posted on: Thursday April 22, 2010
Chris Slavin ’12 / Commentary Editor
There has been a lot of talk about weddings in this humble section of this magnificent publication lately. I felt incapable of comment about the topic because, until last weekend, I had never even been to a wedding. But my cousin sent out the invitations which read: “Come on down to Jersey and join me in this thing called matrimony,” so I obliged, headed home, and got my first nuptial experience. Although my first wedding wasn’t a gay one, and therefore not as exciting, controversial, or capable of infuriating my buddy Mark Scirocco, it left me with a few questions, comments, and concerns.It is a good thing that when I changed my major to Accounting, I also changed my minor to Public Liturgical Speaking, because my cousin, the bride, asked me to do a reading at the ceremony. After agreeing to do it, I was not particularly nervous about delivering the lines without stuttering or mispronouncing words; I was nervous about delivering them without laughing. You see, my younger brother was also asked to do a reading, and we both find it difficult enough not to laugh when we are in church together, even when we are not on the altar and directly involved in the service. My reading was the third and final one of the ceremony, and by the time it came for me to do it, my other cousin had already nailed his Genesis excerpt and my brother knocked ‘em dead with his Paul to the Corinthians, so the pressure was on. I pretended I was at a funeral instead of a wedding, avoided eye contact with my siblings, told the crowd that the response was “Lord hear our prayer,” and executed flawlessly. I knew I could count on the PC Public Liturgical Speaking department.Interacting with my relatives was a lot easier at this family gathering than it has been at gatherings past. Now that I am an Accounting major, I am much more confident in my responses when my aunts and uncles ask me about school and my future plans. “I am studying Accounting and this will qualify me for a successful career in the business world,” sounds a lot better than “I am not really sure what I want to do with my English degree,” and the subsequent, “No, I do not think I want to be a teacher.”The reception was a great time for me to take in all of the typical traditions of holy wedlock that I had never experienced before. There is one wedding tradition that particularly confuses me. Why do the bride and groom insist on strictly separating their families in the seating arrangement as if they were the Montagues and the Capulets? Isn’t the wedding supposed to be the beginning of the union between the two families? Why not have them mix in the pews and at the tables? Perhaps the mentality is that the wedding is actually the very last opportunity to keep the two families separated before they join and begin to fight for the remainder of time. And then there was when the groom does the male equivalent of throwing that thing behind his head and everyone tries to catch it. I was personally called out by the DJ during this portion of the party and told to get with all of the other “single guys” and try to catch whatever it was that the groom was throwing. I wanted no part of this. Luckily, one of the groomsmen was like Torii Hunter as soon as that thing hit the air, and was not about to let it hit the ground or anyone else’s hands. I had no shot even if I wanted to catch it.The bride and groom were too polite to shove the cake in each other’s faces, and I did not get to catch any real life wedding crashers like Dwight did, but my first wedding experience was still a good one. Still, I will have to attend a gay marriage in order to have a fair opinion on the debate currently taking the Commentary section by storm. Until then, I am still going to avoid catching that thing the groom launches behind his head, and work on not laughing while doing clerical readings.