April 14, 2005

Among our many pastimes, E.S. and I count discussing our theoretical future wedding as one of our favorites. This is because our almost mutually exclusive approaches to the event allow for maximum conflict and arguing. I want to get married in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, wearing morning clothes, the most formal attire known to western man. If E.S. had his way, we would wear shorts and T-shirts and get married on a cliff in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness. I usually believe that the benefits of dating him outweigh the fact that he is obviously a madman, but this makes me not so sure.

Eventually, after a great many frustrating conversations, we have been able to reach a compromise: we will have an outdoor wedding in morning coats. This satisfies both my need for a wedding marked by formality and E.S.’s inexplicable and irritating desire to have a wedding that involves nature.

We realized recently, however, that our problems, far from being solved, have in fact only just begun, because “morning coats” describes a fairly finite set of garments, while “outdoor” can be interpreted in a number of different ways. When we made the compromise I was thinking of something like the New York Botanical Garden, or perhaps Fort Tryon Park near the Cloisters. I proposed both of these alternatives to E.S. the other day and he looked at me as if I had just grown a third arm. “No,” he said condescendingly. “We’re going to go to a forest upstate and find a clearing and get married there.”

I was appalled. “But where will the food be for the reception?” This was the least of my worries, but E.S. is a practical man and it seemed best to deal with this on his level.

“It’ll be off to the side, on tables. We’ll eat buffet style.”

“And where will our guests sit?” I asked, desperation mounting in my voice.

“People will just stand in a circle.”

I felt a panic attack coming on. “No one is standing in a circle at my wedding. If we’re getting married outdoors we’re bringing chairs for the guests.”

“Oh, come on. They can sit if you want them to sit but we don’t have to bring chairs.”

“Really?” I was almost shrieking by now. “Then where will they sit?”

“On the beautiful green earth.”

I’m not making this up. He actually said “on the beautiful green earth.”

“That’s it,” I said. “We’re getting married in St. Mark’s.”

Finally we just left well enough alone, recognizing that we weren’t going to solve this problem in one conversation. But later that evening, I had a frightening thought.

“You realize,” I said, “that we’re sending out engraved invitations.”

“No, we’re not.”

“Then how will our friends know about the event?”

“We’ll just tell them.”

Clearly I need to find a new boyfriend, one who isn’t insane, and marry him instead.

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18 Responses to Among our many pastimes, E.S.

  1. anapestic says:

    Dude. Get married twice. Almost every married individual I know has had at least two weddings, though admittedly not to the same person. Anyway, wearing morning coats to an upstate forest wedding is a sartorial abomination surpassed only by black socks with athletic shoes.

  2. Brian says:

    Please. You’re so caving on all of this.

  3. Joe.My.God. says:

    I say get married at the West Side Club, that way there’s guaranteed to be something to sit on.

  4. Jill Smith says:

    Yes, get married twice. I can highly recommend it. And I can recommend my stepbrother as a great photographer (link can be supplied on request – I don’t want to spam your comments).

  5. anapestic: Maybe I should wear a morning coat with black socks with athletic shoes to an upstate forest wedding. That way we won’t have to worry about where the guests will sit, because they will all have fled in terror upon catching sight of my outfit.

    Brian: Are you passing judgment on my current behavior or predicting my future behavior?

    Joe.My.God.: At least let it be El Mirage. The slings are better.

    Jill Smith: Was your groom the second time the same as the first time?

  6. Jess says:

    Wherever you hold it, I want an invitation! (Well, if there are invitations. Otherwise, at least call me to let me know where it is!) 🙂

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Oh honey, you’re getting married? I’m all farklempt now.

    I think you need to watch this episode of Sex and the City to get ideas for planning the event. Or, you could always elope.

  8. Jill Smith says:

    Yep – same bride, same groom, two days apart.

    Basically, the situation is this: we wanted to get married at our friends’ house in CT. Wes is a landscape architect, and his gardens are GORGEOUS. But the rules for getting a marriage license in CT are (or at least were) byzantine – especially as we live in Maryland.

    So we stopped off at the Montgomery County courthouse on our way up to CT and got married in a civil ceremony. Just us and the registrar. No muss, no fuss, minimal bureaucracy.

    Just don’t tell my mother-in-law.

  9. Andy says:

    Venice has historically been a socially progressive and tolerant city. During the reformation, she was the only major European city who NEVER executed a “heretic. ” Likewise, despite the negative connotation, the Jews of Venice’s original “Ghetto” enjoyed independence unrivalled on the rest of the continent. The diocese of Venice was also famously independent of the Vatican. Despite that…I somehow doubt you’ll be able to score San Marco for a same-sex wedding. But if you do, may I be invited?

  10. Jeffrey says:

    Don’t I remember a horrifying tale involving moss from your last brush with nature?

  11. reba says:

    I’m NOT sitting on the “good green earth!”

    chair please, invitation optional, food necessary! (at least a potluck, if that’s not too lesbionic)

    will you sing, as you did at our famous nuptials? it was lovely!

    🙂 miss you!

  12. birdfarm says:

    I think you’re missing a crucial point here. I started to suspect it at “stand in a circle” and when I got to “we’ll just tell them” I was certain of it: he obviously isn’t planning on inviting very many people. None of us are going to be invited, folks; the grooms will be lucky if they both make the cut.

    Maybe you should get married via satellite link, each from your preferred location with your preferred guests. It would solve the problem of convincing St. Mark’s to do a gay wedding–and just think how many more friends you could invite if you didn’t have to leave room for his.

  13. Hewo faustus,

    there’s nuffin better than a jacket with tails! 😀 i tells ya, i wore tails to my school formals and its fun swishing around in it. short of swishing around in my graduation gown, its the best swish u’ll get in town.

    puh-lease tell me you wore tails to your school formals/debs/whatever u have in america. you’re membership of the gay club is tenuous as it is.

    you can satisfy both of u if you remember that grass comes in rolls. throw down a strip on the church aisle and ur hubby can stand on it. you can have ur church and he has his nature. done.


  14. Stairs says:

    We used to wear tails and straw hats at my public school (Harrow); people used to commiserate automatically about this hardship without knowing what they were on about; my tails were the most comfortable garments in all my school wardrobe. Not to mention the fact that the pockets in the accompanying trousers were amongt the deepest in the Universe.

    Especially nice when you’re a male, for various, obvious reasons of comfort.

    Of course, me being me, I fair prefer your boyfriend’s idea, but that said, I’d never expect my guests to suffer any kind of hardship when dressed in their fineries; you have to keep them in comfort for that kind of event, so it’s going to have to be a five-star marquee with climate control, a stately garden within the city, or firmly indoors.

  15. Convivia says:

    My brother-in-law and his wife had a wedding of the sort ES is describing. It was held at a campground in Maryland. There were some picnic tables, at least. However, for the actual ceremony, I sat on a rock.

    Please, please don’t let this happen to you. I’m bringing my own chair, no matter what.

  16. Christopher says:

    Probably the most romantic disagreement ever. I melted. God, I want a boyfriend to argue about our wedding with.

    In the meantime I would like to wear the guy wearing the morning suit.

  17. Monica says:

    A major reason I got married is that my SO & I agreed that Blister in the Sun would be a great song in a wedding. Which it was. (“I now pronounce you partners for life. Smooch like you mean it!!”(begin intro to song))
    I got married outside (well, in a backyard), with choir practice going on unbeknownst to us, which made it appear that a heavenly host of angels started singing “Kumbaya” at one point–which was a fun complement to the Femmes song.
    And I heartily recommend a potluck reception.
    And sparklers to play with.

  18. Eric says:

    You could simply come up to Toronto and get married (legally, I might add), and then go renew your vows up in Algonquin Park – one of the most beautiful natural parks in the world. You could even do both on the same day! 🙂


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