Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Amazon Trail: Thank you, President Obama

Posted by on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM

obama.jpg

My week was looking like a trailer park after a tornado until the announcement came that the president of the United States supported marriage equality, also known as civil rights for gays. The day before, North Carolina had fallen into the hands of the morality pirates.

It had been the week that was. We were getting ready to try to sell our home, not an easy task these days. Immediately, the house protested. Not only did it start having little issues here and there, but it sabotaged our efforts to fix what broke.

The news that our president considered my sweetheart and me entitled to marry was vastly validating. It gave me hope that the people of North Carolina would see through the lies told on talk radio and FOX TV. It gave me strength to tackle our more commonplace difficulties. My sweetheart, close to hysterical laughter, listed these.

Five hundred and nine dollars to Stanley Steemer for leaving more stains on the floor than we had before they cleaned. Not to mention that cleaning the tiles did not include cleaning the grout between the tiles. That would cost hundreds more.

A day after President Obama blessed our past, current, and future unions, I read that almost three dozen congresspersons demanded that same-gender weddings be included in the Democratic Party's official platform. It reminded me how vilified our small Democratic party was for proposing the same thing and opposing the well-organized and very nasty homophobes of Southern Oregon back in the 1990s.

Then came a $209 charge to "fix" a four-year-old kitchen faucet that still imitates Niagara Falls every time we turn it on. Now the plumbing company wants us to pay another $300 for replacing the fixture they didn’t fix. I began to suspect these service companies had business plans like Mitt Romney's: Don't fix it, toss it, and abandon the people.

Our friend from North Carolina, who recently celebrated 25 years with her partner, wrote that after voting this week, she was so shaken that straight people presumed to vote away our rights that she had to sit in her car a long while before she could drive. Multiply her by every gay and progressive in the U.S. getting the news that the haters won, and we'd have national gridlock.

Three hundred and five dollars for an air conditioning unit we had serviced. The next week it started leaking all over our garage. Two service calls and many buckets of dripped water later and it's leaking again. Did I mention that nothing in this house is over four years old?

Back to the plumbing. My sweetheart, being a very competent femme, tried to fix the faucet herself. I looked at the problem and offered her my butch card. She watched repair videos. She talked to the faucet company. Our water bill crept up. She called the plumbing company and they agreed that, for what we paid them, they should redo the job for free. My sweetheart only asked that they send anyone but the initial service person, Steve. On the big day of our new appointment the doorbell rang and the man with the toolbox said, "Hi! I’m Steve!" We still don’t have a working kitchen sink, but no new bill because my sweetheart wouldn’t let him touch a thing. Including the toilet with the broken tube holder-in-place thingy.

And then we heard that the Secret Service is broken. How could they be so careless while on assignment? We trust them with our leaders. With the president’s stand on marriage equality putting him in greater jeopardy than he already is as our first African American president and our heath care advocate, he is risking more ire from the right than any president in memory.

When the Stanley Steemer guys came back out to clean up their mess, I mentioned that we kinda thought that for the $509, they might have moved the living room chairs, the lighter bookcases, maybe even the floor lamps. The floor scrubber stuttered that if we’d asked them to move those items, they would have. I guess if we’d asked them to clean up their dirty puddles they might have done that too?

As my sweetheart concluded: "$509 for splotchy floors; $200 for a faucet that still leaks; $305 for an AC unit the service guy broke; having the president of the United States say, 'Heck yes, you should be able to marry': priceless!"

Our snafus are nothing, however, compared to the way President Obama is now exposed. I’m worried about his safety. I hope the Secret Service and whatever other entities are responsible for protecting him have doubled up on security. The man has stuck his neck out for us big time. He deserves protectors of higher caliber than Steve the plumber and Stanley the floor scrubber.

Today we didn’t bother calling an electrician — my sweetheart fixed the light switch that broke. And we sent the money we would have spent on the electrician to the president’s re-election campaign.

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