Stronger than “Just a Piece of Paper,” Wiser than a Cucumber
Ah! Welcome back, sweet February. You’re looking as wonderful as ever and I’m mighty proud of you and totally agree with you that it’s a drag that only .02% of those crazy Americans are able to correctly pronounce your name. You inspire me with your dignified holidays, your Oscar ceremony, your darling Valentine rituals. Your small stature is adorable and your size-shifting every four years is fascinating. You’re lovably bonkers — that’s the bottom line — but your determination and reliability were what closed the deal and long ago made you forever my bitch.
There’s wondrous, positive stuff this month. You betcha. I find myself presiding over more weddings during February than during any two other months combined. That’s correct, the Hose marries people, having graduated over a decade ago from the prestigious Universal Life Church (where I majored in Juxtaposition and minored in Verisimilitude). There’s nothing I enjoy more than the shared joy I encounter at Hose-led nuptials, when Two truly do become One… while attendees privately fixate on the impending defloration of the bride, particularly when she’s a fox.
I just lied. When I wrote that there’s nothing I enjoy more than that shared joy, I may have been a bit disingenuous. I guess I was mysteriously behaving as if things like music and movies, fellowship and fashion, and those small, successful steps toward eliminating war and hunger simply didn’t exist. Those are the kinds of things that can really get me off every time. Likewise pictures of Diane Lane when she’s forgotten once again to wear any clothes. Silly of me. I apologize, sincerely.
To resume: I make my weddings cost effective. What’s more, I do this while adding a dash of authentic old-world charm. Here’s how it’s done: Any couple will receive a 60% discount (!) simply by signing a notarized document granting the officiating cleric (me) the venerable yet sadly underused Droit du Seigneur. Think of my “first night” option as essentially a courtesy, like tipping your waiter, but with a truly valued personal touch. Everybody wins here; the bride will find herself pampered like royalty, no possibility of any wedding-night jitters for the groom, and — get ready! — they’ll find a his-and hers pair of individually wrapped, imported chocolate mints under their pillows sometime later in the week! (This offer is valid for up to three separate weddings per individual and expires at midnight 8/15/13. Participants have occasionally experienced slight signs of anxiety or mild anger during the initial two-three weeks of the marriage. If these symptoms persist for more than 60 to 90 days or intensify to a recognizable level indicating intentions of physical violence or impulsive “vengeance,” consult your physician immediately after advising all possible branches of your local law enforcement agencies. Be aware as always that Jesus loves you.)
My history of legally uniting people in Hosey wedlock has generated a surfeit of joyously memorable moments that continue to tickle my memory and my heart.
During the all-too-brief weeks of sanity when gay marriages were legal in California, I was approached by two beautiful young ladies who requested that I preside over their own planned nuptials. With my well-known candor, I explained that I would need a few hours to address a moral reservation that provoked and taunted me and demanded satisfaction. It had to do with their ages — each was barely 19 — and I needed to be sure that their love was real and not some youthful delusion or fad. If they could somehow convince me of the richness of the water table beneath their shale — perhaps with a homemade videotape or, preferably, DVD — I would go forward, and proudly. The very next morning a messenger delivered their brave confirmation. When I tell you that it restores my faith in America’s youth every time I rewatch and analyze it on my mammoth home theater screen, I do disservice to the many other values in its tireless and enduring arsenal. Donna and Lisa, I hope someday you can feel my happiness, which continues to grow.
A more recent example: after learning that a young bride-to-be named Alicia has been a rabid fan of Gregory Page all the way back to Page’s days in the seminal pre-teen Liverpool punk band the Munchkins, I decided to enliven her ceremony with a special surprise. Now, I suppose that Alicia was likely aware (like anyone else) of my own personal/professional/ecumenical relationship with Mr. Page. Still, I developed my idea with the secretive efficiency of a pro (whose name was Sparkle or Delight or something similar and who regularly worked El Cajon Boulevard). She told me that if I indeed pulled it off, Alicia would love me forever. Well I’ve always held that this world needs all the love it can get; particularly when mutants like Brian ( the tool Alicia was going to marry) spent far too much of his own time calling Alicia inappropriate names beginning with b’s and c’s and other letters I’m too embarrassed to repeat. And, as I witnessed nearly every morning through a friend’s telescope, before Brian dressed for work, he would force Alicia to shave his chest, his underarms, his back, his legs, and (yes) more while he just posed and admired himself in the full-length mirror he had installed on their bedroom wall around Christmastime last year. It seemed to me that Brian might be a truly disturbed narcissist with some ugly control issues (not including the bladder kind, unfortunately).
The seed, the plans: I think it was Desmond Tutu who said that the music of Gregory Page can have a positive, healing power. No, maybe it was my mailman. No matter. Anyway, I would make Gregory a special part of Alicia’s special day.
That day arrived. Before the ceremony, Alicia, who looked radiant but curiously couldn’t stop blushing as I helped the bridesmaids dress her, whispered to me excitedly, “Hose, I have a feeling you have something special planned. I think I might love you forever for it.” That last part sounded somehow familiar, but to this day I haven’t figured out why….
Later, vows having been exchanged, I announced the newlyweds and, after saying “You may kiss the bride,” I pressed a button on a small remote control. Suddenly a song from an old Gregory Page CD began playing like magic through the P.A. system!
Alicia seemed suddenly stunned. Tears began to pool and cloud her eyes — those wonderful petite orbs that any man would love to stroke, polish, or play around with. Words would be unnecessary between us throughout the remainder of the day so, having worked my little magic,
I made a happy, unobserved exit.
I give the marriage two weeks, tops.
I’ve been planning another surprise for Alicia, which I’ll spring on her on Valentine’s Day. Won’t go into the details; I’ll just say it involves a HUGE heart-shaped card, a really terrific song, and a large vegetable with someone’s autograph on it….
My dreams these February nights will ripen to explosive sweetness, having you with me.