An Old Fashioned Wedding
There are a lot of things that strike me as absurd these days.
Since we last spoke, we had the controversy over the Broadway show Kinky Boots in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There was outrage because drag queens were to perform. Really? When it comes to Broadway why aren’t the complaining cretins upset by the child abuse dealt out by Miss Hannigan in Annie or Fagin teaching kids to steal in Oliver? And why is it okay to celebrate a murderer who slits throats and his sidekick who bakes the bodies into meat pies in Sweeny Todd? Seriously, all these drag queens do is save a straight man’s shoe business. Puleeze.
And of course there was the brain trust from Duck Dynasty. When asked about LGBT issues who didn’t expect Mr. Duck to spout hateful bullpucky? Frankly, somebody looking as nasty and sounding as stupid as that guy spouting off against gays makes us look like angels. They should have avoided the backlash by keeping him on the air to continue to make a dumbo of himself.
And then there’s the whole falling of dominoes in the marriage equality map. What’s absurd is the hostile response over something that is now so inevitable. Save your energy, bigots, you lost this one. In a big way.
In fact, as that fabulous old queen Noel Coward sang in 1932, “I went to the most mahvelous party!” recently.
It was a wedding of two young male friends and blew my mind in so many ways.
Frankly, since marriage equality swept Delaware, Maryland, and environs, I’ve been to a lot of weddings, including one of my own. And all of them have been the coupling of old poops like us, together for decades and finally permitted to make it legal. Not that the events haven’t been gorgeous, with loving families, white tablecloths, and champagne toasts. They have. And it’s been glorious.
But there’s something about attending a wedding where the two grooms are of the traditional young marriageable age, at a wedding with all the pomp and circumstance of the big weddings we used to lust after. Or at least wish we had the legal right to emulate, if not the actual desire to go out in a hail of rice or birdseed as is now the environmentally friendly tradition.
Here was a wedding of two wonderful young men, with a gaggle of groomsmen assisting the groomsmaids with their make-up and rearranging the angles of their corsages. Turnabout certainly is fair play as one groomsman hastily re-hemmed a groomsmaid’s dress and insisted I wear eyeliner.
There was a Gayd of Honor, a wedding planner and a stage manager, a serenade by members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington prior to the ceremony and a drag queen MC at the reception. Yes, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing and this wedding was spectacular.
For me, this was a very special event. I had been asked by one of the grooms to be a stand-in for his Mom who would not attend. She missed an amazing chance to escort her handsome son and watch, with enormous pride, as he married his soul mate.
For his part, the soul mate invited his parents, hailing from the South. They were in full attendance and did not blink once. Not when the marriage officiate pronounced them groom and groom and they kissed, not each time silverware tapped crystal at the reception and the grooms were required to kiss some more, and certainly not during their first dance to the iconic Endless Love. Cheers to them.
Following the requisite professional picture-taking (I think it’s safe to say that as the mother of the groom, I may have been the butchest one in the wedding party) we got the celebration going.
This reception was as different as it was the same. Unlike some straight weddings, here, when the DJ played Dancing Queen the song was never more appropriate. And to see the dance floor swamped by men with only a spattering of women in the crowd struck an unusual chord as well.
First came “The Electric Slide” led by a gaggle of guys, followed by “It’s Raining Men,” complete with synchronized choreography. The only time the dance floor emptied was for “YMCA,” as if to say “That old thing!” to the number generally marking the only dance floor filler at many straight weddings.
The oft-played dance floor version of musical chairs became Musical Cher’s at this wedding, with the guests rushing for seats to Cher’s recordings.
During the toasts, the straight best friend of one of the grooms provided some warm and wonderful words, while the other groom’s best friend provided a moving, tear-inducing story.
And, since the wedding was held on Veteran’s Day, with one groom having served our country prior to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell being lifted, the event was even more moving.
From the rhinestones affixed to seating cards to the cake cutting antics this was a traditional wedding. When the grooms left the reception by limo amid soap-bubble blowing well-wishers, this wedding was a shoo-in for the phrase The More Things Change, the More they Remain the Same.
This wedding looked like 2013 America. And nothing that Kinky Boots haters or dirty duck callers can say can take away the glee.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries, and her newest book Time Fries—Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach.