2004-04-24 @ 2:07 p.m.
|So my first lesbian wedding. Well, not mine personally, since I like boys, but my friend, who I'll call Lin, and her friend, who I'll call Vin, were wed last night. It's not legal in my state, but who the fuck cares. Its really about love and these girls really love each other, like way more than my parents ever did, and if they want to have a ceremony to celebrate the fact that they were lucky enough to find each other, than so be it.
And it was fun.
I've always really liked Lin. She's in my survivor group. She's African American and one of the brightest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. And we have one thing in common. Our mothers are carbon copies. Of course hers is younger, in law enforcement and carries a hand gun, but other than that, these women were cut from the same cloth. So we like to commiserate about their similarities and how we're trying to get loose from their death-like grips. And we even share our occasional victories.
The wedding was really nice though. It had a minuscule budget since Lin and Vin are pretty impoverished. The location was donated. The entrance music was supplied by three women on African drums. Decorations were hand made. People from our group had helped renovate the house where it took place. Invitations were sent out via e-mail. The wedding dress was only $150 (probably the biggest expenditure). Not sure about the food. It was mostly finger food and punch. There were lots of candles and incense everywhere.
As you entered the porch you had to be smudged. Smudged? An African American woman in full East African casual wear was swinging this smokey pot of burning herbs in front of and in back of every guest, so that she could cleanse your soul before you entered the house. Well, allrighty then, if ever a soul needed cleansing, its mine, so I got smudged. Even thought of going back through a second time, like hey baby, ya wanna lay a little more of that smudge on me, but I didn't want to be perceived as too obnoxious. At least not this early in the evening.
Once inside I saw a few people I knew from my group. Signed the Memory Book. Like everything else about the wedding, it wasn't exactly traditional. It was a bunch of slips of colorful paper with color felt tip pens and a bunch of cool rubber stamps, and you could create your own little card to the couple. People were teasing me, like "Uh oh, here comes the artist, we better leave the table, so she can create a masterpiece."
I didn't do anything particularly memorable, since I was still too relaxed from my earlier massage.
I walked around a little, trying to mix, but parties still really make me nervous. It was a very eclectic crowd. I nearly bumped into this very beautiful looking gay man just as he was saying, "My passion is hairdressing and dancing". There was a sailor who was shipping out to San Diego tomorrow in full sailor regalia. Two other women were dressed in identical African caftans. Wasn't sure if they were twins or lesbian partners or whether they had just found the same outfit on sale...
I finally ended up in the parlor where I listened to two African American women drumming some beautifully carved African drums. I really love the sound of that, and I nearly got a case of Happy Feet.
Of course I have virtually no discernible rhythm, so if I had chosen to get up and do some version of the White Girl Ooboo Gooboo, Lin's mom, the cop, probably would have felt the need to draw her firearm and shout "Stop or I'll shoot!"
Finally the clock struck 8 and it was time for the bride to make her much anticipated appearance to the strains to "From this moment on". And she looked totally lovely in her lavender satin gown draped with chiffon. Vin was already at the "altar" in her tuxedo. Vows were exchanged. Poetry was read. People were crying. And at the end of the ceremony, the couple jumped over a broom decorated with pink and lavender ribbons.
I guess jumping over a broom at a wedding for a person of the African American persuasion, has to do with the fact that slaves were not permitted to marry, so an alternative commitment ceremony had to be found: thus began the tradition of "jumping the broom". Slaves decorated a broom, placed it on the ground and the couple jumped over it while the other slaves sang. Traditionally the one who jumps the highest is the one who will make all the decisions for the newly formed family. But Lin and Vin, pretty much jumped the same height, so I think things will be on pretty equal footing in their household.
Afterwards they danced their first dance to "Chances Are" and then Vin sang a beautiful song acapella to Lin that was incredible and then we toasted them with Mango juice in plastic champagne glasses and then the music segued into "Flashlight" and soon everyone was laughing and dancing and having a great time.
So you see, weddings like this are so much more fun, than those staid boring ones where you have name tags on tables and you play party games and you have to listen to Celine Dion sing the theme from "The Titanic" about 5 times. Why not just let it happen?
p.s. Lin and Vin seemed to like the Billie Holiday painting I gave them.
Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty