What will we remember in the years to come of our wedding? When I think of it now I see it like a bell curve: the two of us, then dear friends that descended early to help set up, a larger crowd welcoming us on Friday night, and a great wave of love and support on Saturday. And then, after good-bye coffee the next morning, just us, again, in our little car, exhausted but elated, heading north. I’m still having a hard time articulating how extraordinary it was, but there are moments around the edges that are clear as day.
It was sprinkling as we left home on Saturday, but by the time we got to Union Square, the sun was streaming down into the subway station. We stopped by a flower stand at the farmers market to pick out a bouquet for me. “Are you getting married today? I’m getting married too!” A guy who looked like he’d had a bit of a rough night stood between the snapdragons and sunflowers, grinning, arms full of grasses and dried hydrangeas. We greeted each other like old friends—Congrats, you too, can you believe it, I know—and he was on his way uptown. “Married! Today! So many blessings, and you will have many children,” an older lady buying a dozen sunflowers admonished us. After that, K’s stomach got nervous, so we bought a gluten-free blueberry scone, which was about as good as it sounds, and made our way to our favorite cafe for one last espresso before the ceremony.
As we walked in, a New Yorker ran up to us and asked to send us a picture he’d caught through the glass as we stood outside. “I want you to have this, so you remember it always.” Of all the pictures of that glorious day, it’s my favorite. For how it felt to walk the streets of New York and see cabbies hanging out their car windows, honking their congratulations; to smile back at staring babies and smiling passerbys and realizing, much later, that we hadn’t heard a single homophobic comment on our way from home to St. Marks. Most of all, for the pure joy on K’s face.
When we got home that night, before heading to a local bourbon bar with close friends, K heaved a pan of fifteen leftover lobsters onto the kitchen counter with a satisfied sigh. What are we going to do with those, I said incredulously. Shell them and save them for later, she said, of course. She didn’t want to take off her finery because she said she’d never put it back on, so she put a hooded sweatsuit on over her custom suit, and I stripped down to bike shorts and a threadbare t-shirt from the late 90s, and our first activity as a married pair was shelling lobsters side by side. Laughing now and again, talking quietly. Remember when we walked into the garden after the ceremony, gripping hands, and turned the corner to see our Brooklyn friends beaming and an Old Town canoe in the middle of New York City waiting for us?
The next afternoon on our way to the little upstate cottage, we stopped by a farm stand. We picked out tomatoes and garlic, and I grabbed basil from the overgrown plot outside, while K whipped up an impromptu basil-tomato-roasted garlic-lobster sauce over gluten-free pasta. We sat at the table that night, beaming at each other, marveling at our good fortune for the hundredth time. “I might dismount cry,” K admitted, still smiling, a little teary. I’d never tasted anything so good.
Photos from Elisabeth’s personal collection