Tag Archives: engagement

‘Orange is the New Black’ star, show writer get engaged

Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley and show writer Lauren Morelli are engaged.

The pair posted the same picture on their Instagram accounts Tuesday. It shows a smiling couple and Wiley flashing a diamond ring.

When sharing the picture on Twitter , Wiley wrote, “I’ll do anything with this one.”

Morelli came out publicly two years ago in an article for Mic , where she wrote that she realized she was gay on one of her first days on the set of the Netflix prison dramedy in 2012. She later filed for divorce from her then-husband.

Orange is the New Black is set in a women’s prison and frequently focuses on lesbian relationships.

Wiley plays inmate Poussey Washington in the Netflix series.


Facebook launches app-based Marketplace shop

Facebook Inc launched Marketplace to allow people to buy and sell items locally as the social media network tries new ways to keep users engaged.

The feature will appear as a “shop” icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and will allow users to list or search for items on sale in their neighborhood.

The company will not facilitate the payment or delivery of items and will not take a cut from any transactions, Facebook said.

The new service will be rolled out in the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand for iPhone and Android users over the next few days, the company said in a blog post, adding that the feature will be available on the desktop version in the coming months.

More than 450 million people already visit Facebook groups that have items to buy and sell each month, the company said.

Last year, Facebook said it was testing several ad features that allow users to shop directly through its app, an effort to move further into e-commerce.

Facebook’s shares were little changed at $128.39 in morning trading on Monday on the Nasdaq.

How to …

Post Items for Sale in Just a Few Steps

Selling an item in Marketplace is just as easy as browsing for one. Simply:

Take a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll

Enter a product name, description and price

Confirm your location and select a category



Saying ‘I do’ long after saying ‘I love you’

Most engagements in the United States last about 13 to18 months. My “engagement,” after 21 years, ends on Aug. 16 in a simple ceremony in a canyon near White Pines Forest State Park in Mount Morris, Illinois.

That’s not far, going west, from where Connie’s family resides and not far, going northeast, from where most of my family resides.

And Mount Morris is 87 miles from Rock Island, Illinois, where Connie and I met in December 1992 — she was working at a bookstore and I was reporting for a daily newspaper. Remember those days? We were wearing flannel and listening to grunge, cheering the “Year of the Woman” and awaiting Bill Clinton’s first inauguration.

Being political junkies, it would be fitting if Connie and I got married with another Clinton in office, but we don’t want to wait three more years.

We’ve waited.

And waited. 

And waited enough.

Now we’re “brides.” It seems strange to use that term, because we’ve been “spouses” for so many years. 

And much of the wedding planning seems so foreign. I figure lesbians in my generation tuned out and turned off on dreams of white weddings and princess brides by about 6 years old, maybe even 5, which is when I got my first ball glove.

We’ll be barefoot and wearing pants on our wedding day, but we are “brides.”

One of the conversations with our much-appreciated and helpful wedding consultant went like:

Consultant: What colors or specific types of flowers would you like for the ceremony?

Me: We like the minimalist approach.

Connie: White and black?

Consultant: Would you like a table for a unity ceremony?

Me: No.

Consultant: Would you like to rent a microphone or speakers for the ceremony?

Connie: No.

Consultant: A DJ or wedding music?

Us: No. No.

She asked about the brides making a grand entrance in a horse-drawn carriage. No.

She asked about flowers. We said just for our moms and my sister, the matron of honor, who would have been a maid of honor had we been able to legally wed two decades ago.

When we came to the question of scattering rose petals in the aisle, we said “yes” — in part to say “yes” to something, but also to give the kids something to do.

When Connie and I met, we had one niece to dote on, Anna, the first daughter of Connie’s older sister. Our families have grown, as our siblings have married and we now have 11 nieces and nephews, more than a reminder of the big transformations that have taken place over two decades — in our personal lives and in the public arena.

In one way, waiting to wed has been a positive, because we can share the day with the kids, who — with much credit to their parents and our parents — are growing up knowing us as Aunt Lisa and Aunt Connie and loving us, understanding who we are to one another and appreciating our relationship. No judgment. No laboriously processing the gay thing. 

Last fall, Connie and I went to Puerto Rico for my brother’s wedding. We don’t dance too often, but the DJ played Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and who can resist? My 4-year-old niece Pippa was on the dance floor, in a circle of kids. She looked up and saw Connie and I, clapped her hands to her cheeks and said, “Awwww.”

Not too long ago, after some back-seat contemplation on a drive, she inquired of 50-year-old Aunt Lisa, “After you’re married, who is going to have the baby?”

Pippa will help us with the sand ceremony, which we want, but I’m not sure we made arrangements. And there are roles for the others — 12-year-old Jackie will recite “Sunshine on my Shoulders,” Anna, now 22, and John, 14, will act as ushers, the youngest will scatter those rose petals and 10-year-old Madeline will play a wedding march.

We’re planning this celebration long-distance from Florida and, since Connie’s name doesn’t confirm our same-sex couple status, we’ve had to come out as a lesbian couple at each turn.

So far, we’ve encountered enthusiasm.

I talked with one wedding photographer in Rockford, Illinois, who said, “You can’t see it but I’m giving you the high-five.”

Another photographer, after some confusion about “two brides,” said, “Cool, that’s so trendy.”

We nixed a lot of typical wedding traditions, but not the cake — which is white cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, black piping and multi-layered. It’s perhaps the most elegant-looking item we’ve ever purchased as a couple.

We did say no, however, to a topper out of concern that we could mistakenly end up with a bride and groom instead of a bride and bride.

We haven’t met our officiant, who was hired through the White Pines service.

For years, I’ve been reporting on the discrimination couples faced as they made plans for a wedding day, and before that the “commitment ceremony,” and before that the “unity service.” So I had some anxiety when reaching out to the minister and asking her if she was fine marrying a lesbian couple.

She responded with a blessing and an agreement that marriage equality has been a long-time coming.

And so, we are working on the details of our ceremony, replacing the references to the “groom” and reworking the passages that sound as if Connie and I became engaged maybe 13 just months ago, like the average couple we are not.