Monday, August 14, 2006

The Nuptials of Truck

5 pm wedding in Cambridge. I'm in Providence. Better leave myself an hour to get there and another hour just because.

On to I-95
Got to Cambridge in the predicted time, now where the hell is Harvard Square? You'd think such a prominent feature would be more obviously locatable. Perhaps if Massachusettes bothered to label the streets, my Google Maps directions wouldn't have turned into usless text so quickly.

It's okay, I still have plenty of time, and now I get to see a little of the town too.

Alright, it's now 4:45 and I still don't feel any closer to finding it. I try to call the Charles Hotel where the wedding is, and can't navigate my way to a human. More turns and backtracking. This will teach me to not bring my GPS nor a local map.

It's 5:00. I'm officially late. I detest being late. Then suddenly my course re-aligns with the printed directions, and in another 5 minutes, I'm there. Cruise into the hotel garage, leave the car, and try to find the ballroom, or wherever this thing is.

Following the signs at the lobby level, I head out to cross the courtyard to the main part of the hotel, and look over there, a bunch of dressed up people sitting in the courtyard for a function. In not too many seconds, I realize that this is my destination. I quickly feign an air of nonchalance, and as stealthily as possible navigate around the back of the crowd and over to the front left side where I see Jerry and Mary, watching me the whole time.
There aren't any open seats over by the only people I know, so I go back to the right side, and sit up in the second row. This would turn out to be fortuitous.

Truck arrived at the chupah (canopy) at the front of the aisle. Also there were the Rabbi, and two men who would hold the posts of the chupah to stabilize it, both literally and figuratively. Deb was escorted by her parents to the back of the aisle, where Truck walked back to meet her, and they danced a little jig.
They proceded back up the aisle, where the Rabbi started the service by having us close our eyes and appreciate the gloriousness of this day. I closed my eyes, yet could still feel the gentle heat of the afternoon sun, and the cool dry breeze that embraced me like an old friend, and the faint smell of. . . . steak? Oh yeah! I definitely smelled steak! What could be more perfect!

The Rabbi continued. They did the part with the kiddush cup, the kettubah (marriage contract), the rings, and the seven blessings (Sheva Brachot).

Truck's parents read the first blessing.

Deb's parents read the second.

Deb's friend Abagail (?) read the third, blessing, and even choked up a bit. It was very moving, and would prove to be a tough act to follow. Hey, is that John Cleese?

But Jerry was up to it with the fourth blessing. Pulling out all the skills learned in his five minutes as a theatre major, and the countless thousands of hours he's spent as a performer, he brought it home. Matt and Deb:

Love has already blessed your union. It blessed you when a new kind of matchmaker cast a new kind of net, virtually ensuring that love was soon to blossom. It blessed you when you first met on the streets of a city where love weaves and bobs like a nimble boxer. It blessed you from coast to coast, from dwelling to dwelling, and from job to job.

Individually, you were both blessed with so much intellect, charm, humor, and passion, that love had no choice but to hang on to both of you for dear life and enjoy the ride.

As for today and beyond…….

May the beat of your hearts pound like a line of drummers in perfect unison.

May your future parenthood be planned.

May your offspring enjoy the subtle nuances of pop culture.

May your family grow from a charcoal sketch to a full canvas color painting.

And finally, may your love affair be as adventurous as Dumas, as sensual as D.H. Lawrence, as deep as Rushdie and as fun-loving as Robbins.

Bless you both…..

Other people did the other blessings. There was a Connors sister and some others that escape me, but hey, it's not like I was taking notes.

The Rabbi wrapped his prayer shawl around the couple, and had them stand as close as they could be without being behind each other. They did the smashing of the glass.

That pretty much wrapped up the ceremony, and we were dismissed to ther hors d'oeuvres period. I met back up with Mary and Jerry, and got to meet a number of Truck and Deb's other friends from New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and elsewhere. Some of the food was decidedly un-kosher, which I thought ironic, though I partook of it all the same. The light was good, so I took the opportunity for more photos.(Mary is pregnant with baby #2, due in December, by the way)

(It's very difficult to get a picture of Jery without motion blur)

A waiter came around with a set of chimes, which evidently is the universal gesture for "It's time to go inside for dinner.)

Now we were in the ballroom. We checked in with the staff at the door to find our table, #8. This was all friends of the new couple, and turned out to be a great match. My place card read "Rev. Dave Roth", since I am in fact an ordained minister. Strangely enough, so was John, the guy three people to my right, and of the same church that ordained me (Universal Life Church) but he'd actually perfomed a marriage! Bonus.

Truck, in addition to having drawn the "save the date" cards, the invitations, and the wedding program, also drew the menu, in his inimitable Seydel style.

Once again, more food photos, because, why not? As you can see from the menu above, we started with the Wild Mushroom Streudel Boursin Cream. Very tasty. This was followed by the salad. In this case, Jerry's salad, photographing his food instead of mine for a little variety. (The pears an goat cheese really made this dish.)

Not knowing that the little poultry icon on the response card that came with the wedding invitation meant Duck and not Chicken, I opted for the fish. When I found out that duck was being served, I wished, out-loud, that I had requested that, not that there was anything wrong with the fish. Then in a weird twist of irony, I was mistakenly served the duck, despite the fact that the color of my place card indicated I was to be a fish eater! Bonus! I quickly licked the duck so that they couldn't take it back.This dish had all the comfortable goodness of a finely roasted Thanksgiving turkey. Plus that layer of duck fat beneath the skin was like butter!

(to be continued)


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