Sunday, August 20, 2006

on the occasion of skipping yet another friend's wedding

This weekend I am skipping not one but two weddings. One of them, I am skipping because it is very far away, and I can't afford to travel right now. The other one, I am skipping simply because I don't do weddings. Each time someone I love gets married, I struggle with whether or not to make an exception to the "don't do weddings" rule. This time I decided to stay home and write blog entries instead. So on this occasion of skipping two weddings in one weekend, I decided to republish this piece that I wrote the last time I did go to a wedding.

It takes the form of a few letters to and from my alterego, Duck. Duck is me, only more cynical and less tactful, if you can believe it. Everyone else is loosely based on combinations of various people I know. The situations described really did happen.

Dear Click,

Hey! I just got your message. Thanks for offering me a ride to Sadie and Sammy’s commitment celebration. That sounds really great, especially since my car’s in the shop and all. In fact, I’m looking forward to the drive down even more than to the party itself.

Does that sound mean? I don’t mean it to. It’s not that I don’t want to go to Sadie’s party, it’s just, I’m not too sure about commitment celebrations.

I mean, it’s hokey enough when lesbians have them, but for a heterosexual couple to have a “commitment celebration” seems like double-speak. It’s nice that they’re using inclusive language, I guess. But let's be clear, they are in fact married. Legally married. And not just in the friendlier corners of Massachusetts, either. Complete with federal tax benefits, their parents’ enthusiastic approval, and practically inalienable custody rights of any children that they might eventually have. So I don’t know why they bother to call their party anything other than a wedding reception.

I’m kind of afraid it’s my fault. No, seriously. I think I once told Sadie that I don’t go to straight weddings. It was right after the new law went into effect, and every lesbian I knew was suddenly frothing at the mouth over fabric samples and Hers&Hers champagne glasses. They were quitting their volunteer positions and ignoring their friends and generally acting like a bunch of socially-irresponsible honeymooning straight people. Needless to say, I was annoyed. Sadie probably asked me why I wasn’t into marriage activism, and I probably went off about it. I remember I told her I wasn’t even sure if I should go to all those lesbian weddings, since I don’t go to straight weddings if I can help it, and as far as I’m concerned it’s all part of the same patriarchal bullshit.

So I guess I kind of brought this on myself. I mean, I think she thinks I wouldn’t go to a wedding reception, and so she’s not calling it a wedding reception because she wants me to come. So now I guess I have to go. Even though I’m beginning to suspect that I’m being had. It’s probably just going to be a wedding reception that’s not called that. A rose by any other name still gives me an allergy attack. But, since I did kind of set myself up for it, I guess I’ll just pack down some allergy pills and try to make the best of it.

I just wonder what I should wear. I mean, what does a moderately-fashionable, low-budget, slightly flamboyant tranny-boy wear to a “It’s-Not-A-Wedding-Reception-We-Swear-It’s-Not” party? Are there rules for this stuff? Because if they taught that shit in charm school, I was definitely sick that day.

Cynically yours,

Dear Duck,

You can wear whatever you want. I’m going to. (Wear whatever I want, that is. Not whatever you want. That would be something.)

After all, it’s not like it’s a wedding reception or anything ;).

And anyway, if it is a wedding reception in disguise, at least there will be wedding cake. There’s nothing like a six-tier pile of excessively processed cane sugar to take the edge off a lousy party, eh?


Dear Click,

You only say that because you don’t drink or smoke.


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