POB and I are married.
Sidebar: I don’t think POB needs a new acronym, and the possible ones don’t exactly convey my love, honor and respect. For example, wife of blogger would be WOB. I don’t think anyone wants to a WOB. It sounds like an insult. Really. Say it out loud. Spouse of blogger runs smack into the acronym for my sister, SOB (sister of blogger). And using the first two or three letters of “spouse” (SP or SPO) followed by the “OB” is not going to win enduring admiration from my beloved. In fact one sounds like a condition resulting in the sagging of a particular body part. NOT pretty. So, POB she is and POB she shall remain. Well until she demands a new acronym.
The day started with the family in jeans, schlepping our stuff to the event space at 8:30am. They were still cleaning from the prior evening’s festivities. Oy, I thought. But at least they were cleaning the windows and mopping the floors. We had to ask them to clean up the bridal room so we could dress before our make-up and hair persons arrived at 9am. We both had dresses that we had to pull over our heads, which meant that we had to wear our undergarment body armor for longer than most brides. Make-up and hair went fine.
Jeno, the event space wedding person, asked me to step out of the room for a conversation. “The cake arrived and it fell into itself. The place is sending a replacement cake. Don’t tell [POB] because I don’t want to ruin her day.”
Gee, thanks, Jeno. Last I looked I was in a bridal gown with half my face plastered with make-up. But with his eyes, he was seeing Cynthia Nixon’s butch spouse.
N&YDFOBF (N&Y, dear friends of blogger family, or just N&Y) arrived early to be the mothers of the brides. What a Godsend they are. Of course, BOB and Y of N&Y almost came to blows over how the chuppah should be held, the processional, etc. Y of N&Y is a force of nature, so ignore her advice at your peril. N of N&Y can elaborate if asked.
Sidebar: By the end of the event, BOB was dancing with N&Y. Now, I consider BOB and Y of N&Y more like frenemies.
Time for signing the Ketubah. Y of N&Y showed off by signing her name in Hebrew. She probably did all of her homework in Hebrew School, just like POB. I think POB had pity on me and decided she would just write her name in English along with our other witness and me. The rabbi, not to be upstaged, also signed her name in Hebrew saying, “wouldn’t you want to know your rabbi could write her name in Hebrew?”
Sidebar: This is why I love our rabbi. She embraces the Yiddish prohibition: whatever you do, don’t embarrass yourself in front of your neighbors. As in, “it would be a shondah for the neighbors”.
Then we had the civil ceremony. THE CIVIL CEREMONY. OMG OMG OMG. I was shaking. We are legal!!!!! N of N&Y and Mighty (a Soeur) signed as our witnesses. Both lawyers. Legal document. Legitimacy. Equal rights under law. It was totally emotional.
Then came the service. (The replacement wedding cake arrived. More anon.)
I usually keep a veneer of anonymity, but what the hell. Here are POB, SOS and me, walking down the aisle (SOS insisted that he would walk his moms down the aisle):
So, SOPOB, BOB, WOBOB, SOB and HOSOB held the chuppah. At various points, I had to hit the Chuppah so that the holders would wake up and make sure that cloth part wasn’t hitting any of us in the heads.
Sidebar: Depending on which chuppah holder is telling the story, the story teller was the hero(ine) and is suing for chuppah-related shoulder injuries. Note to self: toooooo many lawyers/self-proclaimed can really mess up a chuppah. There is a joke in here somewhere.
If you listen to our guests, people were really amazed that the chuppah holders could make the chuppah do the wave. In other words, the chuppah holders were having too much fun while injuring their shoulders. Actually, my having to hit the chuppah to get them to lift it up was one of the lighter moments in a serious life cycle rite.
POB and I have been together for more than a decade and we have a mortgage and child together. Somehow, it wouldn’t do just to have the traditional wedding. We were inspired by our Goddaughters, GDJOB and GDKOB, who had alternative vows of what they could and could not promise each other. They are young and, yet, old souls.
Sidebar: They aren’t exactly our goddaughters. They are family (the history is long) and we think of them as our (slightly) emancipated children and we are very protective of them. So, in short-cutting the explanation of our relationship to these two extraordinary young women, we opted for some recognizable, yet inaccurate, nomenclature.
So, these are our vows:Blogger: I can’t promise that I let the truth get in the way of a good story. POB: I can’t promise I won’t roll my eyes at the egregious parts. Blogger: If you don’t laugh at my silly jokes, I will always repeat them because I am sure that you just didn’t hear them the first time. POB: I will always let you pretend that I didn’t hear them the first time and the older I get, the truer that becomes. POB: I will always assume that things will just work themselves out. Blogger: I will always have a Plan B for each of the disaster scenarios whirling in my head. Blogger: I will never do the laundry but I LOVE cleaning the lint out of the dryer. POB: I, however, will always do the laundry, but I can’t guarantee that some of your favorite clothes that are worn-out and stained or just plain ratty won’t accidentally vanish. POB: I will always tell the story of how we met MY way. Blogger: I will always correct you. Blogger: I will never cook a meal (ok, macaroni and cheese from a box for SOS) but I will always clean up. POB: I will always cook for you, but I can’t promise that you’ll always like it or that that will even be my primary concern. Blogger: I will never ask if you are angry with me, I will just know by the number of pots and pans strewn around the kitchen. POB: I will always provide ample soap and sponges for the task. POB: I will never be able to have an in-depth conversation after 11pm, but I will always bring you coffee in the morning. Blogger: And I would never be able to get out of bed without it or verbalize how much I appreciate it. Blogger: I know that everything goes with my black penny loafers despite your sartorial advice to the contrary. POB: I love your no-nonsense approach to non-fashion, but every once in a while I will gently encourage you to leave those old ratty shoes at home. POB: I can’t promise that I will always enjoy reading about our lives in your blog. Blogger: I can’t promise that I will ever stop, but I can give you another acronym. Blogger: I will never stop asking on a weekly basis, “do I look older to you?” POB: My eyes are aging, too, so the answer will always be, “no”. Blogger: I will never recognize famous people on the street or even know why they are famous, but my heart will always beat faster when I see you walking toward me. POB: I promise I won’t have a crush on anyone famous, other than Edna St. Vincent Millay, and anyway, she’s dead. POB: I can’t promise that when I ask a question, I want the WHOLE answer in all its contexts and nuances. Sometimes, I just want to know when and where we are meeting. Blogger: I can’t promise that I will figure out the difference. Blogger: I cannot go to the market with a shopping list; it inhibits my impulse buying. POB: Some days we need milk more than we need the newest crazy hybrid fruit. Blogger: I won’t give up my weekend naps except in a crisis. POB: I can’t promise I don’t sometimes wonder how I ended up with TWO children. Blogger: I don’t think travel accommodations should have less than four stars. POB: So you must really love me to come on the synagogue retreat every year in profoundly star-less quarters. [Sidebar: POB won’t travel terribly far in coach] Blogger: I can’t promise that I won’t be righteously indignant about something, or outrageously judgmental without having all of the facts. POB: Your passion is one of the many reasons I fell in love with you. POB: I will always stock the cupboards, but I can’t promise ice cream, candy or chocolate. Blogger: I will never stock the cupboards, but I will keep our computers and wireless humming. Blogger: I will always say what needs to be said, but I won’t ever be tactful and it won’t ever be the right moment. POB: I will always love you for this honesty, but I won’t always be able to articulate that in the moment. Blogger: I won’t contravene [POB]’s rule: [POB] rules. POB: I promise that I will strive always to be a benevolent dictator. Blogger: I won’t let you fall. I won’t let you go. I won’t ever wonder why I love you; I will just be grateful for this gift. POB: Yeats said it best: Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.
SOS affirmed the truth of our vows, when, in response to POB’s being a benevolent dictator, he yelled out, “She’s right!!”
Afterward, there was just celebration. I was giddy and high all day, without more than a sip or two of alcohol. But there was a moment of decidedly ungiddiness.
SOB gave the toast and SOS standing near here holding a glass that looked like it had champagne in it. AND HE WAS DRINKING A LOT. I kept motioning to him to come to me and I was giving him the Mommy Death Stare as I tried to talk to my work colleagues who had come in for the event.
It was Ginger Ale.
Jeno called us in for a confab to tell us that the second cake cratered. The family needed to document this glitch (as only Blogger’s family would):
Jeno was able to save the top layer of the caved-in cake and he had some lovely red velvet cake from the night before. We told him to serve mushed cake (way better than day-old red dye no.2 chocolate cake). So when the cake came out, we told everyone what happened and assured everyone that even if the cake wasn’t pretty on the plate, it wasn’t day-old red velvet cake and it wasn’t run over by a bus.
But I have jumped ahead.
Some things that stick out in my mind (more will come in other blogs):
our gay friends thought our straight college friends were just like them, only straight. And then our straight college friends said the same thing about our gay friends, only that they were gay. Seeing lesbians dance with straight husbands and straight women dance with lesbians made POB and me smile. How wonderful it can be just to look for commonality.
N&Y have been admitted to the Soeurs’ sorority. All they need now are Greek names and the secret handshake.
The Soeurs are just wonderful. A force of life. A source of strength. An outrageous and outrageously funny group of exceptional women.
my colleagues schlepped from Florida and Ohio (and NJ) to be there. I get teary-eyed when I think of that.
people throughout my work life seemed so happy to be there. I was so honored. And SNOBFOB, I really should have introduced you to families of blogger and POB. I realized at the end that I wanted to introduce you to my Dad and my siblings. And, it was too hard to get to FOBs while they were on the dance floor. Off line, I will use the pictures from the wedding to identify everyone but only to those who are “OB”s.
the “OB” family — a large contingent — did not disappoint. Even Cousin Gentle was on the dance floor. CB (cousin birder) looked so dapper. The First Cousins are a clan and it is not a family gathering without the full complement. So, I thank you.
AG (Aunt Glue, aka Aunt Betty) was able to make it and dance at my wedding. (see http://40andoverblog.com/?p=4305) AG and SOB and I danced together — it was fabulous. I felt Mom’s presence. AG and DOB represent the older generation — our greatest generation. And her presence at my wedding is a blessing.
Chuck came from the Canadian tundra (not really, just Toronto). And her name isn’t really Chuck, and I don’t remember why we called her that. Chuck and I go back to the days immediately post-college. Together, we worked hard, drank too much and adapted to life post-college. I haven’t seen her in years, but we reconnected through Facebook. She is one of the most solid people I know. And she came and folded right into the flow.
And, of course, there is Janet2OB and PhyllisOB. There are two generations of connections. Two generations of undying friendships, the first out of the ashes of the Second World War and the second in the sisterhood of Camp Wingate for Girls. Ties that bind regardless of the years between visits. The ties that bind. They just do. They are the people that you need at a simcha to make it a simcha. Since there are no further words to describe the relationship, I won’t diminish it by trying.
So, in all, our wedding was was traditional, radical, sweet, deep, frivolous, warm, stressful, scripted, unscripted, orderly and yet a total anything-goes event.
And it wasn’t perfect. Perfect isn’t funny. Perfect has no charm. Perfect is a little sterile.