A wed­ding like any other

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS -

Ap­par­ently, a week or so be­fore his wed­ding, a friend of mine got fed up with all the de­ci­sions he had to make about this and that, about who would take care of the mu­sic at the cer­e­mony, what would hap­pen at the re­cep­tion, and when — we have to know when! — din­ner would be served, toasts of­fered, the cake cut and the first dance be­gun.

And so he com­plained, just a lit­tle bit, from what I hear, about how he wanted it to un­fold or­gan­i­cally, to come to­gether on its own. Cooler heads pre­vailed, how­ever, and he was gen­tly re­minded that there is noth­ing nat­u­ral, or or­ganic, about a big wed­ding. It’s an event— a happy one, to be sure— but one that re­quires pre­ci­sion and plan­ning, lest some vi­tal de­tail be for­got­ten, or some im­por­tant guest be slighted or un­nec­es­sar­ily in­con­ve­nienced.

The min­is­ter knew how these things go. When the happy cou­ple fi­nally walked down the aisle, she en­cour­aged them to pause for a moment, be­fore the cer­e­mony be­gan, to take a look around and see what they had done.

“All the plan­ning and stress is over,” she said. “ To­day is your day to en­joy it.”

And en­joy it they did. My friend was an English ma­jor back in the day, and the cer­e­mony was filled with ex­tended read­ings— some in Mid­dle English— from First Sa­muel and First Corinthians, Plato, Shake­speare, Os­car Wilde and Wil­liam Mered­ith, as well as tra­di­tional and pop­u­lar mu­sic from when the two of them were young. The ring bearer was 4 years old, and she per­formed her du­ties ad­mirably. The vows were sweet and heart­felt, and the ser­mon was mer­ci­fully short, es­pe­cially af­ter

Ev­ery wed­ding has some drama and some short­lived mis­ery, and then it all works out. This one was no dif­fer­ent.

all that read­ing.

As we walked two short blocks from the cer­e­mony to the re­cep­tion, my wife asked how long they’d been to­gether. “I dunno,” I said. “Maybe 10 years. I know it’s been a while.”

I tell this story be­cause ev­ery wed­ding has some drama and some short-lived mis­ery, and then ev­ery­thing works out, at least for the most part, and ev­ery­body’s so happy on the cou­ple’s big day. And ev­ery wed­ding goes on, a bit too long, about man and wife, start­ing a new life, to­gether for­ever, till death do us part (or we find some­one bet­ter).

This one was no dif­fer­ent, ex­cept for one thing: There was no she. Only he and he. Not man and wife, but man and man, com­mit­ting to each other for life. For this was a gay wed­ding, the first I’ve at­tended, in­Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

I know some may dis­agree, as Mary­land con­sid­ers the ques­tion of same-sex mar­riage, but I can’t see how this is a threat to you or me, my mar­riage or my fam­ily. It’s just an­other cou­ple declar­ing their love pub­licly, in front of friends and fam­ily and the com­mu­nity. Just an­other cou­ple — part of our won­drous hu­man­ity— stand­ing up and join­ing the rest of us in holy mat­ri­mony.

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