My first encounter today was with Senator Linda Higgins. I got there a little early so there was really nobody around when I noticed her scurrying out of the door that leads to Senate offices. She stopped before starting down the stairs and said "It's just so heartwarming to see you here every day." I told her I was glad and that "Well at least I'm doing some good then." She responded by saying my being there is a very good thing. She also commented that the atmosphere at the Capitol has changed greatly this session, meaning as a result of the new DFL
majorities. I agreed.
Shortly after that, there was a small group of people, some young, some older staring up from the bottom of the stairs at the "LET ME MARRY MY PARTNER..." banner and talking to each other for several moments. Then, slowly making their way up the stairs some turned to wished me luck and I thanked them. The last one in the group, a short, chubby woman with short gray hair, dressed in stretch slacks and a purple cardigan sweater stopped and smiled at me. She wished me luck, then a wistful look, the kind older people get when they remember something long passed, crossed her round, weathered face. She told me that many years ago her uncle in Oklahoma, who was Native American, had to leave the state in order to marry his white girlfriend. She shook her head and said, "The world has to change," nodding to my sign. With another smile and wish of good luck, she finished her climb and moved on with her group.
Later, a very handsome young man I had previously barely noticed...really, approached from the east. He wanted to verify that I was a proponent of gay marriage and said that he had with him a female visitor from Mexico who is a marriage equality advocate and that she would like to take my picture. He politely asked if I would mind. "Of course not," I said, "go right ahead" . He signaled the overcoated young dark-haired woman with braces on her teeth who then positioned herself on the opposite side of the staircase, camera in hand. There were problems with the flash which left me standing there uncomfortably for some time with my best "Welcome to our country" smile frozen on my face. After the flash, she came over and we briefly discussed the recent advances in Mexico such as, civil unions in the state of Coahuila and Mexico City. She acknowledged that there is a movement to expand those rights to other areas of Mexico. I welcomed her and wished her a pleasant visit as she and the young man left.
Labels: chinoiserie, Higgins, Mexico