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The Same Dreams
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Now, I'd like to say the wedding was perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing, and everything was beautiful and nothing hurt; but, in point of fact, it would've been nice if I hadn't been losing my voice. I was able to talk, but I was not able to project, and so I imagine my vows were unintelligible to most of the crowd. (My voice isn't any better, either, because yesterday we had people over all day, enjoying our last chance to see some friends and family from out of town -- which meant I was talking!)

But other than the voice thing, yeah, damn, the wedding was perfect.

Scott hung out with me at the house on Saturday afternoon, and around 3 we got dressed and headed over to the wedding site, where I wandered around and mingled and tried to stay out of the way while the caterers and our woman-on-the-ground, Lynne, got stuff set up. My friends did an admirable job of insulating me from all the small emergencies that come along with trying to pull off such a big party. When the time came, I stood up by our 8-foot-arch, decorated with autumn foliage (and what will we do with an 8-foot-arch now?!), with our mighty officiant D. standing in the archway. Then came the groomspeople (Scott, Jenn, Greg, my brother Wayne) and the bride's attendants (Holly, Susan, Richard), and the ring bearer (our nephew Aleister), and the flower girl (Teddy, whose mom is my managing editor at A Certain Magazine; Teddy was a total pro). Some longhaired dude played the harp. And then... in comes Heather, looking extraordinary, in that fairy-tale-and-seafoam white wedding dress, sparkling blue and crystal on the bodice, great full skirt. She looked so happy. And she came up, and stood across the aisle from me, and D. began to speak. He wrote a marvelous ceremony. In addition to the vowish stuff we had a couple of readings, too, as I may have mentioned -- excerpts from the honey-marooned section of Kelly Link's "Shoe and Marriage" and the entirety of Ellen Bass's "Encinitas Love Poem". For the benefit of those who couldn't hear me read my vows in my rapidly-dissolving voice, here they are:

Heather. I asked you to marry me a few years ago, when we were on a picnic, because I knew I wanted to go on picnics with you every so often for the rest of my life. Now, I know there's more to life than picnics, but the fact is that I've had more simple, uncomplicated joy in my life since I met you than I ever thought possible. Every day I'm happy to see you, to wake up beside you, and to come home to you each night. You've been my best friend and my closest confidante, the person I trust with my hope and fears and thrills and misgivings. By the time I'd known you for a month, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life getting to know you better. This ceremony is the public declaration of that intent; my ongoing, evolving promise to love you as well as I am able. Here, before our friends and family, who've been so good as to gather to witness our commitment to one another, I want to make some other promises:

I promise to make you happy, as often as I can.

I promise to stand up for you when you need defending, and to depend on you when I need shelter.

I promise to walk beside lakes with you, swim in oceans with you, hike through forests with you.

I promise to support and encourage your artistic endeavors.

I promise to trust you, and to be worthy of your trust.

I promise to have you, and hold you, for richer, or poorer, knowing I am always richer just for having you in my life.

I want to promise you so many things, but we'd be here all night if I kept going, so finally, I promise to be the best person I can for you, to be the best husband I can for you, and to make the rest of our life together as rich and meaningful as these first few years have already been.

And the ceremony swept along, and we looked at the people gathered around us, and we spoke to one another, and we exchanged rings, and we kissed, and that was it: married, and it was a dizzy wonderful whirling thing. We walked down the aisle and into the rest of the night.

The food was good. The cake was breathtakingly extraordinary, as we knew it would be (I'll post pictures once we get some -- even our caterer was photographing this cake, it was so awesome). The music was great (and they played lots of the Old '97s, as requested!). Heather and I danced. Other people danced. Lots of dancing, and mingling, and talking, and smiling, and thanking, and receiving well-wishing. Because a lot of out-of-town relatives were unable to come, it became a predominantly local-and-young crowd, which meant lots of energy and excitement. My brother danced with the ecstasy of a dervish, to the delight and astonishment of all. There were kids running laps around the dining room. People were making out with other people they'd just met. People were grinning. Champagne and wine flowed freely. Gifts piled up on the bench by the fireplace. The air outside was cool and revitalizing. After a while I took off my shoes and my blue toenails matched the bridesmaid dresses. Everything went off pretty much without a hitch, and I can't remember when I've had so much fun.

It ended too soon, but by the time I got home, I realized I was out-and-out exhausted. Part of that's having a cold. We have heaps of food left from the caterer, which is comforting (it's good food!), and tons of cake (really, half the freezer full!), and loads of wine and champagne and beer (since I'm bad at guessing quantities, but now we have a well-stocked wine rack, which is a rarity, and we had mimosas yesterday morning!). So many wonderful gifts (thank-you letters to follow, but wow, what a well-stocked home we have now!). So good to see all the guests. Just... wow. All the planning, all the worry, all the shuffling and re-shuffling and organizing and re-organizing; everything culminated in a great big awesome party. I'm not eager to throw such a big party again, mind you, but it's the sort of off-the-charts awesome event I'm glad to have experienced.

So far married life is great. But then, my life with Heather has been great. It remains so, except now we have this extra layer of giddiness, these rings to remind us, and we get to call each other "husband" and "wife", which has been endlessly amusing so far.

There's a line from Kelly Link's story that goes "Now that we are married, we will have the same dreams." We've had a lot of the same dreams for a while now anyway. We're living in those dreams. Thanks to everyone who joined us in our dream this past weekend.

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