Humor from on High

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where I Been (wedding remix)

I'm not a Christian.

I'm fairly certain that's the first time I've ever stated that explicitly. It frightens me in a social awkwardness, how-am-I-going-to-explain-this-and-appear-normal kind of way. The same way that my thoughts on Jesus Christ superstar usually come out....he was a kick-ass charismatic carpenter with a flair for the dramatic and maybe a few Copperfield-esque magic tricks, right? Justkiddingnotreally. Inevitably, when thrown into a religious discussion, I say some variation of the following: "Well, I'm not really religious. But I feel that I'm pretty spiritual." Or: "I'm a Deist with Buddhist tendencies." They are both pretty close to the truth. But in exactly zero ways do I feel any different morally or spiritually than all of my Christian friends, including a college friend who's now a pastor. Maybe not zero -- but you get the point.

The reason I bring this up is that my former roommate and one of my best friends from high school (and still) got married this weekend, and it dredged a lot of this up for me and in terms of "Where I Been" (parts 1 & 2 here and here, btw) has been taking up a lot of physical, mental, and spiritual energy in the last couple of months. Being involved in a wedding, in this case as one of two "Men of Honor", feels a lot like you are getting married yourself. Or at least, you are acutely aware that a LOT is about to change. For K, the man of the hour on Saturday, I'm not sure exactly how much will really change. I think that he's known for a some time that it was going to happen, and I'm incredibly happy for him that it did. Being that close to two people who are committing themselves to each other wholely is an amazing experience. Sitting in the pews is just not the same. Seeing every whisper and hug and gesture from three feet away is just completely different, and not one that I've been so connected to until now. So for me as "passive observer", it seems like a LOT has changed.

The ceremony was beautiful, and in fact, probably the most moving that I've been a part of or simply attended. Having the short-and-sweet wedding these days is the pop-culture equivalent of having a Myspace page for your band or movie -- the ultimate cliche. And in an odd way, it is an odd awesome-ness to have a slightly longer and more formal wedding in this day and age. In this case, it was an ecumenical extravaganza. "K" was raised Catholic. "Female K" was raised Methodist. And the ceremony was held in a Lutheran church. If that's not the formula for massive confliction, then I don't know what is. But somehow, it went off perfectly. And by "somehow", I mean seamlessly. And by seamlessly, I mean, the obsessive compulsive wedding coordinator (probably redundant) would not let her ship run aground, no matter what. While probably 20-25 minutes longer than your standard wedding, it still was rivetting. K and Female K are both from a college that has a long-standing musical tradition. Both sang in the choir at the end with a large group of their friends, who you get the feeling spend a lot of their weekends attending each others' weddings and singing in them. Funny how that works. It's sort of like how my college friends alternatively spend their weekends at each others' weddings drinking. Maybe that's not a perfect analogy.

A great time was had by all, and many of the usual wedding shenanigans were played out including (but not limited to): wedding party matchmaking, soul train line, ahh-inspiring speeches, and of course, driving around at 1am trying to buy three-two beer at Superamerica. Also, 40-yard dashes in the hotel hallways at 4am.

But I digress. Back to the religous thing. It occurred to me multiple times throughout the proceedings that it is strange how in a world where you seemingly only read about religious intolerance these days, it took an ecumenical army to marry my friends, and that was happily accepted and appreciated by all involved (at least, that was my impression). And from a personal standpoint, even though I have never enjoyed the imperative nature and stricture of most religions, I really enjoyed that aspect (the formality) of the ceremonies. It just fit K&K perfectly. There was even a brief communion which I particpated in, after just a brief moment of panic and indecision about whether I would be immediatly arrested by the Irony Police if I chose to participate. I realize that all I really did was eat a piece of wine-dipped bread (I think it was an Australian shiraz -- it had koala undertones), but I was raised Catholic and so communion has a lofty and serious place set aside somewhere in my subconscious. I figured out a solution though. As I asked K later, "I took communion with my left hand, so I didn't really commit to anything, right?"

K and Female K are two of the last of my friends who remain unattached to un-unattach themselves, leaving just a paltry few of us left not filing our taxes jointly. This has never really bothered me in the past, and I wouldn't say it still does, but I think for the first time it is kind of on the radar screen -- just a teeny tiny blip in the corner though. If nothing else, I would like to fake a marriage just for the presents (any supermodels reading can please contact me at the email address on the right, if interested in such a proposition). But sharing something that powerful and intimate, even in the midst of hundreds of your closest friends, has never felt like a more appealing thing til now.

Congrats to K&K.


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