A few years ago, I was invited to a wedding. This isn’t so extraordinary, except for the fact that the invitation was bestowed upon me via cell phone from the French-Canadian boyfriend of a fashion designer friend of mine. Which is to say, the invitation went zomezing like ziz:
Andre*: Ello, Megun?
Andre: I want to invite you to my wedding! It will be next Zaturday night at me and Michul’s place. Can you come?
Me (shocked): Sure! I mean, I think so! What time?
Andre: Zeven Zirty. We are aving a little zeremony and we would love for you to be there.
Me: Ok! Great! What should I wear?
Andre: Zomezing nice. It is not black tie but there will be many colors and food and dancing. Zo zomezing colorful would be nice!
Etcetera. Now, I hadn’t seen these boys in months and had no idea they were getting married. Sure, they had been living together for a few years and were happily coupled, but knowing Michael, I thought that his wedding, if he ever had one, would be a society-page event with Marc Jacobs performing the ceremony and invitations printed on scrolls packed into silver mailing tubes arriving six months in advance. But, hey, who am I to judge? So, I wrote down "Andre & Michael"s Wedding" in my calendar, dug out some flaming-red stilettos, and purchased a $5 wedding card at Kate’s Paperie. I was ready.
Zaturday night arrived, and I dolled up and called a car to bring me from Williamsburg to Tribeca. It was a hot night with a sunset that lasted for three hours. This was to be my first gay wedding, and I was excited for my friends and honored that they would want to include me in their celebration. I figured their fashionista and model/dancer friends would be lounging around their apartment looking like wrought-iron floor lamps from Pier 1 Imports wearing unfinished couture and holding glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. I’d be, by far, the largest human being in the room. Which is totally fine. Totally fine.
I climbed the six flights up to their top-floor three-bedroom without dropping dead from exhaustion or tripping, and opened the door into what looked like a Fashion Week after party. The space had been transformed into a Bedouin tent, with pink, orange, and red Indian silk squares attached to the ceiling and the walls, undulating in the strong, warm breeze let in by the nine open windows. Candles littered every surface, dripping onto saucers or flickering in hurricane lamps. A makeshift wedding arch adorned with gladiolas stood before a low divan covered in white muslin. The Pier 1 floor lamps were draped in deconstructed cocktail dresses and tailored tuxedo jackets over pastel Izods. I recognized a jewelry designer friend and, after a stop at the bar/kitchen, beelined for her. We decided we’d be each other’s date and I caught up on her latest adventures in Bali.
Michael appeared and I ran to him and hugged him, beaming. "I’m SO happy for you!" I squealed. He looked puzzled. "Thanks for coming." "This is so exciting!" I continued, looking deep into his eyes, searching for that look of a person about to be married. Which absolutely, without a doubt, was not there. My smile faded a bit, and I started blathering about how great the apartment looked. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Deborah, Andre and Michael’s roommate, wearing a silver-white slip dress. She was being hugged. A lot. A gardenia was tucked behind her left ear. Curiously, Andre appeared by her side and put his arm around her. They laughed. And looked like a couple. Realization like a two-by-four across the skull: this wasn’t my first gay wedding--it was my first green card wedding.
We danced, we drank, we applauded. Photographers crouched in front of the wedding arch and popped their flashes. Toasts were given. There was a heavily-documented first dance. The silks fluttered, the candles flickered out, and champagne was spilled near electronic equipment hot from overuse and excessive volume. Michael danced so hard that he threw himself on the floor and rolled around to Prince’s "Kiss." I kicked off my stilettos around 2 AM. That night I found out that being a fake wedding guest is as fun as being a real one. And as I surveyed the crowd through my never-empty wine glass, I really, truly hoped that Andre, Deborah, and Michael would live happily ever after.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.