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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Naked Marriage

My sister got married today.

She got married in judge's chambers, at approximately 4:00pm this afternoon. I was at home, having just walked the dog, and was in the process of trying to decide whether to take an online quiz about Poe, Melville and Dickinson, or masturbate. Today, the scholar in me won out. And I suppose it's better that I was engaged in an innocuous, studious act at the moment my sister was getting married-- better ju-ju and all that.

I never imagined that my sister would get married and I wouldn't be there. Then again, I never thought my sister would ever get married, and I certainly never thought that my sister would be eight-and-a-half months pregnant. My mother says that she saw it coming for years, but she also said that about September 11th. Well, perhaps I lack my mother's foresight/prognostication skills, but nevertheless, here we were, tonight, at 5:00pm, on the back deck of my sister's new in-laws, my sister as big as a zeppelin, celebrating a marriage that occurred with bewildering speed. I was informed that it was happening last Friday, and, Tuesday night-- kaboom.

My mother, my other sister, my wife and I were all there as my father made a semi-coherent speech that managed to embarrass just about every single person present. Being Israeli, it's remarkable what he gets away with. My side of the family all held glasses of champagne from which we all pretended to sip after the marathon toast was completed. From the moment we arrived, the groom's four-year-old son bombarded his father, my sister's new husband, with one question over and over again,

"Can I take off all my clothes now?"

After the photographs were taken, his request was granted and he careened through the evening's festivities in nothing but a pair of olive-drab colored Osh-Kosh underpants.

The boy wasn't the only one celebrating this naked marriage. My sister's now exceedingly ample breasts were positively valoomping out of her blouse. It was easily the most naked wedding celebration I'd ever attended, but then, I've never been to a wedding in New Orleans.

People we appropriate, by and large. There were certainly elephants in the room a-plenty, there was even a bichon that was the size of an elephant. This fucking thing looked like more of a basset hound than a bichon, and more of an ottoman than a dog. But, in spite of the elephants and the fetuses and the things left unsaid and the sidewards glances and the whispered side conversations and the groomly debates about what to call my father, things went pretty smoothly. The kid provided ample entertainment via streaking and beating the holy shit out of a starter child's drum set in the living room. As I watched him cavorting around in his underwear, enjoying himself the way four-year-olds can, barely aware that anything significant occurred today at 4pm that will change his life forever, I was seized with a palpable desire to be him, or at least his age. I wanted to run up and down the driveway in my Osh-Kosh underpants playing wall-ball with the kids next door, or giving my broken Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots to my grandfather for a quick repair. I wanted to not give a hoot in hell about what was going on with the adults in the room-- all the drama, all the tension, all the questions and the doubts and the bullshit because, as much as I like to say "I don't care" about what my sister does or how all the stupid things she does and the irrational, ill-advised choices she makes are inconsequential to me, well, that just isn't true.

I do care.

I just wish that sometimes I had the excuse of being four-years-old. Or even Israeli.

I don't know how things are going to turn out for my sister, or her new husband, or her new step-son, or her soon-to-be-born child, but I care about how things will turn out. I expressed some concerns about what was happening to my mother on the phone and she said, "It will all work out."

"You mean that we're all going to die?"

"Jesus Christ," she said.

I can't help being morbid. I've always been that way. I've always obsessed about death, ever since I was old enough to know what it was, and probably before that. Tonight, my mother asked my sister's new husband how old the furniture dog was.

"Eleven," she answered, then remarking that the life-expectancy of a bichon was around 15 years.

"Oh, well don't think about it," my mother sagely advised, which I found very funny.

"Yeah," I said, "I never do."

And then I thought about what I'd said when I saw no reaction from my sister's new mother-in-law. She was meeting me for the very first time, didn't know me from Hell's bartender. Anyone who knows me would have cracked up at my saying I never thought about death, or they would have at least given me a knowing smile. It's funny how you can lie, stone-faced to people who don't know you, and they have no idea. One day, I hope that she gets to know me, to know all of us, better.

I hope a lot of things, for my sister, for her husband, for their kids. I hope it all works out, and not just in the end.


  1. Congratulations. I feel bad that you didnt witness the wedding but the evening sounded lovely.
    His family will grow to adore you all! ha ha!
    Hey! What did you wear? Was the tie left at home?
    Wait til you have kids, you will worry to death but you will also have a bird's eye view of their innocence.

  2. June June June... she's bustin' out all oooover...

    Where are the PICTURES my Jewish friend?!

  3. I'm a big believer in "it will all work out." And NOT just that we're all going to die. These sort of events have a habit of making us think about the future, nay, worry about the future. It brings to mind my own sister's marriage to her Country Bumpkin, an event that I couldn't really grasp the consequences of, when I was fourteen. Ten years later, it feels like it's worked out.

  4. Congrats. This almost makes me want a 4 year old around to take the "awkward" spotlight off me...


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