This weekend two of my friends are getting married.
I wrote that sentence only because I wish it were true, and because it should be true. The more accurate sentence, but really not the truer sentence, should say, This weekend two of my friends are exchanging union vows. Of course they, like any other pair of women (or men) who have decided that they want to commit themselves to one another, cannot get married.
You will notice that I am not at their wedding, and the result is this intense dilemma. I am not at their wedding because last weekend I got married, and this weekend I am exhausted, and I really need to spend some time with the PP without everybody looking. This weekend, no one takes a picture when I hug him. This weekend I am not getting my hair done or putting on panty hose, and he does not have to wear a tie. I will probably spend all of this weekend with my feet in and out of only one pair of extraordinarily comfortable shoes. No parties--I am putting my foot down. This weekend we are drinking beer and watching movies and not answering the phone and maybe eating dinner out somewhere low-key where we do not need to dress up.
Who am I kidding? You don't have to dress up to eat anywhere here!
But this means I am not at their wedding, and instead I am thinking about them desperately. I am thinking that I hope that whatever family members got their reply cards all tangled up in their so-called morals, and so could not even send a polite "no" but had to raise a stink about not approving, are not missed. I am thinking about their chocolate fountain, and hoping that whoever they got to make it when the first guy--who originally said it was not a problem to make a chocolate fountain for a same-sex couple but then later stopped returning their calls and finally said he couldn't do it--backed out, I'm hoping that that new person makes them a hell of a chocolate fountain, and that my two beautiful friends can then see past that first guy and his hang-ups and enjoy that chocolate fountain for all they are worth.
I am thinking about the discussion we had recently about honeymoons, about where in the world would you go if you could go anywhere in the world, and how one of them had decided exactly where, and the other looked at me in disbelief at the idea that the whole world was out there, available, but then not really because this was just an abstract question with no footing in reality. But once I rephrased it as "where would you go if you had two weeks and $3000 and enough frequent flyer miles to cover your tickets," she got on it right away and we all had a great time thinking about possibilities--and laughing at ourselves.
I am thinking about their mothers, for whom this wedding has become a sort of realization of all the ways that being queer in America sucks--and of how people who don't know you decide they can go ahead and judge you because they have decided that that is what their Bible says to do. (Not that those people tend to be the best readers--I know this because they have been in my classes, and I have worked desperately with them, but it has not helped.)
And I am thinking about how they managed to be stronger women than I am, and bring their anxious it-is-only-a-week-until-our-wedding selves to my wedding, and to be happy for me, and even dance some and laugh a lot. I am thinking that I wish I had the endless strength that could have gotten my ass on a plane to Virginia today, so I could be there to say to them that I think that what they are doing is heroic and honest, not to mention that they are adorable as can be and that they inspire strength in me, even when I am not able to carry it forward.
Because I do not have enough strength to get on that plane, I am here having a quiet weekend with the PP. I wish I could say that I do not feel bad about that, but a part of me does, even as a part of me would not have this weekend any other way. But that is the way it goes, isn't it? That we rarely have untempered joy or grief?
But here's to you, my two wedding friends. I hope this weekend can be a real moment of joy, and that at the end of it you feel exhausted by the love of your family and friends.