Surely, we each have our own rituals, large and small. For Karl, you can’t have a wedding without jordan almonds. Among the wedding favors he and his groom handed to guests yesterday were those in splendid iron and porcelain tea cups.
One of the rituals in this house seems to have become using the living room as our rite space. My grand nephew William received his blessing and naming in the living room recently. Yesterday, long-time friends married there.
We intended a backyard wedding and had chosen a grove setting under the big dogwood. Rain didn’t defeat us; we had also picked an indoor spot in case New England was New England.
The grooms are from Florida, but the wedding was certainly a personal and not political statement. In fact, the men, while bright, educated and liberal sorts are nowhere near as political or lefty as I. Undoubtedly, you can’t belong to any group legally discriminated against without being aware of the unfairness of it, particularly when you are boomers raised in ideals of equality.
Guests were largely long-time friends of one of the grooms. Charles and I go back longest, having been childhood playmates in a little town in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Similarly, a couple of guests were Karl’s high school chums. More currently, long-term co-activist buddy of mine, John Hosty-Grinnell showed with his husband Ray. Mixing the metaphors, Jasper and Jay were both hoary chums and political allies. Jasper and I go back to freshman in college and I performed their marriage right after the Goodridge decision. This is only the second same-sex marriage I’ve solemnized of the five I’ve done. I treasure each wedding and highly recommend Massachusetts residents take advantage of our wonderful designated solemnization process to unite their friends.
I’ll write a bit about the politics of yesterday at the more appropriate venue, Marry in Massachusetts.
Yesterday was not for politics, rather for long-time and brand new friends. It was awhile in the making. While the grooms have been dedicated partners for decades, they live in Florida, where same-sex marriage is not likely anytime soon. I’d offered repeatedly to solemnize their marriage up here and they relented. We had a grand week racing around Boston, taking the ferry to P’town and such, plus, they had the dubious pleasure of the gentle, but plodding bureaucracy of filling out the license forms, waiting the three days and returning to leave with the actual license. Previously, I had gone through the one-day solemnization process (which I confess I enjoy; petitioning the governor, indeed).
Certainly marriage is not right for everyone. My wife and I are long-term marrieds, who had no intention of wedding anyone until we met each other. Likewise, Rob and Michele are. Jasper and Jay even had a civil union in Vermont before SSM became legal here. For folks like us, it works well and for folks like Charles and Karl, they have been devoted, loving partners for many years, they are in every sense and now actually married.
We had a solid, brief ceremony. Karl and I dickered a bit. He chose his favorite parts from several of the previous wedding’s I’ve conducted. That made for a meaningful 4-minute service. (Video available on request.)
The many who know how food-oriented I am asked. We had a cooperative effort here. Not only did Eli do the vows video, he made figs wrapped in prosciutto skewered with rosemary sprigs and also prepared guacamole, Isaac made insalata caprese with pesto instead of chopped basil. We had crab cakes, raw shrimp, lox, sundry dips and sauces, salsa cruda, numerous cheeses, several white wines still and sparkling, beers and ales, andouille sausages, breads, crackers, tortilla chips, and lobster tail. The cake was from Party Favors in Brookline, with large, garish icing flowers in tropical colors. Oh, and with the coffees was my saffron ice cream (a personal favorite).
Charles and Karl were de facto married for a long, long time. We were delighted to ratchet that up a notch. My blessings on them fall.