Web Round Up: So Much Goodness

I almost never do ‘around the web round-ups,’ since it’s just not my thing, but this week I had to. There were so many things I came across that I kept thinking, “D*mn, I want to tell Team Practical about that.” (Is it weird that I think of you as a collective friend? Anyway.)
First, the wedding that I think I would have wanted, if a small wedding had been in the cards for us. The wedding took place at a park a few blocks from the couples home in Redhook, Brooklyn. It featured a mind-blowing floating flower altar made by Saipua, who was also the maid of honor. And then, they all went to a restaurant and celebrated. Sigh. Lovely, simple, just right. These people are clearly my people. See more about this wedding here and here (via Veiled Vows.)Then there is this amazing emotional wedding, shot by Anna Kuberberg, where they gave out beautiful copies of Justice Moreno’s dissenting opinion on Prop 8. This was a lesbian wedding, but you can bet your buttons we would have considered doing this for our wedding if we had thought about it.

And, my beloved New York Times Magazine keeps knocking it out of the park. Last week they did a piece about the origins of the honorific Ms. Turns out that Ms. started as a, achem, practical solution, not as a political one. It’s been interesting seeing my own ownership of this honorific after the wedding (though I clearly used it before as well). When David and I pulled up the hotel just 15 minutes after our wedding, the valet stepped out to open my door and said, “Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!” and in one voice, David and I said, “MS.” And so it’s gone ever since. When I’m on the phone with customer service and they realize I’m married and start referring to me as Mrs., I tend to correct them so emphatically they apologize. It’s interesting, seeing how strongly both David and I are willing to defend my right to choose my own title.And finally, if you haven’t read the cover story in this weekends New York Times Magazine about the Obama’s marriage, you must (warning, it’s epic, so if you don’t have the hard copy you might want to print it out). I’ve mentioned before how the Obama’s give me a model of a marriage I’d like to aspire to, in the midst of endless media models of marriages I’m sure I never want. And this story is excellent. I’ll leave you with this quote from Michelle:

“This was sort of the eye-opener to me, that marriage is hard,” the first lady said with a little laugh. “But going into it, no one ever tells you that. They just tell you, ‘Do you love him?’ ‘What’s the dress look like?’”

Photos: #1 Robert Sukrachand, #2 Anna Kuperberg, #3 The New York Times

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  • I love the idea to pass out the dissenting comment for prop 8.
    I just read the Obama piece last night and was so moved by it. They speak so honestly about their marriage, in a way most couples (especially political couples, and umm this is the MOST political couple) would never dream of speaking for fear of seeming to have an unstable marriage. Because they are so honest and so clearly support each other and work through their problems, I believe they have one of the first real marriages I've ever seen in the public eye. I have friends that don't speak that honestly about their relationships, for goodness sake! (Now that I think of it, I am not very close with those friends, but you get what I mean.)

  • thanks for the heads up on the obama article. it was a great monday morning read for me! :)

  • Thank you for posting this, I was already a little bit in love with the First Couple and this just cinched it.

    And you know what's terrible? I'd read about this article on another blog, but they focused on the president's Indonesian ring part of the article, so I had no idea how in-depth and interesting it was. And how terrible is that, that whole article and the RING is what you focus in on? THAT is truly wedding obsessed and spells out problems….

  • Meg

    But it can go either way. The last wedding I went to, they introduced them as "The new married couple Lady herlastname and Gent hislastname" and we all cheered. The point is A) being married and B) having the right to choose how you are addressed.

    Name change and honorifics has typically been a touchy subject here, and threads have been closed down because of it. I wanted to share the link, but was actually worried about doing it.

    So. Suffice to say, some of you changed your name and use Mrs.. and like it (great). And some of us are offended when addressed that way, since it directly contradicts our express wishes (also great). We're just as married.

    The point is that each choice should be respected, and no one should make us feel like "hey, we shouldn't care, we shouldn't correct people. It's a beautiful emotional thing" or "hey you're not a feminist if you go by Mrs. You're dragging us all down." Nope. We choose, and then that choice gets respected. And that is really what's important.

  • Yes! The CHOICE!

    Although I also like that idea in the article of just calling everybody the "bucolic" MIZ and having done with it. Still an honorific, by the way. In the South, you just call everybody Miz Whatever, married or not. A great equalizer, and in every case, a show of respect.

  • I've been following Moreno's decisions for a while, and kind of became a groupie during Prop 8/Day of Decision. The dissenting decision idea is beautiful.

    My partner is considering changing her last name to mine because she likes it. But she really doesn't want to be Mrs. She's joked about how she's going to get herself a doctorate just to avoid it.

  • agirl

    “I’ve had to come to the point of figuring out how to carve out what kind of life I want for myself beyond who Barack is and what he wants”

    Michelle Obama is an inspiration. THanks for sharing that.

  • The Moreno decision is, indeed, an incredible read, and handing it out is an awesome idea. Yay for creative ways of talking about equality.

  • April

    I'm probably missing the point of the "Ms. vs Mrs." comment, but I feel I must say that when our wedding officiant announced me and my husband as "The New Mr. and Mrs.!" and our guests leapt to their feet with thunderous applause and cheers, the last thing on my mind was correcting anyone. I loved it. Still do.

    Beautiful wedding featured in today's post (LOVE the flowers), and I'm looking forward to reading the Obama article. Thanks, Meg!

  • Love so much in this post. Totally agree on "Ms. ," particularly as it was championed as the counterpoint to "Mr." One doesn't have to ask, wonder, or care the relationship status of a gentleman.

    Love the Prop 8 handout. At our wedding, instead of a guest book, guests will sign a letter to the Congresspeople of the State of Missouri, where we are marrying.

    On the Obamas, though– I had a different feeling, and I am totally gaga in love with them. I was a little sad that he's been so absent– didn't the article mention that for at least a decade now, he hasn't been consistently home? And there is a reluctance on her part– at least initially– that she also will share this ambition that makes their marriage so difficult to navigate.

    Yes, marriage is hard, and I am so pleased that they are articulate about it– but part of me hates that she had to give up her career (even willingly!) and is doing so much alone (willingly, okay!). For me, this does not an ideal marriage make.

  • Meg

    Yes, totally hard. I was probably influenced a bit by the fact that I've read his book, which delves far deeper into the "Michelle almost left my ass" bit. But I think most marriages are that hard at some point, and I like hearing about it. I also like hearing about the compromise of ambition. David and I are both too ambitious for our own good…

  • Going to check out those links now. I do so admire the Obama marriage too.

  • Gosh, I've missed reading your blog. (My exile was self-imposed, but still …) Thank you SO much for all of the amazing things in this post.