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Just Another Wedding

My last post at History Hoydens was about my East Coast trip, where I mentioned that I’d been to my sister’s wedding.

And my prior Hoyden post featured this joyous photo of my sister Robin and her partner — now wife! — Barb, last November when they were the first same-sex couple in Connecticut to receive a marriage license (it appeared on the front page of the New York Times — and if you think the picture itself wasn’t a big event for my extended East Coast Jewish family, well, maybe there’s a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn that I can sell you).

Over the past few years I’ve posted a lot about Robin and Barb’s story — though I have to admit that when I first did so, it was with some concern that I was getting more controversial than a marginal author in a mass-market genre could afford. And in fact I mightn’t have done it at all, if it weren’t for the fact that I couldn’t feel honest about the love stories I tell unless I told this one too.

Which seems partly silly now. And partly not. Or as erotic romance author Madelynne Ellis put it in a recent email:

It still brings me up short every time I read about another “first” same-sex couple getting married. Afraid I’ve already got used to the idea of that being totally normal, which seems bad somehow considering how hard people are still having to fight for that right.

That’s it exactly.  Thanks, Madelynne.  About the only thing I can add is my wish that it won’t always be so, and that every same-sex marriage will be just another happy (totally normal and also wonderfully hard-won) ending of its own unique romance story.

As I show some of the lovely wedding pix my sister-in-law Vivien Feyer took, to assure you (in a line from my own Almost a Gentleman) that yes, “it was as ordinary — and as miraculous — as that”:

That’s me, Robin, and our Mom, at the rehearsal dinner — held, as per ancient Hebraic tradition, at a Chinese restaurant.

Though of course the real rehearsal was 17 years of married life for Robin and Barb — even if the state of Connecticut didn’t recognize it as such.

17 years of married life in sickness and in health.

And 14 years of parenthood. That’s Barb and daugher Maya at the rehearsal dinner — note elegant henna’ed hand and my son Jesse’s hat.

The ceremony itself was in a lovely Italian restaurant in New Haven, Tre Scalini (with terrific food, btw) and officiated by a lovely Justice of the Peace. Seventy-three friends and family members attended — for love of Robin and Barb, but also, I think, for the joy of making history.

Here’s a shot of the ceremony, all smiles and flowers. Both Maya and her 11-year-old brother Joshua participated — click here for the poem Maya wrote for, and read at, for the occasion.

And I especially like the shot below, for how  intently both kids were watching.

And especially Josh, on his Grandpa Larry’s knee.

Because most times Josh tends to wriggle like an eel during booorrrrinng formal proceedings.

But not during these.

Even if it was just another wedding.

Another love story.

As ordinary. As miraculous. As that.

Mazel tov and l’chai’im.

And here’s Maya’s poem, “Brief Moments”:

A brief moment
Eyes catch across a room

A brief moment
Hands brush as you pass

A brief moment
Smiles pass between you

In one brief moment
Your life can change
Forever altered with a glance
A touch
A smile

In one brief moment
A cold heart warms
Eyes light up
Lips curl upward on a sullen face

Brief moments
Yet all part of the bigger picture

Brief moments
Make up
Parts of a story
A story of love

8 Comments

  1. it was as ordinary — and as miraculous — as that

    That’s lovely and rich, and you make an interestingly William Jamesian point that love can blur the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. (That is, profane in the adjectival sense, as in secular and ordinary; cf. Mircea Eliade.)

  2. Congrats and felicitations happily accepted, a.l. and RfP.

    But hey, you know me, RfP — always a sucker for a little wonkery. I do know Eliade (though I hadn’t made the connection — thanks, good one), but not William James.

    More wonkery from me, btw, today at History Hoydens. About Sarah Waters’ new ghost story, The Little Stranger. Loved the book (it scared the crap out of me). And loved trying to find a nest for it on the genre tree.

  3. Some days I have trouble pulling my head out of my books, but a wedding is definitely the right moment to stop and simply say congrats.

    I was thinking of James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, which takes a very individual, psychological, and–obviously–experiential view of religion. I forget which bit I had in mind when I commented the other day; sorry to be so sloppy! How about: “love… transforms the value of the creature loved”.

  4. Warmest wishes to Robin and Barb and Maya and Joshua and your whole family, Pam. Love the poem. I think Maya has inherited her aunt’s writing talent!

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