06 April 2011

It is NOT just a slip of paper


I was on my way to a bachelorette party and on the phone with one of the planners, whom I hadn’t met yet. For some puzzling reason, she downplayed the “bachelorette party” aspect of the evening, saying we weren’t really going to be celebrating the wedding, but instead just “having a fun night out with the girls”. (Why you’d plan a bachelorette party and then try to ignore the wedding is beyond me, but OK). But then she said something that really rubbed me the wrong way: “Well, it’s just a slip of paper, anyway.”

Whoa.

Even though she didn’t specifically know about me and Mia and therefore couldn’t realize how highly we regard that supposedly inconsequential piece of paper, here are all the other problems I have with that cliched and, yes, downright stupid comment:

What’s with the downplaying? Nothing is serious anymore, and newsflash--a bachelorette party is by default about the wedding!

It’s a contract, not a “slip” of paper that you write your grocery list on, then lose at the bottom of your purse.

What about the men and women who get married for the first time a little later in life (like our friend), some of whom have had serious discussions with their friends about having given up on finding that significant otro? Who have quite consciously resigned themselves to being single for the rest of their lives, but then met someone who made them sing? Trust me, these people don’t regard what they’re entering into as “just a slip of paper”.

Then you have the gay couples who fervently wish they could have that paper in their hot little hands. For real, without being legal in only some states, without hyphens or explanations or settling for the next best thing.

If someone took away her ability to get this slip of paper, even for one day, let’s see how she’d feel about it then.

- Maura McGurk

Maura is an artist who paints about LGBT issues, especially gay bullying. You can see her gay bullying artwork here.

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