT bad.
(Ugh…let’s hope they don’t show any of our lessons or I may be eating my words!)
Nik’s reaction to my gift was priceless! She had wanted the Flip cam for quite some time and I thought V-Day was a great opportunity to give it to her. Funny little tidbit - after sitting with it, I decided that I should hide the gift in the house instead of in the garage, namely because it’d be easier to bring it out for her early morning surprise. So I put the gift box in the oven. Turned out it was the safest place in the house. My girl is no Julia Childs and any sweets that she’d be giving me for Valentine’s Day were not going to be hand baked. I snuck it beside the coffee maker in the middle of the night and ended up getting the exact reaction I had hoped for the next morning. In fact, her excitement was well worth the forgone coffee.
I’m selfishly glad we have this camera. It too will be a gift that keeps on giving. There’s so much in our lives we will want to document, (let’s keep it clean folks J), from family visits to travel to friends. Even dance lessons. I know Nik and I are one part curious to see what we look like doing the Waltz and two parts preparing for the small chance we decide to send the footage into America’s Funniest Home Videos.
(Oh I should stop. We’ll be just fine. According to Alan the dance instructor, anyone can learn the box-step. It’s not counting the steps out loud that will be the challenge!)
So all in all, it was a great day. We got home pretty late from Irvine, cooked a nice dinner and got in bed to snuggle. Celebration ensued.
Ok, so I have been preparing quite a while for the moment I had to discuss my self-professed sexual fluidity. Seems like the time has come…
Traditional labels of sexual identity haven’t proven to fit me all that well. My experiences with love have fallen within a grayish area - an area that lives between the black and white walls of gay and straight. I have fallen in love with women and I have fallen in love with men and that love has grown from varying roots. Sometimes an emotional connection prompted deep affection and attraction, other times it was intellectual. And yet other times, it was purely physical.
The point is, my heart has been captured many ways in the past. So calling myself a lesbian has always felt as inaccurate as calling myself a heterosexual. And bisexual, well that label placed too big an emphasis on the desire to have sex with everyone. My experiences felt more complex. And It wasn’t until I encountered the concept of sexual fluidity - falling in love with a person, despite their gender - that I felt I could relate.
(By the way, if the concept of fluidity interests you, I strongly encourage you to read the book “Sexual Fluidity” by Dr. Lisa Diamond. Very interesting topic!)
That being explained, tonight’s episode was a bit disturbing to me because it strongly “suggested” that my fluid orientation is threatening to Nik — that because I don’t identify as a definitive lesbian, that somehow I’ll have a wandering eye. I’m actually not sure if I find the insinuation offensive or simply silly. The reality is, I am in love. I am fulfilled. I am happy. Sure I have a past, everyone does. But I found my future in her.
I know you don’t know me well (yet anyway… we have 7 more weeks to get acquainted and I promise to be less serious in future blogs!) but I take commitment in relationships very seriously. I feel fortunate to have had a tremendous example set by my parents, who are celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary this year. Marriage is not something I take lightly, nor view as fleeting. There is not another woman or another man that will change that for me.
I actually think it’s quite short-sighted to suggest that because I have the ability to fall in love with an individual regardless of his/her gender, that I must be promiscuous. Or worse off, not trust-worthy and a relationship risk. The assumption presents a very insecure and cheap view of love if you ask me. Not to mention a tremendous disrespect to the notion of monogamy.
Tonight you saw me and my best guy friend excited to see one another after 6 months.
We hug. We grab hands. We express the fact that we missed one another. Conveniently what you don’t see is him and Nikki also hugging, grabbing hands, and expressing that they missed one another…
There’s nothing to hide. Derek and I are great friends, I’ve known him for years. We thought about dating nearly a half a decade ago and quickly discovered we are better suited as friends. It doesn’t get more platonic than that. You hear me say that there are strong feelings but my goodness, he’s a fantastic guy, what’s not to like?! Meet him and I’m sure you’d feel the same. I know Nik did the moment I introduced them. She and Derek adore one another. But again, you didn’t get to see their friendship on screen tonight.. So what you end up with is only half the picture and an unrealistic suggestion of jealousy / flirtation.
This whole thing felt very forced.
This probably feels like a sound-byte out of an episode of Will and Grace, but I find it ridiculous that a man and a woman, who are dear friends, can’t hug or grab one another’s hand without there being a sexual undercurrent to the interaction. Do people really believe a man and a woman can’t just be friends? And if they are just friends, can they not embrace? I would hug my best guy friend with as much enthusiasm as I would my best girl friend! In fact, you’ll see that throughout the season. I am an affectionate person. I’ve been told that my warmth is one of my best attributes.
So that’s my take about the perspective oozing from Episode 2. Let’s take a quick look at the play by play: (I’ve always wanted to belt out “Let’s go to the tape!”)
Firstly, I don’t get the opportunity to hug Derek hello at the airport because I’m driving. So the warm greeting you see onscreen outside the restaurant was the first true hello I was able to give him since his arrival in LA.
Secondly, he had just returned back from Asia and I hadn’t seen him in nearly half a year. That calls for a nice big hug and platonic peck in my book.
Thirdly, at that moment of our embrace, the cameras found Nikki, alone on the other side of the street. At that moment she had just ended a stressful work phone call, which she needed to excuse herself to take.
I could go on about the nuances that helped paint the inaccuracies in tonight’s show but it would be trivial. And it would only give credence to my sexual fluidity being something I need to defend.
Nikki and I know who we are to one another. We trust, respect and honor our relationship. And Derek is our biggest fan.
G’night guys. Have a great week and I’ll see you next Sunday.
Houston, we have liftoff. The show has officially started! I’m truly excited to see our stories unfold and am very appreciative that you’re all along for the ride.
So tonight was a really nice introduction to mine and Nik’s relationship. You got to see a little bit of our backstory, buck teeth, pigtails and all. I first met her in the summer of 1984 at overnight camp in the Poconos. As you heard, she was my brother’s first little girlfriend and I idolized her. In fact, at the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hang out with her or if I wanted to actually be her. It sounds a bit like the synopsis of a Judy Blume novel doesn’t it? Ironically enough, camp was where I first read Forever. But I digress…
Marrying Nik is one of the strongest certainties I’ve ever felt. She’s my best friend and my true other half. We’re really excited to plan the wedding, but as you saw tonight, I think it’s going to be quite the undertaking. Two brides with two strong wills? I can only imagine what the wedding planner is thinking about this potential working relationship!
The good news is that while our initial spending barometers are a tad off, Nik and I have our life priorities very well aligned. Kids are in the long term plan, so spending needs to be responsible.
You also saw Nik and I begin the search for our wedding attire. She’s considering a suit. I know that what’s keeping her from going the dress route is the concern of looking like a Doublemint commercial walking down the aisle, but I’m quietly hoping she’ll wear one.
On a bit more serious note, we started to address a very meaningful issue tonight: marriage legalization. I have much to say on the topic but I am afraid that if I start, I’ll max out the character limit on Showtime’s website! You heard my overall stance on the matter…I am marrying Nikki. Period. It will be recognized by my heart, by my family, by my rabbi and by my friends.
When the government wants to get on board this equality train, they’re more than welcome to celebrate this loving, respectful, dignified relationship. But our journey is starting regardless, with or without their acknowledgment…
(Excuse me while I help myself down from my soapbox…sorry about that, but I’m sure you can all understand the frustration that brews when it comes to matters of marriage equality.)
So that’s what I got. Before I sign off for the week, I do want to clarify one thing from tonight’s episode…
This was the first time in my life anyone has ever blow dried my feet.
Odd yes, but admittedly resourceful…