Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Ascent of the West

Many years ago, back before we had kids, before we were married, the Lovely Bride and I were invited to a commitment ceremony. This was early, before this sort of thing happened very often, at least around here.

The Lovely Bride grew up in a small conservative city. Blue collar. White. Reagan Democrats for the most part. It wasn't until he got away from home that her friend began to talk about being gay, much less discuss it with the people he knew from high school. Not to mention his family.

He moved here, though, and fell in love. He and his boyfriend found an apartment and after a while they decided to make it permanent.

The ceremony was at a hotel downtown. Maybe a hundred guests. Friends from work. A few, like my Lovely Bride, high school classmates who'd moved here after graduation. And her friend's parents.

There was a minister and the grooms exchanged vows and rings and walked beaming down the aisle. Then there was a dinner. Not too much different than the wedding the Lovely Bride and I had not long after.

Like most wedding dinners, toasts were made. To life. To health. To the couple. Finally the father of my wife's friend stood up. He was a union guy, a high school graduate, maybe, busted ass every day to raise his son. He looked down at his wife. Not exactly what they'd had in mind all these years.

He raised his glass. "The only thing we ever wanted was for you to be happy. Congratulations, son. We love you."

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

"The only thing we ever wanted was for you to be happy. Congratulations, son. We love you."

Enough said.

billy pilgrim said...

I think it might have been exactly what they had in mind all those years. Really, what substantive difference does gender make? Other than obliterating the remnants of patriarchal custom.

even in liberal cities, high school is a nearly impossible time to be out.

Great post, S.

fish said...

Great post snag

Sad that in the land of the free, all they are allowed is a commitment ceremony.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

That was no Jewish wedding, because the toast would have ended with:

To marry another Jew.

For you to be a doctor and your partner to be a lawyer or something important we could brag about to Elaine and Jerry.

To give me a couple of Jewish grandchildren

and

To make sure we don't choke every night when you are off being too busy with your fancy life and fancy kids and never coming by for some brisket.

We love you.

Kathleen said...

lovely post.

you're just trying to turn me around on marriage, aren't you?

I WON'T HAVE IT. *sniff*