Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Third Wedding, or What You Will

"I was adored once too."
--Sir Andrew Aguecheek, "Twelfth Night", Act II scene iii

This year's third wedding took place last weekend.  It took place on property owned by the groom's mother in the shadow of the Olympic National Forest in Washington.  The closest town is called Sequim (pronounced "skwim"), a town of a bit more than 5,000 people.  I learned that it is the lavender capital of North America -- though that fact didn't teach me as much about Sequim as it did about lavender!

The wedding was between my cousin (the elder of my mother's sister's children) and her beloved.  They were married in the field and the clouds were nice enough to recede and provide a natural backdrop of mountains.  THe weather was gorgeous, the food was amazing (wild salmon provided by the local Nisquali tribe), and the ceremony touching.

I'm fortunate that all my friends and family have such amazing and vastly different services, because it provides me no direct method for comparing them.  I can say that the setting was perfect for weddings and one could not ask for a better outdoor scene.

The parts that I love about weddings were all there.  The family, the food, the unrestrained joy of life, and the promise of future's grand road.  Everything that we have loved since Shakespeare's time when the wedding was the antithesis of the funeral.  A celebration of all that is new and creation.

Perhaps most and best of all, the wedding represents the positive face of the Janus that is "change".  It is the sort of change that few people dread or spite.  It's two people joining their lives together, leaving things that were for things that are.  There are bad marriages, hurtful marriages, mismatched marriages, acrid marriages, and woeful marriages.  Though all these occur with regularity, I think it's safe to say that very few enter into the estate thereof with the goal of suspicion and putrescence.

Returning to a previous theme from the previous weddings, they are not for singles.  I attended this wedding as a single man, as I have most of the ones in my life.  In matter of fact I've attended more funerals with "dates" than I have weddings.  And though I had no roving hurdle in a dress and shoes at this particular wedding, I still found myself distant from the crowds.  Part of their joy was also shared by me: my cousin deserves as great a marriage as can be managed to have by humans.

But another part of their joy came from dancing with their mates and reflecting on the times when, or the upcoming times until.  My uncle and aunt have loved each other and been married for forty years!  Even if I got married at this very moment, I'd be seventy-three when that happened.

I reflect on it as my best friend's children age.  The eldest will be driving in five years.  My friend's children could likely have children before I do.

I long for the playful tussle of hair.  I ache for the joy of doing things for someone:  the imitation brand I foist on my well-meaning friends has grown stale and lost the flavor.  I endeavor for the knitting of two souls that always results in the tangled skein.  [I think that's a sex metaphor!  Or is it?]  I want there to be someone.

It's nice to posses those things.  Especially when those around me start to bill and coo while holding hands and kissing affectionately.  When coupled, it's easy to turn to your partner and
A) do some of the same, because it's fun
B) cluck collective tongues at the state of people nowadays.

Either way, it's a fun paired activity.

Instead, I got to avert my eyes guiltily and take sips of my beer to stave off idle hands.  It's one of the few times I wish I smoked -- so that I could narrow my eyes Charles Bronson-style and have smoke curl judgmentally around my face.  Sipping loudly and with purpose and vim just doesn't have the same social oomph. Plus smoking gives you something to do while idle.

Namely getting cancer, now that I think about it.

*** *** ***
It was a beautiful wedding.  It was a beautiful setting.  It was a beautiful family.  It was the longest aisle I've seen at a wedding.  It was a touchingly-proud father who walked his daughter to the fore.  It was the most hooping I've seen done in recent memory.  It was an simple dawn, but also a unquiet twilight.

And in the end, just like my fictional forefather Sir Andrew, I was left thinking about other times with people who once thought me of value.

FESTE: Would you have a love song, or a song of good life?
SIR TOBY: A love song, a love song.
SIR ANDREW: Aye, aye.  I care not for good life.

--Twelfth Night, Act II scene iii


  1. Your pen is definitely mightier than a sword.

    I have no qualms in saying that I feel like your blog is a work of art. Your vernacular is spectacular, as they say. I enjoy feeling challenged just reading (and decoding) your entries when we live in a society obsessed with spoon feeding. On to my comment, then.

    The land of being single contains many roads that I would still recognize as familiar beneath my feet. Dark, somber ... each with varying levels of bumpiness and each unique. No one gets invited to travel these pathways. These are roads that one more or less finds oneself on.

    I made it a personal quest for my mental image of these virtual roadways to gradually sharpen. If I found myself on a road I've traveled before, I began to recognize the familiar sights and sounds. I worked to recognize when the road would steer me towards a destination that I no longer wished to visit.

    Once I felt I was able see the road I was on, I worked on drawing strength from every trek.

    It is true that we all have different struggles in our lives. We all have weaknesses. One weakness is my social skill set. I found that where a weakness existed, I can attempt to recalibrate a strength to combat it.

    I know that I am too shy to walk up to someone and introduce myself. Thankfully, I had an alternate way to meet people, the Internet. I accepted the fact that I would experience first hand the full ranging breadth and width that anonymity and a keyboard can provide.

    My goal was to explore the possibility of making friends, gain some social experience and learn how to be comfortable & happy in my own skin.

    Happiness is contagious.

  2. Andy,

    I've been reading this blog for a while now. You don't know me, or even of me.

    That said, this entry is so painfully, almost inexpressibly sad. And there's a tragedy to it, but it's of your own making.

    You insist on abstracting everything, holding everyone up to impossible standards, and above all else thinking about you - not necessarily in a selfish or narcissistic sense, but in the sense of constantly pondering what you should do, and what you should be, and how x is redolent of your past.

    I'm not wont to give imperatives to people I don't know, but if this entry is any guide, you need to stop it. And you can say I'm misreading this and it's simply a humorous musing. But I tend to doubt that.

    Stop holding your dick and start thinking with it. It's vulgar, but true. And I'm not even referring to sex.