Saturday, March 31, 2007

Real love

I'm sitting on my bed, listening to music, writing to strangers. I just left my roommate and her wife in the other room talking and snuggling. My roommate is here, in the Midwest, for medical school. Her wife still lives and works back in San Francisco. She is just here visiting for the week. The whole long distance relationship thing is really hard on them. Each is the other's very favorite person, and they really miss each other. Right now, I am trying to give them their space.

We were sitting on the couch watching a movie tonight. I looked over and saw them cuddled together and thought of this passage from The Velveteen Rabbit. They concluded their wedding ceremony with this. When I read it, it takes me back to that day, standing on a porch overlooking the mountains, quietly crying the mascara off my face as we celebrated their love.

"What is real?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

There are some things so beautiful you feel lucky just to sit next to them on the couch. Their love is one of those things.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Asked and answered

Cheryl asked a few questions after my last post. I will attempt to answer them here. If this is ridiculously boring, wander over to any one of the fabulous blogs on the right. Redneck Mommy has pierced nipples, and Maria from just eat your cupcake is wearing human pheromone that only works on lesbians--surely that's more interesting.

Still here? Okay, here goes (in the order in which Cheryl asked):

What kind of medicine do you want to do?

I'm not yet sure. I worked in a labor and delivery unit for a few years before med school, and when I came, I thought I wanted to be an obstetrician. I don't enjoy surgery, though, and Ob-Gyns do a fair amount of gynecological surgery. Now, I'm thinking that I may be able to find something that is an even better fit for me.

Right now, I spend one day a week working in a hematology clinic treating patients with blood disorders (people for whom the delicate balance of bleeding and clotting is out of whack). I'm not necessarily interested in hematology, but I am interested in that kind of work--work within a specialty.

In the end, I just want to be a great physician. I am not all that concerned with income or work hours. Many people (including medical students) say, "I don't live to work, I work to live." That is not true for me. I'm never as happy as when I am using my time and talents to do meaningful work. The hematologist I work with is an amazing older physician who feels the same way. In forty years of practice, she has maintained balance, rather than burn out, though. Balance is key, and she's a great mentor for me. (Wow, now this is boring and cheesy.)

How long have you been in medical school?

Almost two years.

The first two years of medical school are spent in lectures. It's like college on steroids. The second two years are spent in clerkships. These are the short white coats you see at the hospital--medical students in their 3rd and 4th years. Third year starts for me in July and is sort of about figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.

How hard is it (medical school)?

It's not hard--it's just lots. There is nothing I've learned over the past two years that anyone of average intelligence couldn't understand. It gets a little confusing because the knowledge builds on itself, and you have to keep up. The hard part is in the keeping up. This is not quantum physics, though. It's more like a pie eating contest. You have to be a disciplined and a little nuts, but not all that bright.

Cheryl didn't ask this, but the question I get most often is,
Is it anything like Grey's Anatomy?

Sadly, no. No one in my class of 150 students, none of the physicians who lecture us, none of the residents who the students date, none of our test proctors, none of our standardized patients, none of the real patients, no one is that good looking.

Also, the doctors on Grey's Anatomy know a lot more about certain parts of the anatomy than some of us seem to. Last year in anatomy lab, a student I call The Brain Cell (because he just uses the one) was dissecting the cadaver next to mine. We were working on the pelvis and perineum when a professor came over to answer some of his questions. The professor took one look at his dissection and said, "What on earth did you do here?"

"What do you mean?" asked The Brain Cell.

"Where is the clitoris?"

"Oh, uh, is that this flap of fascia?" he said, pulling it out from under the cadaver's right knee.

At this point, I could no longer hold in my laughter. The professor looked at me and said, "I'm not even sure where to go from here."

"It gets worse," I said. "He wants to be a surgeon. And he's newly married. I'm taking up a collection to buy his wife some batteries, would you like to contribute?"

See, that wouldn't happen on Grey's Anatomy. The guys on that show know the clitoris is not a flap of fascia stored behind the right knee.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In local news

Last night, I took a break from studying to do one of my very favorite things with one of my very favorite people. I watched the late local news with my roommate. I know what you're thinking, "Who the hell watches the local news for kicks? What are you, 80?"

And I'd say, "That's a stupid question. Eighty-year-olds don't stay up until 11pm." I would also tell you that watching the news with my roommate is great because we always find the exact same things utterly hilarious.

Our favorite moment from last night's broadcast:

Blond perky female anchor says, "Police and rescue personnel were called to 4th street today when a 3 year old was found face down in a water garden. The child was taken to a local hospital, but his condition is still unknown."

What's so funny about a drowning toddler? The anchor, that's what. She delivered the whole story with this huge, goofy smile on her face. Looked like she had just won the lottery. It was as though she didn't understand what she was reading off the teleprompter. (Or, she is some sort of sick psycho who gets off on drowning toddlers.)

Either way, totally inappropriate facial expressions are generally the kind of thing we really enjoy, and we laughed our asses off.

All day today, whenever things weren't going well, one of us would chime in with, "Where's a 3 year old face down in a water garden when you need a pick me up?"

And that is why I love my roommate.
A kindred spirit with a twisted sense of humor.
She makes drowning toddlers fun.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This is 8-year-old Sami Zaien al-Abideen. He was injured by a roadside bomb that blew up outside his school. Here we see him being carried into a hospital in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Perhaps, we should keep Sami in mind the next time we are listening to our politicians talk about their plans for the Middle East.

I know this much is true

If you're wearing a t-shirt that says I'm with the band,
we can all be sure of one thing--you are not with the band.

And you're not gonna be. Not as long as you're wearing that shirt.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Guess what I'm wearing in my hair?

That's right. Barrettes. Cheap metal clips are tying my hair back.

Why, you ask?

Because the person who cut my hair thinks I'm full of shit. I went in and said, "I want you to take off an inch and add a few long layers. It is really important that I can get all of my hair pulled back into a ponytail. I work with sick people all day, and I don't want my hair to catch anything." She smiled and nodded and said she understood. I even had her repeat the plan back to me to make sure we were on the same page.

And then she lept from that page and started cutting. Quickly. In less than a minute, I had lost several inches of hair. It was chin length, and she hadn't even cut layers yet.

As a general rule, I don't like to cry or throw things in public. So, in a calm voice (albeit through my clenched jaw), I said, "Okay, now lets make these layers long. This cut is a little shorter than I expected, and I have to be able to get this all back in a ponytail." Again with the nodding and smiling and repeating the plan. And again with the totally ignoring repeated plan. (I'm never robbing a bank with this woman.)

She then cut the layers--short layers. In fact, I'm not even sure that they technically qualify as layers. They made actually be glorified bangs. And the damn things are in my face all the freakin' time. So now, I need not only a hair tie but also these damn barrettes to get anything done.

This is not the first time that this has happened to me. In fact, I've only met one hairdresser who listened to what I wanted and then actually made that happen on my head. I should have paid the woman to relocate with me.

I've been thinking about why this keeps happening to me, though, and I think I've figured it out.

I look like crap when I go to get a hair cut.

I always do it on a Saturday when I've got about 80 other things to get done. This time, I got up, showered, left the house with wet hair and no makeup, emptied our recycling, and then got the haircut. By the time I made it to the salon, I definitely looked like shit (and may have smelled a little like the recycling). I can only assume that the hairdresser took one look at me and thought, "Clearly, this woman does not know what looks good on her. Whatever she asks for, I'm doing the exact opposite. Poor thing. She smells like trash."

Next time I go to the salon, I'm going looking good (or as good as anyone can look with this haircut growing out). I'm doing my hair first. I'm painting my nails, and wearing makeup, and donning clothes in colors I've been told flatter me.

Well, I may not go that far. But I'm definitely waiting until afterwards to deal with the recycling.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

3 points for following the foot eatin' rules

My roommate just reminded me of a meal I made recently. The main course--my own foot. I should be more specific. I over heard a phone conversation between said roommate and her lady in which she recalled the story. Maybe I should be annoyed, but frankly, I just like that they talk about me. It's like I'm famous.

But I digress. The story...

Most medical students are pretty sensitive about their grades. But not me. I'm very open about mine--good, bad, ugly. I don't care. You ask, and I'll tell you what I got. But, as I said, most med students don't feel this way.

So, it's a bit of an unspoken rule: You're not supposed to talk much about grades.

I think that with many unspoken rules, you really appreciate the value in em' the moment you break them. Forthcoming case and point.

Last week, we got our Evidence Based Medicine papers back. It took them a short four months to grade these 2 page ditties, and they were worth a total of 3 points. I got mine back. I got a 3. The paper was pretty crappy, so I just assumed they just handed out the points.

Sitting in a lab, someone said, "Hey, those EBM papers are in our mailboxes."

I said, "Yeah, I saw that. I swear, they don't even read those things. They just give us all 3 points."

Other students says, "Uh, I only got a 2."

Open mouth
insert foot
chew and swallow.

Let's just say, I'm resolved to try a little harder to follow unspoken rules.

Although, I gotta admit, I find these stories about myself pretty funny.
Good thing, because I don't think the roommate is going to quit telling them anytime soon.

A day improving

With the windows open,
some good coffee,
great music,
sun on the patio,
and chocolate ice cream...

it's a day improving.

One of those times

Sometimes, I feel very alone in my own head.
Now is one of those times.

Sometimes, I feel like everything I put out there is misunderstood.
Like my intentions are completely misunderstood.
Now is one of those times.

Sometimes, I think it's pathetic to feel those things.
Like it's all just self-pity.
Now is one of those times.

It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone.

I think I know what he meant.

When you combine your own intuition with a sensitivity to other people's feelings and moods, you may be close to the origins of valuable human attributes such as generosity, altruism, sympathy, and empathy.
~Fred Rogers

Dear Mr. Rogers,
Thank you for the encouragement.
I'm trying.

One stop shopping

So, the roommate and I went to Meijer (a big box store much like Walmart) late last night. After having a little wine, I decided I needed chocolate ice cream. Roommate was kind enough to drive me.

While we were there, I also decided to pick up shampoo. Mine was running low, and that makes me very nervous. You may find me drunk on cheap wine at Meijer at 12:30am wearing holey jeans and no makeup, but you will not find greasy hair.


Never ever

(FYI - If little bells aren't going off as you read that, your neuroses radar is broken.)

Anyway, guess what we discovered? Right there, in the same aisle as shampoo, Meijer sells "personal massagers."

Apparently, when they said one-stop shopping, they were not kidding.

Shopping list:
mushroom soup
dish soap
Glade plug-in refills
trash bags
dog food

Just kidding, of course!
That's not my list.

I don't even have a dog.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A bit of an exaggeration

I just called it "cooking," but I'm not really sure that's the technical term when part of the "recipe" reads Empty contents of seasoning packet...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shopping for ties

Mrs. Lewis was my high school boyfriend's mother and my biology teacher's wife. That's right, I dated my biology teacher's son. It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but it was news in high school. Mrs. Lewis was also a high school teacher. She taught deaf students in a neighboring district.

"Oh, did I forget to mention that she's deaf?"

That's exactly how Boyfriend told me that his mom couldn't hear. She read lips and talked (lots), so most people didn't know until they were told. In fact, Mr. Lewis didn't realize it until they had been dating for quite a while. He just thought that unless he made good eye contact when he spoke to her, she chose to ignore him. (His son was equally observant, noticing that my eyes are two different colors a short twelve weeks after we started dating.)

Anyhow, Mrs. Lewis's hearing loss didn't much get in the way of hours of chatting. It was a little harrowing in the car, barreling down the middle of the road at 80 miles an hour with the dome light on so she could see my lips while she drove. Drivers we passes laid on their horns. The honking did little to phase her.

Our first trip out together was to the mall. It was her idea. We had to replace all of Mr. Lewis's ties.

"Why?" you ask.

Because the first time I had dinner at the Lewis' house, Mrs. Lewis took me up to her room afterwards, opened the closet and said, "Throw out every tie you don't like." She was concerned that Mr. Lewis was looking dated and dorky. She was right.

So there I was, standing in my high school teacher's closet with a garbage bag thinking, I'm going to fail biology. I was a bit mortified. Mr. Lewis was extremely mortified. Boyfriend was laughing his ass off.

I am really good at throwing away things, though. (I get that from my mother. Along with small boobs and almost freakishly large big toes.) So, I followed my baser instincts and started chucking ties. When I was done, there were two left. Mrs. Lewis tied up the bag and said, "Now, we have to shop. What are you doing tomorrow afternoon?"

I should have known from the closet incident that this woman didn't have real firm boundaries, but I was totally unprepared for the conversation we were about to have at the mall. We were walking between stores when she turned to me and asked, "What do students say about Mr. Lewis?"

I said, "Well... you know... they say he has bad ties."

Apparently, lying can be read on the lips. She laughed and shook her head. "No...what do they really say?"

I panicked. "They say he's gay," I blurted out. And then, without taking a breath, I explained, "They don't actually think he's into guys, they just think he's too dorky to be with women." A small town high school--where dorky somehow meant homosexual. Now I know better. A gay man wouldn't be caught dead in those ties.

Mrs. Lewis looked at me, laughed, and said, "He's not gay. You can tell them he's not gay."

I said, "Yeah, I kind of figured that once I met you." I wasn't thinking that my biology teacher was gay. I was thinking that he traded up. He was a little dorky, while she was smoking hot--not classically gorgeous, but undeniably sexy in that way you can't quite explain.

"We have sex every Saturday night and Sunday morning and then sometimes during the week when the boy isn't around," she said.

I wasn't shocked that these people had sex. I grew up in a tiny house with thin walls and amorous parents. I knew that there was sex after children. I was shocked that she was telling me about it.

This wasn't the last I heard of their sex life. And frankly, in the end, it was probably a good thing I had to sit through those initially awkward conversations. They served as fair warning for the time that Boyfriend and I came home early one Friday night and found the definitely not gay biology teacher and his hot wife going at it on the couch.

Mrs. Lewis's fluid boundaries ended up being one of my very favorite things about her. At a time in my life when I really needed someone who wasn't my mom or my peer to talk to, I could tell her anything. I count my conversations with her among the best I've ever had.

I liked Boyfriend.
I loved his mom.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A note

Thank you to the four wonderful women who responded to my last post. Your encouragement means so much! I am currently taking some great advice by dealing with each thing as it comes. All this dealing is keeping me very busy. I've been reading your blogs in some of my spare moments, though, and they're very refreshing. Thank you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Amusement park Monday (minus the amusement)

It's been a roller coaster morning. I used to love roller coasters, but the last time I went to Cedar Point, I realized I may have outgrown them a bit. I learned that as we get older, our inner ear fluid doesn't like to be sloshed around nearly so much as it did when we were kids. As a result, the older we get, the more roller coasters tend to make us turn green.

I'm definately sporting a nauseated greenish hue today.

I dropped off my car with a highly recommended mechanic, Larry, because it is overheating. Good news is Larry didn't get that "I just won the lottery" look in his eyes when I walked in and explained that I didn't know what was going on. Sometimes, I swear they can smell a incompetent car boob (me) a mile away. When I took it to the last guy for an oil change, he wanted to make $2000 in repairs. My car isn't even worth $2000. With a second opinion, I learned that none of the stuff he wanted to work on was even broken. He had poured power steering fluid all over the place to make it look like I had some kind of leak. Bastard. Today, Larry said it will cost about $150 to keep it running a few more months. I am going to have to look for a new car, though. The intake gasket is leaking and costs $700 to replace. Larry said it's just a matter of time before my engine goes, and he agreed that my car probably isn't worth that money. Getting a new car means getting a little help from my parents, though. My siblings don't have much trouble asking my parents for money, but I hate it. I makes me feel inadequate and small.

I finally got a hold of my divorce lawyer. I should be more specific: I got a hold of his paralegal. It looks like my divorce may be final on May 1. That will be exciting, mostly because I will be getting my maiden name back. I'm never changing my name again. It's such a pain in the ass. Unfortunately, the prince-not-so-charming will still have 18 months to refinance the house. I fear that in 18 months, he won't have done anything. He'll dump it on me, and I'll have to spend my 4th year of school (when I should be traveling and interviewing for residencies) trying to sell that damn house.

Finally, I have to do histories and physicals on standardized patients (people who are paid to act like patients and grade your fake interactions with them) this afternoon. I used to be good at this, but lately, I suck. I have had lots of experience with real patients, and these people just aren't real. It's hard for me to pretend like they are. Plus, we are now videotaped the whole time. That's the worst part. It makes me self-conscious and I end up forgetting things.

I'm nauseated just thinking about all of it.
When is this ride over?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Misery loves retching company

From my physiology book:
In retching, the upper esophageal sphincter remains closed, and because the lower esophageal sphincter is open, the gastric contents return to the stomach when the retch is over.

Bile is ejected in pulsatile "spurts," not in a steady stream.

A final mass movement propels the fecal contents into the rectum, where they are stored until defecation occurs.

Studying the GI tract makes me never want to put anything in it again. And, yes, I do realize that posts like this do little to increase my blog readership. I can't help it, though. Misery loves company.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Eating bugs

I saw Jay Leno last night. I'm usually a Letterman girl, but I was buried under a pile of notes and books and didn't bother to dig out to change the channel when Leno came on. But, I digress. One of Leno's guests, Andrew Zimmern, came with a host of bizarre foods (bugs, testicles, etc.) for Jay and the other guest, Dan Rather, to try. Mr. Zimmern talked about how trying these foods is one way to experience different cultures.

This all reminded me of the last time I chomped on a fried bug. It was during undergrad in Dr. Steve Smith's cultural anthropology course. I was not a sociology major, but this was one of my favorite courses. One day, Dr. Smith passed around a can of fried insects. Unfortunately, I don't remember all of the specifics. I think that they were crickets and a favorite snack food of Japanese kids. They were salty. Although I'm a little fuzzy on the details, I am grateful for the experience. It represents the best of my liberal arts education. I learned to think about things--bugs and other cultures--differently. Hell, I just learned to think.

Dr. Smith and the creepy-crawly snack prepared me well for my future. I thank Mr. Zimmern for reminding me of the lesson.
And, more importantly, I thank Dr. Smith for teaching me.

Wine and cheese

Eating cheese
Eating cheese
I've been eating sharp white cheddar cheese

And now we know why I'm not a songwriter. Cuz that's just lame.
I'm soliciting advice for wine and cheese pairings. I prefer not to spend more than $8 for a bottle of wine (and not to eat cheese from a can).

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How do you have compassion for uncompassionate people?
I have a hard time appreciating people who are judgmental. Does that make me judgmental?
Is it hypocritical to complain about people who can't see the good in others?
Is it self-righteous to condemn the self-righteous?

Is all of that just an excuse to be a bully?

Monday, March 12, 2007


Since I returned from the Southern coast, I've been thinking about when I can go back. The weather was fabulous, the ocean amazing, and the studying very productive. My aunt and uncle said repeatedly, "Come back anytime." I hate to impose, though, and can't help but wonder if they really meant that--anytime. Really? What about the second week in May?

It's called The American Dream
because you have to be asleep to believe it.

~ George Carlin

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The tale sans fairies

I was in the car with my aunt the other day, returning from dinner, and the subject of marriage came up. I got the impression that she wanted to know more about the recent ending of mine but didn't want to pry.
As I was talking to her, I said, "If I ever do it (marriage) again, it will be totally different." I'm not sure that she know what I meant by that. I was referring to the fact that the way I think about constructing my life has completely changed. I used to think about finding a husband and building a life--a home, kids, career, future plans--with him. Now, it's just the opposite. I think about building my life--my home, a child (perhaps), career, future plans--and then someday, many years from now, finding someone who has built his own.
A man who may become a partner.
I no longer want to be rescued by a knight in shiny shit. That whole asking my father for my hand in marriage crap is absolutely offensive (as though I'm an exchange of property). In fact, I don't even want someone to get down on one knee. If I ever do the marriage thing again, it will start with a discussion between two adults about forming a partnership.

It doesn't read like a fairy tale, but it sounds like a dream come true to me.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Trader Joe's

It's turned out to be an okay day. The sun came out! Maybe it read my last post and felt guilty for never visiting me at home. Also, I just returned from some Trader Joe's shopping. It's a 45 minute trek to Trader Joe's but always worth it. The seafood is better than anything we have in this town, and I love shopping with the Midwest's version of hippies--young parents in Birkenstocks trolling for organic food. I'm off to spoil my appetite for dinner with some lobster bisque.

The sun

I've returned from my trip. Lying in bed this morning, I thought about grabbing a snack and going to the beach. I then opened my eyes and remembered that I'm not on vacation anymore.
I wasn't ready for it to end.

I'm holding the two seashells I brought back.
They looked a lot prettier in the sun.
So did I.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Wrinkle free until security

I'm heading south tomorrow to spend a few days in the sun. I just got done packing. A college friend, Heather, once showed me how to pack clothes so that they don't wrinkle (layering and rolling them). I ironed and packed everything and then realized that none of it is going to look like that when they get done searching it. I thought about leaving something in my bag for security, like a treat with a little note attached saying, "Please carefully layer and roll all clothing as you found it. I am trying to avoid wrinkles." I decided against it, though. I heard that bribing the TSA can land you in Camp X-ray, and that's a bit more sun than I had in mind for this trip.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Dressed like Suze

Last week, I read that Suze Orman, "internationally acclaimed personal finance expert," is gay. Apparently, she was asked about her personal life in an interview for New York Times Magazine and she said, "I've never been with a man in my whole life. I'm still a 55-year-old virgin." I then ran across a blog whose author said that she knew Suze was gay all along. How'd she know? By viewing personal photos Suze posts on her website. Apparently, Ms. Orman's haircut and penchant for the sun visor gave it away. So, I surfed over to Suze's website and viewed the pictures for myself. Sure enough, she is photographed donning a sun visor on multiple occasions.

I wasn't thinking that she looked gay, though. I was struck by the fact that Suze Orman looks just like my Aunt Margie. As it turns out, lesbian internationally acclaimed personal finance experts and straight 2nd grade school teachers from Jupiter, Florida dress exactly the same. Who'd a thunk it?

More importantly, Suze also said that she and her partner of 7 years would like to get married. Because we consider gays second-class citizens, we refuse to allow them the rights and privileges of legal marriage. As a result, when one of them dies, the other will lose 50% of her partner's money to estate taxes. Both of them are financially accomplished women who stand to lose a lot.

I'm not a huge Suze Orman fan--I find her advice sound but her motivational speaking a little nauseating. I proudly stand with her here, though. I have good friends in the same situation (less money, but the same situation), and I see how much they miss out on by not being allowed to throw their lot in together like straight people can.

I was born and raised in the Bible Belt among fundamentalist Christians, and I have heard every single argument against gay marriage. All of them are a waste of mental space. These people generally defend their bigotry by claiming they are protecting the sacredness of marriage. That is bullshit.

When I was 20 years old, I walked into a courthouse in Kentucky to get a marriage license. My fiance and I approached a desk and the clerk asked, "Y'all here for a fishing license or a marriage license?" (Both were handed out at this counter.) We told her we needed a marriage license.

She asked one question, "Y'all aren't close relatives are you?"

"No," I said, "we're not from here."

She laughed and printed out the license. Just out of curiosity, I asked what she meant by close relatives. She told me that she wanted to know if we were first cousins. Not that that would bar us from marriage, they just like to have some idea of how often "that kind of thing" really occurs.

True story.

A few months after we got married, all the sacredness was gone. Five long years and a restraining order later, I now pay a lawyer $175/hour to handle all communication with the man whose name is on that license.

It all fell apart.
And the "gay agenda" had absolutely nothing to do with it.

At the age of 20, I could walk into a courthouse with any male cousin and walk out with a state-sanctioned marriage; but a 55-year-old woman can't marry the woman she has been with for 7 years. Tolerating that kind of bigotry is more asinine than wearing a sun visor.