October 3rd, 2012
|01:15 pm - The Edgewater House|
Recently, my cousin and her fiancee were engaged and we are so excited for them! They found a beautiful venue, which they *raved* about. When the owner found out about their sexuality, she told them that the place wasn't "the right fit." There was news coverage and reviews posted on their Yelp account and on their Facebook account. Family and friends all over were expressing their hurt and disappointment regarding her actions. I decided that I wanted to write the owner a letter expressing myself and hopefully explaining to her what so many have been trying to say. I can only hope that the owner of The Edgewater House will take the time to read my letter and know what she missed out on.
This is the letter that I wrote:
September 21, 2012
Dear Marilyn and The Edgewater House,
Isn’t this a wonderful photo? A beautiful family? Do they look like they are happy and full of love and support for one another? I don’t think there could be any way for you to say anything other than yes. This is a portion of my AMAZING family. I am so lucky and because of that, I wanted to share this picture with you.
Recently, you made a mistake. Do you see those beautiful girls on the far left? You may recognize them as two women who came to you in hopes that they could utilize your gorgeous venue next summer. You should have heard them rave about the place. Stunning. Beautiful. Perfect. A real gem. Truly special. Unfortunately, when you found out that their reason for inquiring about your venue was because they wished to be married, you told them that it just wasn’t “the right fit.” I think I can speak for all of my family when I say that a lot of hearts were broken. You see, we have an extra special bond with the Puget Sound. It reminds us of this special place that we love. It’s our family’s beach home on Fox Island. You should see it. It sits right on the water, the sunsets are out of this world. The view is breathtaking. This home has hosted more family events than you can imagine. Vacations, meals, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weddings, rehearsal dinners, memorial services. Why? Because it is special. It’s a place where fears melt away, laughter pours out of the walls of the house and echoes down the beach, where hugs and kisses are given out freely and ears are open and shoulders are available for leaning on whether you are blood-related or not. It is a place where our family gathers to be together in good times and bad. I think your venue reminded these girls, my cousin and her fiancée, of this special place.
I am sure by now you are very familiar with the Facebook comments, the news coverage, the Yelp reviews, the blog posts, etc. All of the comments that express hurt, sadness, disappointment, anger and so forth. I am sure that you have become very aware that these amazing women have a huge support group of family and friends and even strangers who all share the same belief that you made a big mistake.
I am a strong believer that people should have the right to believe what they want and feel the way that they want. However, I also am a strong believer that you should not force these beliefs or feelings on others.
I don’t know what your reasoning is for believing that these women should not have the right to use your venue to celebrate their love for one another. Perhaps you don’t agree with their sexuality. Maybe you are worried about what others will think. Whatever your reason is, it was an error.
My cousins and I like to tell a funny story about when we were all kids. Some of us proclaimed “I want to marry you!” to a certain cousin that they may have had a brotherly or sisterly bond with. It may sound silly, but the reason for this statement was because they knew that marriage was a union of two people who loved one another. Because they loved their cousin, they thought they should marry them. At one point, our youngest cousin decided that he wanted to marry the picnic table. Of course, this was mostly a joke and he likely didn’t love the picnic table. BUT, we didn’t discourage him and tell him that that was impossible, wrong, disgusting. Why? He was a toddler. Maybe he did love the picnic table at that instant. Regardless, it is not our place to judge. Why tell him such hateful things and discourage him from thinking freely? Why take away that special innocence and destroy his unscarred heart? Now we are all adults and we are attending college, working successfully in various careers, living across the United States, getting married and having children. Because of this support and love that has been shown to us by our family, we have learned to love and accept people for who they are and we are passing that on to our future generations. We vary in gender and religion and race, but one thing that we do not vary in is our belief in what is morally correct. People deserve to love who they want and to live in a way that makes them happy.
My cousin and her fiancée, whom we have long ago taken in as another family member (legal or not), are happy. They have the unconditional love that so many people wish that they could have themselves. Who are we to tell them that this is wrong? This is not our place. We are not here on this earth to regulate who can love who. We are here to support one another and love each other as we live our short lives on this planet. These two are not harming anyone by choosing to marry. In fact, whether the ceremony is legal or not, the ultimate reason for marrying is because they want to celebrate their love with everyone that has played a special part in their lives. They want to be able to celebrate just as anyone else can. And no matter what you try to do to prevent this, nothing will change the fact that they will continue to live under one roof as a couple who loves one another just as they have since college.
By choosing to turn down their wedding due to your beliefs, you have chosen to accept that all of these people who love and support the girls will work together to warn people of the hurt that was experienced from your business. You have definitely seen what a large network these two girls have and your business may hurt as a result. It is not my intent to show hatred towards you, as I am just incredibly disappointed. I can only hope that at some point during this incident, you will realize that you made a mistake. I just hope that you realize that my cousins were not going to hurt you or your business by celebrating their unconditional love for one another. I just hope that one day you will see the error. We are in 2012. Things are changing. Wouldn’t you rather look back in the past and be proud for being a part of the change rather than someone who discriminated?
Regardless, I am sure my cousins will find an amazing venue that will allow them to experience the same breathtaking experience that they felt when they originally saw your venue, except without the discrimination against their sexuality. Because of this, that venue will be far more beautiful than yours. It will be a place where we can all look back and remember a perfect day filled with love and celebration of the unity between two people who will continue to love each other forever.
I only wish you could have been more open-minded so that you could meet my family. They really are a special group of people who have nothing but love and support for each other. Because of this, we won’t let your decisions bring us down and deter us, but rather, we will allow it to strengthen our hearts and our bond with each other. We will use this situation as a reminder to ourselves and our families to encourage future generations to have an open mind and an open heart. We will remember even more to love people because they do good things in this world and love unconditionally, not because they share the same beliefs as we do.
I wish you luck, Marilyn and I hope that one day, you will change your heart.
April 2nd, 2010
|11:41 am - Employment|
After almost six months of being unemployed....
I have a job :) I start work with the city in a week and will be an intern for a while. I'm looking forward to starting up work again and getting more experience. And my commute is all of about three minutes... Five with traffic. ;)
Current Mood: happy
March 22nd, 2010
|11:24 am - Rest Peacefully|
About 13 years ago, we lost both our grandfathers within 6 months of each other. Both losses were very hard on us, but we were fortunate enough to have such a great, supportive family and group of friends to help carry is through our time of need.
I was closer to my Papa (my Mom's father), because I grew up with him living 2 blocks away and we saw him a lot (My Grandpa & Grandma live(d) in New York so we didn't/don't see them as often). On my Mom's side of the family, our special place is their property out at Fox Island. Throughout the summer, we spend any available time out there relaxing, swimming and spending time with each other, while some, including my Nana live out there all summer long. I've grown up spending a lot of time out there and it's been my sanctuary. Several hundred feet down the beach from the house is the Big Rock,where me and my cousins have spent countless hours jumping off at high tide and just hanging out there. It was always so exciting when we were younger because we were often required to swim only in front of the house so our parents could watch us and when we were old enough we were allowed to walk or take our boats down to the Big Rock and swim, but not past that.
Unfortunately, in the last several days, an awful story has been playing itself out about a mother and son from Silverdale who have disappeared. The boy's body recently turned up on Fox Island just past the Big Rock. I was holding out hoping the story would have a happy ending and was very upset when I heard the little boy was found dead. Then, to find out that he was found just down from a place that holds such happy memories, just increased my sadness.
Following these feelings of sadness, my uncle sent out an email that really touched my heart. In it, it read:
I don't know about all of you but I felt haunted this week seeing the news about 8 year old Azriel's body found just past the Big Rock. (Amy--- a boy and his Mom went missing in Olympia where their car was located on a beach--he was found drowned on Fox Island a few days later.) It was hard to see such a sad news story taking place in a place I feel such joy. I worked at the beach today and kept thinking about Papa and Peter, (who I almost always think of when I work there) and about the day we spread Papa's ashes from the flotilla and how we drifted to that area. For some reason I kept picturing the three of them-Papa, Peter and the little boy. After my work was done I walked down and sat in the sun on the Big Rock. I looked up the hill and an eagle was sitting in a small tree halfway up the hill. He then flew down a few hundred feet toward the end of the island. I looked back toward our house and a second eagle was sitting in a big fir looking out over the water. I don't know what that means but I feel better picturing those two sentinels looking over that stretch of beach instead of the police and press. Love to you all
Two important things to note: Peter is my uncle who passed away when he was 21. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I know he spent many summers out at Fox Island growing up and it was as special to him as it is to the rest of us. The other - when my Papa passed away, we took tons of boats out with all of the family in them and we created a flotilla. We said our special words for our Papa and each had an opportunity to spread his ashes in the water. It was a peaceful way for us to say our goodbyes and spend a special afternoon with each other. During one of our family meals after that ceremony, we were talking about Papa when an eagle appeared and sat on top of our flagpole near our tables. At the time we were convinced that maybe it was Papa watching over us and joining us for brunch. Then, throughout the last 13 years, on many special occasions, an eagle has appeared nearby. I have become convinced that somehow, it's Papa's way of showing us he's with us. Reading this email from my uncle was heartwarming. And my Aunt followed up with an email saying: I wrapped my mind around the idea that if this all had to happen, he was blessed to end up on such a lovely, peaceful place which has such a history of family togetherness instead of never surfacing, or ending up in some "less lovely" place. I couldn't agree with her more. I would rather the story played out differently, but if it did have to turn out this way, he couldn't have ended up in a better place. And based on what my uncle saw, I know he's being watched out for by my Papa and uncle Peter.
Rest peacefully, Azriel.
Current Mood: thoughtful
|10:33 am - Long Overdue Update|
It's been far too long since I was in the habit of updating and I've seen it as a common trend amongst the other LJ users I follow. I imagine it was just one of those trends, but I will continue to post when I find the time and will cross-post on Facebook until some other trend starts up. ;)
It's now been just over 5 months since I was laid off from the awful economy. Job hunting has been challenging, as unemployment requires I apply to 3 jobs per week in order to collect, and there are only so many Civil Engineering jobs/companies out there. I'm making it work, with endless help from Trestin and have been fortunate enough to have interviews for the past several weeks. I have two somewhat promising opportunities, which will hopefully play themselves out in the next couple of weeks and hopefully I will find myself employed. Both jobs would be great for me and would help me finally get myself on the right path for my original/ideal career path (in the environmental field). In the mean time, I have been able to do plenty around the house. It was amazing how much my stress level had dropped after I lost my job in October and it has been nice to focus on me and finally accomplish goals of mine that have been lingering for a long time. As always, I can't thank Trestin for supporting me in all of this and we have been fortunate enough to have planned appropriately when we accumulated all of our bills so that we wouldn't be in a difficult situation if something like this were to happen.
On a different note, I am very thankful that Spring is finally here. Winter didn't seem too long since we didn't have TOO many ice or snow adventures. I think I would have liked to have one good snowfall, but I'm usually in the minority with that feeling. I love that all the bulbs are blooming and other plants are budding. The sunshine does wonders for me.
And... So does my trampoline. :) I had a gift card I got quite a while, which I traded with Tres for the cash so I could get a mini trampoline. I love it. And really, that's all there is to that... :)
I decided that Easter is probably my second favorite holiday, and I am looking forward to seeing all of our family. And speaking of family, my annual trip that I look forward to all year long is finally almost here. My cousins and I have been counting down every time we see each other and can't wait to go to Fort Worden in T minus 24 days.
I think that about sums up what has been happening lately. We've had several family dinners, Trestin and Sara have taken up rock-climbing, I'm looking into doing water aerobics, holidays, parties, etc.
Current Mood: calm
Current Music: Brandy
February 19th, 2010
|11:39 pm - Ugh|
Damn you, allergies!! I'm done with feeling like I need to sneeze all day.
I'm going to drown you in yummy snacks. Om nom nom.
Current Mood: sneezy
February 18th, 2010
|09:51 am - Please Shine Down On Me|
I always find it much harder to be in a poor mood when the sun is out shining like today. Our yard is coming to life and I'm not shaking from the cold. My favorite time of the year is definitely summer due to the heat, but this is second best. :)
I've had a few interviews lately and am hoping things will work out. For now, I'm keeping busy around the house and am feeling extra motivated today due to the weather. And, my "puppy niece" is coming over today!
Current Mood: content
February 2nd, 2010
|12:08 pm - Nonsense!|
Dear Punxsutawney Phil,
You may be cute and fluffy, but your ways are mixed. If you see your shadow, it means it's SUNNY. So, despite what you said, I am going to say spring came early since it's been abnormally warm and my plants are blooming away.
Don't be mad, though. If I met you, I would pet you and snuggle you and take you home.
Dear Mother Nature,
Please don't get all PMS'y on me. Even though I wish it had snowed, I will not complain about warm weather and sunshine. So, keep it up. My deepest apologies, though - I don't think you're cute and fluffy (or maybe you are, but I wouldn't know).
Current Mood: sleepy
January 27th, 2010
|01:47 pm - Bad Kitty, No Biscuit!|
So, Friday night we decided to have people over to try out some drinking games, since Trestin and I had never really played any except beer pong and just general hanging out. At one point, I decided to go upstairs and get Percy to bring him down and introduce him. Unfortunately, I slipped on the stairs coming down (likely would have done this sober, too, but painful either way) and bruised my tailbone pretty bad. On Sunday, my neck was a little sore, but I didn't think much of it because my neck and shoulders tend to get sore from stress or overworking myself. Then, I found a painful bump on the right side of my neck on my hairline (internally). On Monday, it became very painful and I woke up Tuesday early in the morning in excrutiating pain and in tears. We made our way to the Urgent Care later in the morning because I had multiple painful lumps on my neck and head (quite certain they were swollen lymph nodes) and could barely move. The doctor was great and asked me tons of questions and felt them - I ended up in tears in the room because it hurt so badly. :( Based on what she felt, she said it was likely pulled muscles similar to whiplash and then some sort of infection, although we couldn't figure out what since normally those lymph nodes swell from sore throats or earaches - neither of which I had. All of a sudden she asked if we had a cat and then asked if it had scratched me. I said yes, since I had been holding Percy when I slipped on the stairs and he'd scratched my chest (poor thing!). She did a few more tests on me and then runs out of the room and comes back with a perscription for antibiotics and tells me I have a muscle strain and Cat Scratch Disease. lol. Trestin and I thought this was pretty funny, but glad that there was an answer for the horrible pain. She said she had a man in earlier who went through several tests and then they found out he had the same thing from a cat bite. Symptoms include painful, swollen lymph nodes in the neck. She also told me to keep taking tylenol and could take the vicodin we had at home, too. I've since spent most my time laid up on the couch, but noticed a difference this morning (I also took a muscle relaxer last night which seemed to help my neck muscles). All Trestin has wanted to do (and the pharmacist) is sing Cat Scratch Fever to me. :)
I'm a keeper!
Current Mood: sore
September 26th, 2009
|02:54 pm - Relaxation in Anacortes|
Food Network + Good Book + Real Simple magazine + yummy pasta + chocolate cookie + comfy bed in Anacortes + Sister Act = EXCELLENT.
Trestin will be returning to the hotel in about 2 hours. The hotel is quite nice and the weather is perfect up here. I think being "trapped" at the hotel in Anacortes with no vehicle was a good thing for me because I'm being forced to relax and I needed it. Tonight, I can use the jetted tub - YEAHHHH! And we get to hang out with our whale watching/Anacortes buddy, Brooke, for dinner/bar? I'm excited.
Current Mood: content
September 25th, 2009
|11:02 am - Another Update!|
Trestin took me to see Colbie Caillat, as a birthday gift, on Wednesday. I finally declared that I think I am getting too old for these concerts because I get grouchy at all of the teens and their ridiculous ways. This is also when my height actually makes me sad. We were towards the back and had two couples with very tall boyfriends decide to come push past us and stand right in front of me. After some words with them, they moved, but this was enough to irritate me. I asked Trestin where the seats were for the old people. ;) Beyond that, the concert was *so good* and her band was amazing. I'm hoping they come back again so we can see her more than once. Thanks Trestin! :)
We also made our way to the Puyallup Fair last night. We managed to go to Al's Brain exhibit, the animals and petting zoo (I saw a camel and a Ze-Donk!), went on the Matterhorn and the Roller Coaster, saw some exhibits, had scones and an elephant ear and cotton candy, all in 3 hours. I was quite impressed and who knew that going on rides at 10 (when the park closes), is THE BEST time. Everyone thinks it means they have to leave, so we didn't have to wait in line.
Also, yesterday, Jay came and did some work for us. Our lawn is mowed, the roof is almost clean and the gutters are almost cleaned up. We're almost ready for fall, but not quite. :)
We're off to Anacortes this evening. Trestin is going on a fishing trip on Saturday, so we are cutting some driving time out by staying there. Our hotel has a creek and waterfall outside so I am hoping the weather holds up and I can go read outside or go to the beach. We should have a nice time.
Current Mood: happy