Well, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who stumbles over referring to my wife when speaking to strangers. And thanks to everyone who retweeted my last entry. *waves to new readers*
It’s funny really, because in Marks and Spencer’s the other day, as we placed our items at the till, we were asked if we were paying together. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but afterwards L said to me, “We get asked that a lot, have you noticed? It’s because we’re two women. If we were a man and a woman, they’d assume we were a couple and therefore wouldn’t ask that.”
It hadn’t occurred to me before, but it makes perfect sense and I think she’s right. Just another example of the assumptions people make over sexual preference, particularly if you don’t meet their expectations of what “gay” looks like. Again, not an overtly offensive attitude, and to respond with, “ACTUALLY, we’re a couple!” would seem a tad excessive, but a subtle reminder nevertheless that we are still not “the norm”.
In happy contrast to this, we’re officially 100% out at work. I’d asked the Head on the first day back if he’d mind putting a note in the ‘Welcome Back’ newsletter about our wedding. He agreed it was a good idea, as gossip and speculation had been on the increase amongst the older children last term; it made sense to be open about it, demonstrate an attitude of acceptance and encourage everyone to be happy for us.
It took a week or so for him to write the newsletter and I started wondering if it was going to materialise at all, but Thursday afternoon we both got an email asking us to read over what he had written and make sure we were happy with the phrasing and the tone. We were and the letter went to print, to go out at the end of the day on Friday.
Ironically, L actually had my class on Friday afternoon. For those of you not in the know about teaching, every teacher is entitled to 10% Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time every week. This works out as about one morning a week out of class. Because we have a very big school, not every teacher can have their PPA time in the mornings and so in Years 5 and 6, we have one afternoon each, plus every 4th Friday (Yes, it’s complicated, but it’s our legal entitlement, so that’s how it has to be done). L has done PPA cover for quite a few years; she’s a PE specialist and that’s what she does with the classes she covers.
So, it happened to be my Friday afternoon and L took my class out for PE. I’d pointed out that, because I stay in my room to work (mark books etc) we’d probably both be there when the children were given the letters. Normally, the teacher covering you would take your class out at the end of the day, but I’d offered to go with her and present a “united front” if we’d decided it was necessary.
In fact, most of the children folded up the letters and put them in their book bags, showing about as little interest as is humanly possible. We’d agreed that if they had twigged and started asking us questions, I’d take them out to the playground with L, but as they hadn’t even read the letter I stayed at my desk, whilst L took them outside.
As they left the room I started to feel anxious. I’d been so eager for the announcement to go out that I hadn’t really thought about how I’d feel when it finally did. For the first time I felt thin waves of panic wash over me. What if we got some bad reactions?
As my class walked down the corridor and crossed paths with the other Year 6 class, I began to hear our names above the buzz of general conversation. I sat there for a while, suddenly glad I wasn’t out there in the firing line. But then I started to feel guilty. I decided I’d walk across the playground to the staff room and get a sense of how L was getting on with the parents.
I needn’t have worried. She grinned at me as I headed across the playground, so I knew she was ok. In fact, she’d had parents falling over themselves to pass on their congratulations. It was lovely.
In other news, I’m hoping to get to the hospital during my PPA time on Tuesday to get some blood tests done. Unfortunately this relies on my body co-operating as the tests need to be performed on day 2, 3 or 4 of my period, so it has yet to be seen whether or not I will be able to use my PPA time to do this. If not, I know I’ll have permission to leave school and some kind of cover will be arranged for my class, but I’d rather get it done on Tuesday when I know it won’t cause any extra inconvenience to anyone else.
We have an official appointment at Guy’s a week Monday, which I’m very excited about, because that will be when we really start to get the ball rolling and things start to happen.