Sunday, August 8, 2010

A wedding and honeymoon

I know it looks like I got married and then disappeared into the Bermuda triangle - but it's not true.
Unless the Bermuda triangle is one of those places where one feels blissfully happy and really does not want to emerge into reality again.

I wanted to write about the wedding but I was so tired and  so happy and so afraid I would not be able to describe the whole thing in the way I wanted to.  So I didn't. Maybe I'll feel like that when it comes to telling the birth story of our little one that is kicking me right now and asking for a snack or maybe another turn in the pool at our honey moon fantasy suite. ( No that's Bachelorette language, T -Gal!) We are on our way to our honeymoon / babymoon / big holiday of the summer and staying in a swanky hotel in GreenBay Wisconsin - yes, there are places that are swanky in Wisconsin, thank you very much! We are on our way  to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan  to stay in our favorite midwestern cottage by a wonderful quiet private heavenly lake. We plan to swim, eat, sleep, play, read, relax, kayak and not do a whole lot else. Heaven!!!

I know I am digressing from the whole point of this post, but I have to go off on a tangent for a bit. When our dear dog, Ollie was so sick, for some weird reason I found comfort in the mindlessness of that program "The Bachelorette". Susan cannot understand my penchant for this kind of  trash tv - but something about the mindless drama that is a cross between a train-wreck and a Hallmark movie makes it compelling for me. Especially when I deal with people's troubles on a daily basis; I just need that kind of escapism.

Well, fast forward a couple of weeks to the weekend after our wedding, and the juxtaposition of our  meaningful and tender and sweet and amazing our ceremony  against the fake, blind heterosexism of the Bachelorette was almost enough to make me stop watching. I say almost, because my idle curiosity got the better of me and I ended up watching it anyway. It just made me think how the mainstream is so messed up that we ( including me) idealize or idolize the idea of romance, and swooning new  blinded  love, that  we are prepared to see two people who have barely lived in the real world with each other propose and get married to each other. That we condone and applaud them making such a huge decision based on hormones and faith and champagne makes me a little nauseated.

Everyone who witnessed the marriage signed a copy of our vows
which we will frame and hang at home: this is a
Quaker tradition - ( I was brought up a Quaker)
Susan and I have been together for almost 12 years, and yes we waited a long time to get married - even while we talked about it practically every other day -  but we knew in the weeks and months of planning and on that amazing day,  that we really do mean it, we really have proven our love and commitment to each other, we have been through the hedge backwards and forwards with and for each other and this means so much to us.  We hesitated for a long time about marriage because we wanted it to mean the same thing it does for everyone else - you know, meaningful and legal, but recently we decided in a flash of inspiration that we really didn't have to wait around for anyone else's permission or blessing to get married ( at least that of the state or the federal government ) and that all we had to do was to decide this was important to us and we were doing it. Fortunately we belong to a church that has been doing gay and lesbian weddings for a long time, and that was the obvious place to hold the ceremony.

The cake my niece made ( well she made four actually)
Just after we cut it. 
The altar with a tea cosy with our names and the date of our wedding crafted by a very talented friend, pictures of our parents, dogs, the rainbow candelabra, a rattle for the baby, the four elements, flowers, candles ( one for our family members who couldn't be there)
We had so much fun planning the ceremony - it had elements of our whole history in it - including the procession which was accompanied by some really cool drumming gals - ( yes, we met at a women's drum circle), some Unitarian Universalist hymns, ( we attended a UU church for about 8 years together), some serious lesbian music by the likes of Chris Williamson and some folk  songs for good measure. Susan, being in seminary, did a great job of crafting most of the service herself, which  I was glad about.

We wrote our own vows, which was surprisingly easy to do, exchanged neo celtic rings ( mine which I ordered two sizes bigger than my usual one barely fit!) and had a non traditional English tea for the reception. We made the sandwiches, ( yes, there was cucumber involved), iced tea, and my niece made our cake in a feat of brilliance and love. Oh yes, and we had a drum circle at the reception which got kids and adults alike boogeying.  Our wonderful dog walker did the flower arrangements in about an hour ( with help from some of our friends) and got them from a local supermarket, complete with vases from the Salvation Army.  Our two nieces were "bridesmaids"  - which meant that they walked down the aisle first with beautiful bouquets of flowers, each of us had a sister there to be with us, and Susan's best and oldest friend came with one of her super cool daughters. Friends and family offered readings and blessings to us. And we had an "alternative"gift registry which consisted of things like: flowers from your garden, a homemade picture frame, a massage and a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant. We were conflicted about having a registry, but people kept asking and we came up with this idea. It's not like we need any more stuff. So we get to be treated to lots of fun experiences and think of the friends who gave them to us while we enjoy them!

Flowers - in progress!

It was a lot of work, and in 90 degree heat with no air conditioning ( I kept telling people to think of it as an outdoor wedding with shade), but we are both so glad we did it. So many people have congratulated us and recognized us and made us feel like getting married has had an impact on others as well as ourselves. I guess I was surprised at even though our marriage is not "legal" it has been embraced by our friends and family as something very real.

Well, it's late and I am going to leave you with these  pictures - of the wedding and of our honeymoon destination.  I am not sure how coherent  this post is, but I really hope that it gives you all some idea of  this part of our experience in the last few weeks.

Baby girl is doing well, measuring right what she needs to be,  I can feel her kicking and wriggling around despite the position of the placenta, and once we get home we need to kick into high gear. We finally did a registry - yikes! As I said to someone today, it's going to be  sprint to the finish!

The drum performance group, She-boom playing us in!
Saying our vows ( me with blonde hair )

We're married!

Bin a Gamme - ( Clear Lake nr Watersmeet, MI)

Me kayaking on Clear Lake two years ago - a lot has happened since then!!!