I found this link in my mailbox today to a New York Times article about gay engagements and weddings that ran on Valentine's Day. Sorry I missed it when it ran, but I am behind in the never-ending task of attacking the stack of newspapers in my apartment. (My manically tidy mother started to comment about it; I distracted her by telling her that it was an avant-garde art installation. I must say that I am beginning to worry that it will fall on me in the night and cause me to suffocate in my sleep.)
Anyway, back to here comes the bride and bride.
The nut of this very sweet article is that gays and lesbians imitate heterosexual traditions --sentimental proposals, rings, trips down the aisle, inviting guests for an over-the-top dinner. Shocking! Everybody, including gays, covets what they see. We all grew up attending and imagining straight weddings so that's what we know.
None of this seems very newsworthy to me --but the more straight people know about the wonderfully ordinary dreams and longings of gay people, the better.
Any thoughts of a wedding for me are purely academic: My dating career of late. . . well, let's just say that the economy is not the only drastic recession affecting me. But, when I imagine myself sailing over the line between being single and officially no longer single, I am not sure how I would want to acknowledge or celebrate it. A ring, yes. A bended knee proposal? I don't think so. I think the "proposal" as it were would be much more of a quiet acknowledgment of what had already occurred. Maybe going down on a bended knee while filling in the 'next of kin' line with my boyfriend's name is more like it. A wedding reception. . . probably not.
A few years ago, a gay couple who are dear friends invited friends and family to join them for a celebration of ten years as a couple. Their reasoning was that anyone can start a relationship, but being together --and still happy-- after a decade deserved a party. I think that's the approach that rings truest to me.
Don't get me wrong, I love being invited to weddings. . . straight or gay, church or harbor cruise. I feel honored and always mist up being part the special and sacred moment. I really enjoyed myself when you and Mrs. Straight Guy got married. Until then, I had no idea what a good dancer you are, SG!
But, should I ever get married in some traditional way, I promise you two things, Straight Guy. One, you'll be there. Two, in a place of honor, just behind the high-end catered food, there will be a tray of cheese doodles and Hostess Ho Hos and a bowl of Milk Duds just for you. I'd hate to see you go home hungry from my big day.
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