JUN 09

Famous Reporter # 39







(From the blog 'Looky, Daddy': November 10th 2008)
Your Days Are None The Better For What You Have Done

I woke up this morning at about 6:30 AM and I rubbed my eyes. They hurt. Everything near them hurt as well. They would continue to hurt until coffee was brewed.

There was a noisy queue for our house's single toilet and I joined it at the end. Everyone in front of me was wearing footed pajamas. Two-thirds of them asked to have their butts wiped. Two-thirds of them were disappointed. No one flushed. The water in the bowl was impossibly yellow by the time it was my turn. I told myself not flushing was better for the environment, then I made the water even more yellow. The sight of it would have surely burned my eyes had I not closed them against the pain.

Three pairs of pajamas were exchanged for three sets of school clothes. Some people thought this was a better idea than others. Protests were made and ignored. I poured three bowls of cereal: Two bowls Frosted Mini-Wheats, one bowl Cheerios.

Later, school lunches and backpacks were passed out and shoes were wrestled on. I handed the car keys to Lila. It was her turn to hide them. Each morning, one child gets to run out first, unlock the car, and hide the keys somewhere inside. That's my way of ensuring at least one of my children goes to the car voluntarily. I can sling the other two over my shoulders if I need to. Even the eight-year-old. Lila always hides the keys in the glove box. I always know this, and she always knows I'll check at least five other places before I find them. This morning, when I opened the glove box, she screamed with joy at her own cleverness.

Nothing that happened this morning was affected by California passing Proposition 8. Had voters rejected it instead, my morning would have been identical. Proposition 8 has not touched me. Making gay marriage illegal in California has left me unaffected. My days haven't changed.

But listen, 52% of California: Back when gay marriage was legal, your days didn't change, either. When there was marriage equality in your state, your mornings transpired exactly the way they had before. Your head probably hurt before your morning coffee. Your kids probably protested getting dressed. It's even possible that your daughter also hid your keys in your glove box, and when gay marriage was legal, she still squealed with joy when you found them.

You didn't need to vote away a people's right. Your days are none the better for it. Your days are none the better for what you have done.

Brian Sargent is a stay-at-home dad to his three girls and lives in the New York City area, which is a nicer way to say New Jersey. He drinks his martinis with olives brined in his daughters' tears.