Saturday, July 23, 2011

Retirement Musings - Driving & Marriage Equality

We’re in the middle of a heat wave, as is much of the country. Yesterday was one of the five all-time highest temperatures ever. Not the kind of weather that motivates me to do any serious writing, even though my basement office is one of the cooler places in our non-air-conditioned house.

The new Time magazine arrived in today’s mail, so I rifled through it for inspiration. There were a number of interesting tidbits, several of them clustered around a common but non-retirement-related topic.

The one appropriate tidbit (also heard on the evening news) is that grandparents keep children safer by a factor of two than parents do while driving. That’s right, the little ones are twice as likely to get injured when their parents are driving. You might expect that us older folks have more accidents than younger ones, and you’d be right. Apparently, we focus those mishaps on the times we are driving without the grandkids.

It seems we pay more attention when we know we have precious cargo on board. This naturally leads me to think that once we retire to Vermont, I should borrow my grandniece as often as possible when I’m running errands.

The non-relevant topic for which I found several items is gay marriage. You’ve probably already heard that same-sex marriages will be legal in New York State beginning tomorrow, July 24. New York’s Mayor Bloomberg is forward thinking enough to open the license bureau on Sunday and waive the waiting period so couples can get married the first day that it’s legal.

Expecting a barrage of applications, he implemented a lottery for the 764 applications he felt the bureau could handle. Time highlighted this number. As it turned out, the 823 couples who actually applied by the deadline could be handled by keeping the bureau open a little later. Bloomberg made it happen, but after Time went to print. Kudos to New York's mayor for not only being fair, but being romantic.

Former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani was also quoted on this topic in Time.  “I think that the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms.” Good ole Rudy--ever the pragmatist, if not the romantic.

My favorite tidbit on gay marriage comes from--of all places--Nepal. Time shows a photo of a lesbian couple being married in a Hindu ceremony there. They quote a Nepali lawmaker, who says they’ve “built a brand for the gay tourists. If they want to visit a location which is exotic and rich in both tradition and natural beauty... then Nepal is the place.” Capitalism and romanticism--now that’s a marriage made in heaven. Or at least at the top of the world.

Yes folks, Nepal welcomes gay couples, while my current home state--Rhode Island--remains the only state in New England that does not recognize a gay couple’s right to marry. (I’m not counting Maine, because those folks are so far out there geographically that they might as well be in Canada.) The most Little Rhody could muster is Civil Unions, despite having a number of openly gay lawmakers and a hetero governor who was willing to sign a marriage equality bill. So the home of the Independent Man is an island indeed.

Did I mention that my husband and I are retiring to Vermont?

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