Sunday, February 15, 2015


Since our expected reserved time on Sunday was in the mid afternoon, I decided to go to St. Francis in the morning, but leave near the end of Mass and sign out from Vespers. I told everybody I had to leave early, ‘cuz I was getting married! I took a taxi to City Hall.

Dennis saw our friend, Carl N, and asked him if he wanted to be our witness. Carl was heading for another appointment. As a lawyer, he wasn’t sure that what we were planning to do was legal. He said he didn’t approve of the Mayor’s stand – but then added, that to us he extended “loving disapproval.”

The entire afternoon was cinematically magical. We waited in line to get a marriage license, then waited again for the actual ceremony. Multiple marriages were occurring simultaneously at different locations throughout City Hall. Our time came and we headed to the top of the staircase just outside the door to the Supervisors’ chambers.

A city volunteer conducted the ceremony. A tall handsome guy named Michael acted as our witness. Dennis asked him if he was going to get married. Michael replied that he didn’t even have a boyfriend – but he wanted to do his part. After the simple ceremony, and exchange of rings, we waited in line again to register our marriage. All the city employees working that weekend had volunteered their time, and this was a three-day weekend (with President’s Day holiday on Monday)!

Then Dennis and I went to his beloved cream-colored Fiat Spyder convertible. We put the top down— even with a slight drizzle— and drove several times around City Hall and honked our horn at the huge line of people still waiting. Dennis had attached coke cans and a pair of old red high heels donated by our eighty-year old upstairs neighbor, Dorothy Chursin (greatly adored by Rose and Rupert, for tossing dog biscuits from her third story window on mornings when I have the discipline to get up in time to wait for her).

At home we had an elegant dinner in the red room with champagne, pate, filet mignon, artichokes, pinot noir, and a special fruit topped cake for dessert.

Later Dennis sent our rings to be engraved with our initials and the date 02/15/2004 at Tiffany’s in New York. (I wore both rings on my right hand. They looked like a single ring. Occasionally I used them as guard rings with Dennis’ brown diamond, that is until we were robbed of some silver and jewelry when I was on vacation two years ago.)

A few days later, we decided it would be a good idea to register as Domestic Partners with the State of California. (That turned out to be very important following Dennis’ death when I was able to avoid going through probate.)

Titian in the Frari (Venezia)