After checking in to the hotel, and waiting for Carole — a friend of Michael's who had ridden to DC with us from Raleigh — to be picked up by the person she was staying with while in DC, Bob and I set out to quickly pick up a card and then go have a late dinner.
Before leaving, I took a second to ask the hotel front desk clerk a question.
Me: "Do you know where we might find a wedding card—for two men getting married?"
Her: "At the CVS."
Well, color me country.
We walked a block over to Thomas Circle, where the closest CVS was, and to our surprise no such card was found in the Wedding and Anniversary cards section.
We were going to dinner after getting the card, and I was hungry, so I went to the front to ask someone, only because I was sure we were overlooking them, since the lady at the hotel had seemed so certain about her answer.
Me to a checkout guy: "Do you have any wedding cards with two men on it?"
Man at checkout counter: "I don't work here."
It was a self-checkout station.
To a nearby lady with a CVS badge on her shirt: "Do you have any wedding cards for two men?"
"I think so," she said as she walked back to the card section, me following.
Her at the card section, looking up and down the rows of showers, weddings, and anniversary cards: "What's the difference between a wedding shower and a wedding?"
I was too stunned to answer. Bob and I were looking at each other speechless.
Bob: "The wedding shower is before the wedding."
I bit my tongue from adding, "And not, like, an hour before the wedding, but, like, days, sometimes weeks before it."
She fiddled through the same cards we'd already looked through, and she pulled out one that had no people on it — not even just a man and woman's hands showing their rings — so a very gender neutral one, and she said, "This one would work."
After cranking my jaw back up to a position that enabled the ability to speak, I said, "We're looking for a card that is clearly for two men, not one that would just work."
We left there and walked over to the Dupont Circle area (DC's "gay" area, if you will), where we were sure we'd be able to easily find a card. Imagine our surprise when there weren't any at the Books-A-Million in Dupont Circle, and not even one in the nearby Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe.
I asked the lady at the checkout at Krammerbooks if she knew of anywhere that would have them, and she was perplexed, finally offering, "You might try right down the street at the HRC office, if they're still open. They might have some."
Needless to say, by this time we were pretty flabbergasted that it was so hard to find a wedding card for a same-sex couple in a place where same-sex marriages have been legal coming up on four years in December!
The HRC office was closed, and we decided to go ahead and eat, since it was going on 8:30 already.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped in to the CVS in Dupont Circle, only to find the same tired, heterocentric card supply as the one in the Thomas Circle store.
We told the officiant at Michael and Terry's wedding about this on Friday, and I said, "So, if you're looking for a way to make some extra money on the side while you're doing these weddings, consider having a supply of cards available to the guests."
He was both surprised and intrigued, saying something about his partner being in a position to possibly explore that.