I’ll be the one throwing rice

By Chuck Sigars | May 23, 2012

My brother, sister and I gave my mom an iPad for Mother’s Day. There was only slight hesitation; at 75, she belongs to a generation whose workplace became computerized long before she retired, so there’s that.

On the other hand, tablet technology is a different animal, and many of us just get tired of learning new ways of using our fingers. I waited a little anxiously that Sunday.

She loves it, though, and so do I. We’ve made several attempts at video chats over the years, but her computer is old and our conversations were mostly buffering, freezing and echoes. Phones were easier.

Now, though, with Apple’s excellent FaceTime software, I can see and talk with my mom seamlessly, and we can even wander around to show our gardens off. It’s a nice dividend from the 21st century.

I also saw a great example of this technology at church the other day, as a baby was baptized and we were all joined by his godparents via Skype in Slovakia. These are useful tools for connecting.

I have several webcams around the house, inexpensive and not used all that much, which led to my most recent invention. Propping up one of them on my windowstill, looking behind me toward the street, I can now see when the mail arrives.

It’s not a very exciting life, I agree. It’s the little things.

And the other day the mail truck showed up, and I was surprised by a card from friends. It was a save-the-date thing, a pre-wedding announcement, giving us four months to clear our calendars.

These are old friends, lovely people who have spent a fair amount of time being single. He was married very young once, she never, and so many of us have been witness to this relationship beginning and gliding toward an eventuality this September.

About time, I joked, but really? The right time, I assume, and I assume they have their reasons.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been to one of these weddings, two people in the middle (being generous) of life, confirmed single and doing just fine, and then wham. A trip is taken to the Northern California vineyards, a knee is bent, a secret ring is presented…I’m getting a little teary here. It represented calm joy, two adults driven not by society or by young dreams, but just by love. Time to make it official.

Since neither of these two seem to have much interest in church things, I also assume this will be a civil ceremony, binding each other in the eyes of the law and their friends. There will still be blessings, believe me. And my wife will be on stand-by, just in case.

Distilled down, then, these are two people who will celebrate their love with many of us, probably make some vows, wear specific clothes, exchange rings, and sign papers establishing them as a legal unit, belonging to each other. This can come in handy, trust me. It’s nice to know someone has your back, and that law of the land agrees.

They’re roughly the same age, so unless they’ve got another secret, I’m pretty sure this isn’t marriage with children in mind. Some people have them, some people don’t. Some people probably shouldn’t, but that’s another story.

What we have with my friends, then, is two people who love each other, and are committing to a legal relationship, mostly out of happiness and timing but also because it’s good to have that piece of paper in certain situations. Renting a car. Buying a house. Filling out a tax form. Medical decision-making.

This has nothing to do with you, of course, unless you share my romantic streak about marriage.

Or unless you share my ironic streak, and note that these perfectly ordinary people, employed, homeowners, contributers to society, fun people, lovers of cooking and books and movies are only allowed – allowed – to tie the knot because they have a different set of chromosomes.

What? It wasn’t clear where I was going with this?

We all live in this world, and I suspect all of us are aware of the stunning speed, historically speaking, with which same-sex marriage has become something that now a majority of Americans at least shrug about. Whatever, good luck, it’s none of my business.

There’s plenty of opposition, though, some of it political, a lot from deep-felt religious beliefs, and I suspect a lot from people who have a sense of tradition and just haven’t arrived there yet.

I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, by the way. If June 7 arrives and there’s a referendum heading our way, maybe I’ll want to say something, although God knows I don’t know why anyone would pay attention to what I think.

It just occurred to me that I’m going to a wedding in September, of people who love each other and want to make it official, and for the life of me I can’t imagine why anything else would matter.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.