Posts Tagged ‘citizenship’

Don’t tell Mom the babysitter’s dead.

October 6, 2008

I am now officially a citizen of this country.  Except that maybe, I’m not. Technically, at least. You see, while we were all giving our allegiance, etc etc, I messed up. I left out the word ‘affirm.’

Turns out the word ‘affirm’ is the most important word in the whole pledge, as I found out when I realised I’d forgotten to complete the sentence outloud. I frantically scanned the whole thing and discovered that without affirming, your ass is grass. So while we were all supposed to repeat the next bit of the pledge, I said my bit reallyreally fast so that I could mumble ‘affirm’ at the end.

I think it probably counts.

During the national anthem at the end, I was mentally singing the words to a patriotic song Old Country has – same tune, different words. TMD assures me that she won’t tell on me.

Tomorrow:

October 5, 2008

I become a dual citizen. And as a welcome gift to this country, they’re giving me a free passport holder. If that motherfucker doesn’t hold TWO passports, it is of no use to me. Plus, I’ll never be able to throw it away because I hoard useless things and have a special place in my heart for anything remotely resembling an office supply.

Soon I’ll have two passports, each with a different cover colour.

I know I can’t be the only one who thinks that shit is COOL.

September evenings smell so good.

September 20, 2008

Went back to the clinic this week for – drumroll, please – more blood tests. We also had ‘counselling.’ Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had an intensifying feeling that I really may not be very good at my new job. Still, TMD keeps doing impressions of the counsellor we saw, and I think all I have to do to remember that I don’t suck is realise that at least I’m not OPENING MY MAIL during sessions.

Still, she hooked us up with what will probably be a useful network, told us to sort out our wills, and also showed us a book I really rilly want. It’s called Our Story, or something like that. It’s the story of two moms and their baby/child – how they had to go to the hospital to help get pregnant, etc. It’s not as creepy as Heather Has Two Moms (sorry, I know I am offending all you right on lesbians out there, but I remember that book being fucking WEIRD), and has cute kid-drawn illustrations. I want it, dudettes. Only seven smackaroonies.

The other useful thing the counsellor said was that we are already trying to conceive. In a bizarre way I already feel pregnant, though obviously that hasn’t happened. However, A Good Friend Who May Wish To Remain Anonymous thinks she’s pregnant with the next Jesus, and if that’s true I’m pregnant with Jesus III.

I think the only thing I have any doubts about is donating eggs. Am I not the altruistic kind? In a way, it feels like giving a child up for adoption or something. It’s odd as I have no ethical qualms about using donor sperm; though I do think women tend to be more precious about their eggs. Since our visit to the clinic on Thursday (?), I’ve been googling ‘IVF versus IUI’ a lot, and I am feeling really rock solid about IVF. It is the right choice for us.

There are fears – if IVF doesn’t work, it would feel sort of hope-draining to have to go ‘backwards’ to IUI. But as much as I resist it, I am feeling ridiculously positive and shining about the baby I know IVF will bring us. We’re going to the clinic again next week to have the IVF consult. The only thing hanging over my head is this fucking laparoscopy. The pain in my lower right abdomen is clearly going away, and I am so impatient to cook me up some baby pancakes that I almost don’t want to bother with the surgery. I’ve got the consult for that next Monday.

I’ve been to hospitals/clinics/my doctor more times since July than I have in the ENTIRE time I’ve lived in this country.  (Oh, I’m almost an official citizen! My ceremony is on October 6. Rock on free passport holder!)

Have I ever told you about Daisy and Joey? When we were growing up, my sister liked punching me in the stomach. Fuck knows why. I got around this for a number of years by telling her I had twins growing in me. At one point, another baby called Petunia joined the crew – but it was really Daisy and Joey who ruled the roost.

In a completely crazy, mostly unscientific sort of way, I am convinced we are going to have twins. One in four IVF births does result in multiples, so it’s not too unreasonable to think it might happen to us. I think the whole Daisy and Joey argument is perhaps erring on the side of wack-a-doodle-doo…..but my friend Opposite Gender Soulmate told me he had a dream a few months back that he was looking at pictures of me and TMD on Facebook, and we had twins. While he initially wrote this off due to stalking my profile AND seeing a scary movie about twins (why oh why didn’t I ask the name of it? I wish my wife liked scary movies!), he now says he thinks he ‘saw the faces of our future children.’

He also pointed out that I do like having two of everything (ie ‘one for best’).

Fuck it. If I’m not allowed to be chirpy and charmingly superstitious in my own diary, where can I be?

(I still am having big pooping problems. TMD is not amused.)

PS – The counsellor asked me what my orientation was. My reaction was a quiet astonishment, since I was there with my wife. Turns out she meant my theorectical counselling orientation.

PPS – I had a PPS but wanted to get down the PS first, and now I forgot it. Fuck.

PPPS – Fuck! Thought I remembered it, but then got dissauded by another PS and now I think I’ve forgot that one as well.

PPPPS – YES. Had a dream last night – been dreaming a lot about IVF. Last night we had two perfect embryos ready to be put back in my womb, and it was a boy and a girl. (No, we’re not planning on asking for this information in real life.) This is what TMD would like to happen, and I turned to her in the dream and sort of sigh-talked, ‘It’s just what we wanted!’

PPPPPS – I changed the name of this country’s currency for ‘smackaroonies.’ Am I uber-paraboid or what?

Thirty facts about me/my life/etc on my thirtieth birthday!

September 5, 2008

My father has borderline personality disorder,
my mother went into labour with me
on labour day,
my grandmother marched in the first
union march in the
country I was born in.

I love buying journals and have trouble
finishing them. I have five holes in my
ears and no more hole
in my tongue.
I have one crown in my mouth,
no tattoos, and
a serious distaste of earthworms.

I’m 5’8, taller than my mother (only just)
and shorter than my
father. Once, playing under a sleeping bag,
I watched my sister swallow a
penny.
I met TMD in 1998, I moved to this
country permanently in 2001 (we can
ignore the extensive visiting in 2000).

My grandfather had a huge collection
of
Reader’s Digest books,
and he ate popcorn every night from
a giant wooden bowl.
He and my grandmother were
first generation in my home country.

I never thought about being
from that country until I moved
far away from it, and my accent and cultural
habits made me an oddity.

I dislike cutting my toenails (because it’s
icky, not because I want long claw hooks),
I’ve worn glasses since I was eight,
I lost my virginity when I was 16. My wife
has a killer voice
and plays the guitar like a dream.

I have never met my father’s side
of my family,
I have never met my grandparents’
across-the-ocean family,
I wonder sometimes how they fared in
the Holocaust, with all those
death camps sprinkled around.

I am not German or Austrian.

I’ve slept with more boys
than girls
but been with TMD probably longer
than all other relationships combined.
I’m a serial monogomist.

I used to tap dance.
I cannot do a cartwheel.

(I think I counted correctly. Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday in one way or another. The first fact of my 31st year: I love comments on this diary. It makes me feel listened to, valued, and like someone has reached out to make a connection with me. Love to you all!)

I also ate wild blackberries this morning.

July 30, 2008

My mother is very excited about the fact that I might Move Back Home One Day, and I think my sister has gotten into it as well. All of this from an innocent  email wondering if my qualifcations are transferrable to that country, which stemmed from the idea that I definitely want to do more training in a couple of years. While waiting for the train this morning, I thought about these two places. Past Country and Present Country, with no clear winner of which would win the title of Future Country, if either.

It occured to me that I have never been a real grown up in Past Country. In this place I live now, I’ve had actual adult jobs, completed two postgraduate courses, bought a house, bought a car, lived a grown-up life with my grown-up wife, etc. What do I really know about Past Country? I’m not even totally clear on the types of jobs availble for working with young people, for example (excluding the obvious ones). TMD has said she would move back into the camping field should we move there, and this morning I was thinking – is it possible for me to be happy if she works in that type of job?

And that’s even if a camp is happy to take on not just the suberbly qualified TMD, but also her lesbian partner and their children. It’s been a long time since I’ve faced the type of discrimination that is inherent in Past Country. The sort that is so thick and murky fingers reach into every area of your life. Would I want to live in that environment? Raise my children there?

The simple fact is, I think I am more comfortable in Present Country. While it was a huge culture shock to move here originally, and I faced feeling really low for the first couple of years, now I have grown up and into this place. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to live in Past Country. In all sorts of fantastical fantasy ways I would prefer it, hands-down. But is it possible? I don’t know.

All of this is completely arbitrary discussion anyway, as we would not move there until there was a national policy on immigration with regards to same-sex marriage. But the way things are going, that could either be much sooner than we ever predicted – or decades away. I’m not sure. Those of you living in a country where gay marriage is not legal and therefore immigration is a bitch, what is the vibe?

It’s hard to be anonymous about countries when it’s the Fourth of July.

July 4, 2008

1. I am marching in a parade tomorrow. Maybe you will see me if you’re there. I’ll be the only one not wearing rainbow clothes or leather.

2. I just got THE best phone plan in the fucking world. For ten [units of money] a month. I also made soulmate friends with the phone guy, who lives the next street up from my work and will probably also be at the parade tomorrow.

3. I need to phone the Big People to find out what’s going on with my application for citizenship. Ironic to think about this when it is a day traditionally reserved for breaking away from this country.

4. Is there any point in being country anonymous? If I don’t use any names or identifying details (well, things that would be non-identifying if you didn’t already know me), does it actually make a difference if people know where I live or where I was born?

5. Operation Fingerpaint had some mindfulness meditation time yesterday, and we may start regular meditation groups. I’m feeling inspired and may start doing body scans during my lunch hour.

Ode.

May 8, 2008

Went into the heart of the city tonight to buy that book on fertility. Walking along those old streets, music in my ears, I suddenly stopped and took it in. The tourists from all over the world, laughing and snapping pictures, awe stamped across their faces, their babies splashing in the fountains. I walk here as one who calls this home, this city of old stones and fountains and statues. I walk here not as someone with my accent or upbringing here for a flying visit, but as an older me with a softer accent, gently aquiring the ebb and flow of another land.

I carried my new book around in its tidy black bag, while other people carried camcorders, giant backpacks, passports.

It was beautiful. The last of the sun lit up the HoP, glinting and making the tower look like it was made of copper. Chlorine-scented water splashed up, stern lions sat frozen, and I made my way to the steps I have sat on so many hundreds of times, in that square I love any time of day, any day of the year.

Those smooth, grey, worn steps have seen me meditate, be in the background of a big time music video, eat lunch, drink beer while watching concerts, write in my journals. Tonight they just sat there with me. No music in my ears, no pen in my hands, just my eyes wide open.

I will be proud to be a citizen of this country, with its epic past and unknown future. I will bring a bit of my own culture into it, never forgetting who I am and where I come from. I grew up with different customs, different voices; I am still not clear I understand how to write a cheque here, and I know that in restaurants when I ask for the ‘check’ no one understands what I am talking about.

In three weeks I won’t be a resident of this city any longer. I’ll be moving out into a part of the country that’s more like the country I came from. I’ll miss this city. I want my children to know the curves, age, inspiration. Tonight I looked at things from my sister’s point of view; she is a woman who sees every minute with fresh eyes and exhiliration, ever hopeful that life is getting better – even as she believes every moment is as good as it gets. I saw the carved words with her eyes, and from a friend’s artistic perspective, and from my own moment of openness.

And I was thankful.

It made some people cry.

April 23, 2008

I passed the citizenship test in three minutes today. I think the appropriate phrase would be that it was ‘a piece of piss.’ It makes me really, really glad I didn’t spend any extra time studying for it.

So much to say, but I’m busy cramming facts into my brain. Good news is I can forget them after tomorrow.

April 22, 2008

Tomorrow morning I take the test that proves I know enough about this country to get a passport. It occurs to me that it is the date of this country’s patron saint, so in an odd way it feels like the perfect day for the test.

Of course, you could say I was overthinking this.

Moving on up.

April 18, 2008

Feeling so good – TMD said I’m different all over. All I know is I still feel happy. Not just about work, but it seems to be affecting a lot of different areas. I’m feeling good about my body, and I’ve lost 5 pounds this week. In the last few weeks, I have piled on about 7 pounds or so, completely reverting back to unhealthy eating patterns. I’ve gone back to counting points, good old Weight Watchers style, and it seems easy peesy because I’m just feeling so well.

I really did make up my mind about a month ago that my life was my responsibility, and I’m following through on that. I’ve got a load of stuff to do, and I have excellent skills in postponing life, but not anymore. Lately I find myself making necessary phone calls, writing my official letters, moving forward.

Next week I’m taking my citizenship test. I think I’m now going to watch a good bit of Judge Judy and fill in my application for citizenship. It feels good to be doing all these things I’ve been putting off for so long.

And best of all, Opposite Gender Soulmate (he really needs a new nickname) is coming to my city and country very soon! He’ll be here for a whole week for work, so hopefully I’ll be able to spend a lot of time with him. I haven’t seen him in about 9 years, I think. It’ll be weird to have gone from two university-aged kids who were all queered up to two adults. I’m really looking forward to a big hug and kiss!

Anyway, see you kids later. Judge Judy waits for no one.

Oh, holy crap – before I sign off, I must just say this: yesterday TMD and I signed the contract to buy our new place! She’s sending off a cheque for an obcene amount of money today (the deposit), and hopefully we will exchange contracts at the start of next week. WOOHOO.