Earlier in the year I was on Facebook (FB) for one of my very rare visits, and I saw an invite for my friend Richard’s wedding. This was a bit surprising because Richard has been retired the entire six-plus years I’ve known him, and he’s on FB about as much as I am, and for similar reasons. (For the record: Richard is Adam Savage’s doppelgänger and has a voice similar to Frank Oz.) When I said to Brian, the World’s Greatest Husband (WGH), that Richard was getting married, he thought the post must be a prank.
Well, further research on FB, and following the link to their wedding blog, I found that this was not a prank. In Richard’s own words, “We’re seriously getting married, but we’re not getting married seriously.” Excellent. I RSVP’d yes for me and the WGH for what Richard called a May-December wedding. I tried to meet the bride at Odyssey Con, but she was working.
Yesterday was the big day, and because I subscribed to the blog, I knew that parking at the park that was the venue would be minimal, so I suggested we go early and take our e-books. For yet another rarity, the WGH agreed that his wife is a genius (after all, I married him!). We set up our lawn chairs in the shade, and I admired the sun hats that my friends wore (I couldn’t find my visor, so I wore Brian’s Packers Shareholder cap). When I looked at the program, I confirmed that this wedding was going to be different with references to “The Gride” and “The Broom” and “Exchange of Smoochery” after the exchanges of vows and rings. Another convention friend, who would be doing the readings, admired our attire, and said he had on his Spider-Man underwear (Guests wore anything from formal cocktail dresses and suits to shorts and tee-shirts, such as the WGH wore. I wore my very old and very comfortable blue sundress.).
Finally at 1:06 (I have yet to attend a wedding – including my own – that began on time), a few people were at the floral arch, including a lovely woman in a black suit with a bright pink bow-tie and boutonniere. A car drove onto the grass behind those seated, and out came a person in a big white dress carrying a bouquet of pink flowers. I said to the WGH, “I can just see Richard being the one to wear the dress.” When the wind blew the veil, I saw that yes, it was Richard in the dress, and the lady in the suit was his fiancée. Nice. The officiant made it clear that this was a “traditional” ceremony that would “adhere to gender norms.” I think it was Richard’s mother who did the “Giveth Awayness”, and she said she’d been waiting to do this since he was in school [ETA: I have since learned the lady who Giveth Awayness was the Broom's sister]. I honestly laughed and hooted and “huzzah-ed” throughout the ceremony, and I wasn’t the only one.
When our friend with the Spider-Man underwear recited the “selected readings from a famous book (The Bible),” selections included the “love is this, that, and the other thing” from I Corinthians, something from Genesis, and a selection from Deuteronomy (I think) about the bride should be a virgin. Then someone (I think it was Richard’s mother [sister - ed.]) said, “Richard is a virgin!?” At which point, several ladies – and even a couple of gents – in the audience stood up and testified that Richard was NOT a virgin.
Then came the exchange of vows, and the officiant took off his jacket to show that he was wearing a referee’s shirt underneath. He blew a whistle and flipped a coin, and Abigail won the toss, so she went first. She gave a brief but beautiful promise. Then they “switched sides” for “half-time” and played “Jump Around.” Many of us (myself included) danced as if we were at a Badger home game. Then Richard sang his vows: an a cappella version of “Annie’s Song.” Granted, Richard’s no John Denver, but the tribute was beautiful, and I admired his cojones and envied his singing ability.
When the officiant asked if anyone objects to the marriage, a few people – some of the same ones who testified to Richard’s sexual history – said, “I object! Abigail can do better!” More laughs.
Finally the officiant stated, “By the power invested in me by Al Gore and the Internet, I now pronounce you…” and here he flustered with bride/groom, husband/wife, until he said either married or spouses. I don’t remember which. I just love that we live in a world that is evolving toward non-binary gender definitions.
We chatted with many friends until it was time to go to the middle school that was the reception venue (I have no idea how they secured that). The happy couple mercifully had their receiving line out of the sun and inside the building. I said to Richard, “Leave it to you to look better in a wedding gown on your wedding day than I did on mine.” Brian commented on how hard it must have been to find a gown in his size. Richard confessed what I suspected; it was tailor-made for him.
The food was catered by a local and delicious Indian cuisine restaurant, and the drinks were available in well-labeled coolers that were reminiscent of Whitey – the second refrigerator that Richard kept in his previous home to provide drinks for his guests. Whitey included a diagram on the door that mapped where to find which beverages within. I wonder if Whitey made the move to Richard and Abigail’s condo…?
The tables were decorated with Christmas-themed table runners and pipe cleaner pine trees, in keeping with the May-December theme. Unfortunately, the tables were designed for children aged (and sized) eleven to thirteen; not full-grown (and then some) adults. I wasn’t the only who had trouble sitting, and the WGH wisely sat on a folded chair on the end (that would have crushed my thighs).
Although dancing would occur later on in the reception, Brian and I left early. We told everyone it was because we had work to do on the house (that we’ll be doing next weekend), but really because I was getting overheated, and y’all know I don’t deal well with the heat. When we said our goodbyes, I jokingly stated to Abigail that she could do better, which she wisely countered with “Oh, no. He’s the best.” (I sincerely hope she realized I was teasing because I felt awful the rest of the evening worrying if I offended her.) I did tell her that Richard is a wonderful guy – which is the truth. Many years ago, I was thinking of matching him with J. V. Jones, who was a Guest of Honor at Odyssey Con in 2011, but I didn’t because a. she lives in California, and b. I’m a horrible matchmaker.
I’m ecstatic that Richard found the love of his life. Abigail seems wonderful, too; at the very least, she has an excellent sense of humor considering her very fun wedding.
Pog ma thoin!
“I know that when ye think o’ love you’re supposed to think o’ kissy faces and scented soap and hummin’ happy songs together, but there’s another vital part to it that people rarely admit to themselves: We want somebody to rescue us from other people. From talking to them, I mean, or from the burden of giving a damn about what they say. We don’t want to be polite and stifle our farts, now do we? We want to let ‘em rip and we want to be with someone who won’t care if we do, who will love us regardless and fart right back besides.” – Owen Kennedy, Staked by Kevin Hearne