Woman of Many Talents was here last week, and we saw her briefly. She was on a business trip, attending lots of meetings involving people from various community, state, local, and federal agencies or organizations. You'll be shocked, I know, at her reports that so many agencies trying to cooperate to solve some complex problems were having a hard time. The agency she works for is a pretty high-up-the-bureacracy federal office, and she and her colleagues realized that it wouldn't do for them to be caught criticizing the ineptitude of some other federal agencies. So rather than discussing the poor decisions they witnessed, they would talk about pizza. It's a great code word for something you want to criticize without other people knowing what you mean.
We all went to the Post Office yesterday to get Curious Girl and my passports renewed (both parents need to sign a child's passport application form). The clerk reviewed our paperwork, and said, "I'll need her birth certificate." I pulled it from my wallet, noting that it was actually a delayed record of birth (which is the only thing our state issues for children born outside the US). This record has Politica's name in the father line and mine in the mother line. Politica's real name is pretty darn gendered. The clerk just looked at the document for the longest time, as though she needed to memorize every single piece of information on it. The document has all the same info as appears on a birth certificate, but it's a different size and color, and of course, some of CG's information may appear a little exotic, what with the female name on the father line and the far away in a city many have never heard of birthplace. The clerk never asked us anything, but she just stood here, turning the document over, feeling the raised stamp, reading and re-reading.
I turned to Politica and mouthed, "Pizza."
Politica thinks that she may never have seen evidence of a lesbian family before, and she just needed time to process the information before she could fulfill her legally-appointed duties with the passport application. She pointed to Politica's name on the certificate, and said, "Would this be you?" (even though she was holding Politica's driver's license at the time; easy to see that the names matched). She asked me for my license, and I said, "Here's my passport." It was already out on the counter. "I prefer the driver's license," she replied. I'm fixating on this as the most irritating part of the encounter. Parents need to prove their identity on the child's passport application, but the form lists several appropriate IDs, passports being one. But I passed her my license, since it never pays to upset a bureaucrat. Still, pizza.
Norway legalized same-sex marriage earlier this month. Eventually, the United States will, too. And eventually, legal institutions will be adept enough at recognizing the range of families that exist without leading to awkward moments that leave me muttering about pizza. We got CG's passport application mailed in, even with the clerk's odd reaction. She'll get her new passport, and we'll have plenty of happy travels, during which thoughts of this particular pizza probably won't cross our minds. But still: pizza, today.
And the side of house: we reached an agreement with the seller yesterday on the inspection issues (she'll fix the small things like the slow drain and broken garbage disposal and give us cash back at closing for everything else we asked for). So we're just waiting on the appraisal now. So far, so good.
Update: so far, even better! The appraisal came through at higher than our sale price. Onward to the closing!
And my father continues to improve--thanks so much for all the good wishes, everyone.