Remember when Matthew and I walked from our house to the place you get married in in Oakland? And then we waited and waited? Such a great day so far and it only got better. After being called to go to the Wedding Room we all piled into an elevator and went to the second floor. There is a little waiting room and office outside of the Wedding Room where we waited for the couple ahead of us to hurry it up and kiss already. They were an elderly lesbian couple who's only witness was a relative who wore a very large cross around his neck. Interesting. The stories we all have to tell about how we got to the Wedding Room.

We waited there for a good while.

Nice lady.

Nice lady.

The office looked like a middle school office.

The office looked like a middle school office.

I called Zane. He didn't answer.

I called Zane. He didn't answer.

Many people thought that Matthew and Kevin were getting married, which, to be honest, would kind of be awesome too.

Many people thought that Matthew and Kevin were getting married, which, to be honest, would kind of be awesome too.

Kevin took lots of backlit Matthew shots as we waited for god knows what. So much waiting.

Kevin took lots of backlit Matthew shots as we waited for god knows what. So much waiting.

Finally, it was time. Kevin and Michelle sat, Finley-Ray tried to sit, and Jessica took photos. We had written vows but the clerk had stuff to say too. I don't remember it except to say that it was lovely, not canned, meaningful, and sweet. 

Oh right, this is where I explain how god-awful ugly the room was. We loved it. It was so absurdly ugly, how could we not? Really look at it, take it all in. Amazing, no? We even have an electrical outlet on the floor between our feet.

We had written our vows separately and had successfully kept them from each other. I volunteered to go first because I couldn't wait to say mine. I talked about a lot of things including always drinking morning coffee and evening cocktails with him. No one who knows us was surprised to hear that Matthew had the same sentiment in his vows. I gave a little fist pump and under my breath whispered, "Yeeeeeeees."

During Matthew's vows we both started crying. Truth be told, he cried a more than me, which is why I married him of course. We had both done a fair amount of preparatory emotional work in order to be super present and open during this day, not wanting to black out or not let it in like it deserved. I was all melty when I saw how raw and open Matthew was saying his words to me. Aw. Sigh. Gosh. Love.

Then the snot started dripping down our faces and not in a cute subtle way but in a "Hold the phone, I need a tissue immediately" way. Kevin and his handkerchief came to the rescue and we could resume after a good laugh. We exchanged rings (brass and from Etsy) and the clerk declared that by the power vested in her by the county of Alameda and the state of California we were married!

Snot.

Snot.

Rings.

Rings.

Husband and wife.

Husband and wife.

Kissing.

Kissing.

More kissing.

More kissing.

Sharing the arbor because it's so awesome.

Sharing the arbor because it's so awesome.

I'll tell you about after the ceremony next time!

Photos by Jessica and Kevin.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

I've been sick folks. Like, real sick. Not the kind of sick that secretly feels like a nice excuse to watch reality television and order your partner around, but the kind that makes you want to get out of your own skin as quickly as possible and in which the words, "Thisisterriblethisisterriblethisisterrible" get stuck in your mind on repeat as you try to convince yourself that you might sleep tonight.

Anyway. Poor me. I'm getting much better and quickly. Thank you for your concern.

This Saturday, to celebrate my vertical-ness, Matthew and I decided to take a short drive out to the town of Port Costa. It's a sweet, curvy, empty, golden hill-covered 40 minute drive from Oakland (if you go the non-80 way, which you should). The town sits in a narrow canyon on the north bay, across from Vallejo, and has 190 residents.  You should go. Right now.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

Warehouse Cafe & Bar entrance.

There are 2 bars, one cafe, and one hotel in town. "Town" is one little street that dead ends into a parking lot by the train tracks that run along the water. As soon as we got to the parking lot I knew we were in for a special day. My elevated heart rate told me so. 

When you enter the Warehouse Cafe & Bar, which is indeed an enormous very old warehouse, it is unclear where to go or if humans are actually welcome. It has a very strong "find us if you can" vibe. I've never been to a place like it, and I've been to some strange places. Intrigued, we walked around until we found humans.

We had a drink on the patio, saw either the largest feral cat on earth or a small wild cat lurking in the bushes, and enjoyed the outfits of the bikers who frequent the place. Then we set about exploring.

The place is impossible to capture with an iPhone, needless to say. Just go. Now. 

After touring the Warehouse we crossed the street and saw this eye candy and I just about lost my shit.

I mean, Port Costa tried to kill me basically. It tried to kill me with this alley patio with its perfect herringbone brick, creeping vines, colored Christmas lights, and that arch. Luckily, I lived to tell the tale.

Once I caught my breath we crossed the street and were smacked in the face with this wonderful store by Wendy Addison. At this point in the town tour I thought that maybe I was being punked. The absurd and surreal nature of every building and business was getting to be simply unbelievable. 

Um, so, yeah. That exists in a town of 190 and is only open for several hours a week. How? MAGIC.

We walked on. The town is full of birds that are slightly too loud and great in number, the streets are lined with trees that are slightly too large to be lining streets, their roots pushing the sidewalks and curbs well past being bumps and into small hillocks. There is clearly no building or health inspector or any town employees for that matter. The town feels like a labor of love. 

As if we hadn't had enough we came upon a tree in someone's front yard, right on the sidewalk in which they keep a hanging pail filled with tags and pens for passersby to add their wishes to the branches. Naturally. 

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish that Hank won't terrorize the babysitter."

"I wish my family would get along."

"I wish my family would get along."

Everything felt like a set piece.

Before getting back in the car we crossed the parking lot and train tracks to look at the bay and there we saw a tiny beach with room enough for one mom and her kid and their umbrella and I swooned. Swoon.

And that was our day in Port Costa, CA! Have you ever been? What's the most extraordinary town you've ever been to?

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

Aw, remember when Matthew and I got married? That was so nice! Here are more photos of the day, which was perfect and amazing and lovely and perfect.

(Most of these photos were taken by Jessica and some were taken by Kevin and myself)

I had more anxiety about the flowers than was reasonable. Put me in a room, with or without stuff in it, and I will know what to do. But flower arrangements? Hell no. So I took a deep breath and just decided to apply what I know about interiors to the flowers and see if that worked. I allowed a bigger budget than I ever would normally ($75; I'm usually the gal who buys the $3.99 bouquet at Trader Joe's as long as it doesn't have primary colors in it) and went to the Oakland Flower Market. I knew I was wearing coral shoes and wanted coral in the bouquet, duh. After that, I just added texture, proportion, varying shapes, and colors that went well together. And now I want to be a florist.

As you know, Jessica was the only one with us at this point. She met us around the corner from the marriage office and we took some shots on the street before heading in. Jessica is a funny lady so I'm sure we are reacting to something adorable she did or said in this picture.

Walking on the streets of Oakland to and from the wedding was a surreal and oddly moving experience in that people who passed us, who were all strangers to us of course, were universally on our side: happy for us, excited for us, supportive of us. Boy, do people like marriage! I have a long history of feeling really conflicted about marriage as an institution and hadn't anticipated getting married before everyone in this country can, so my mind was doing a lot of adjustments as I was confronted by strangers who were so vocal about their approval when my own voice wasn't entirely there yet (and still isn't). Nonetheless, the walk was lovely and the people of Oakland made it lovelier.

This is the lobby and waiting room of the Auditor/Controller - Clerk/Recorder's Office (where you get married in Oakland) and that is our friend Kevin's big beard. See that TV screen behind Matthew's head? Those are numbers, like you get at the deli counter, that tell you when it's your turn to get married. Kevin and his Special Lady Friend Michelle had gotten there before us and had pulled a number so now all we had to do was wait. In this room. With a lot of other people waiting. To get married.

This is not a good photo of anyone or anything but it does show you the range of engaged people we were sharing the room with. That young leather jacket-wearing long haired dude? Getting married. That pregnant sweatshirt and flip-flop wearing lady? Getting married. That older dressed-to-the-nines lady with blue flowers? Getting married. That handsome pregnant couple with the 2-year-old wearing three dresses because she was so excited that we were getting married she couldn't choose just one? Not getting married, not yet. They were, however, our wedding party. Just them and Jessica. In order to be legally married you have to have 1 witness. In order to believe that you are actually married you need at least 2 friends to watch you get married.  

We had wanted to get married quickly, and to separate the legal ceremony from the family celebration of the ceremony (which will happen next summer). Kevin and our friend Casey had been instrumental in getting us through our Hellacious Winter of Hell so we invited them to attend and though her heart was there, Casey's body couldn't make it. While we missed our families, it felt very very right to do this thing on our own. I pinned my favorite picture of Zane onto the bouquet, which, yes, okay, admittedly makes it look like he's dead but where else was I going to put it, and the day felt complete knowing everyone was there in spirit.

And so we waited. For a long time. We danced with House Baby, and ate dried persimmon, and talked to other wedding party members, and honestly, just felt content. I don't remember feeling nervous. Just happy. And right.

This shot exemplifies what a quirky and delightful day it was. I look oddly huge compared to Matthew. There is a perfect stranger sitting next to me on one of the most meaningful days of my life. We are in a municipal building that is not to my taste design-wise (at all, you'll see). House Baby looks like a doll, a doll of a sedated psychiatric patient, that we brought as a prop so as to complete our family portrait. But we're filled with glee. And we are present. And we had been missing out on both those things for too long.

Eventually a very short older woman with a flower in her updo dressed in a long black robe called our number and said, "Let's go to the Wedding Room!" And we did. And I will tell you about that later.

 

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid
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I recently went to Massachusetts to be with my son while he had wrist surgery (!) and only had a few moments to thrift and thank goodness I did!  I only had one carry-on size piece of luggage to get things home in so I had to restrain myself, but I am super happy with these three  things. 

What I got:                                                                   Where it went:

Paint on canvas, Whitney Hill Antiques, $11.

Paint on canvas, Whitney Hill Antiques, $11.

Ceramic ring holder, Whitney Hill Antiques, $5.

Ceramic ring holder, Whitney Hill Antiques, $5.

Small Flokati rug, Savers, $4.99. Not smelly! Clean!

Small Flokati rug, Savers, $4.99. Not smelly! Clean!

In office, next to the dressing room.

In office, next to the dressing room.

Dining room bookcase. I officially have a hand collection.

Dining room bookcase. I officially have a hand collection.

Office coffee table.

Office coffee table.

All of the things.

All of the things.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid