The most dangerous food is wedding cake. —James Thurber
Tomorrow is June, the official wedding month. Yay. Whoopee. Yawn.
Anyone who knows me understands that I don’t like weddings all that much. I’ll attend them for really close friends, but I don’t like shooting them at all and generally find them to be a giant waste of cash. All a wedding does is reinforce a centuries-old concept of patriarchal society in which women were considered nothing more than property.
That whole walking down the aisle thing? Comes from an ancient tradition of sealing a contract. The seller would walk with whatever was being purchased between the two halves of slaughtered cattle as a symbol that should the seller not be honest and the goods not live up to their promise, the seller would become like the cattle: split in two. If a daughter was being sold, which often happened, she would be walked by her father between the pieces of dead animals. Talk about a bloody wedding! Why in the world would we want to perpetuate that imagery?
Weddings do have a legal advantage, of course, which makes them necessary in more cases than not. That may well change in the future, but for the moment such a reality is in place and even has Kat and I planning a wedding somewhere in the future. While government may demand we legalize our union in order to receive increasingly questionable benefits, we might as well make it a party.
There is no need to keep with the traditional concept of a wedding, though, which is why I have taken the drastic step of becoming a member of the clergy. I kid you not. Here is a copy of my official ordination certificate:
For those of my older friends who might be confused, yes, I was once-upon-a-time licensed (not ordained) by a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma, but I’m pretty sure they’ve long since rescinded that particular piece of paper.
The nice thing about being a Dudeist priest is that I can pretty much make shit up as I go. There’s no orthodoxy, no traditions, no commandments, nor any regulations to follow. The ordination is legal in all 50 states, so I can officially perform weddings anywhere and make them as original and non-conformists as is appropriate to the situation. If you want a wedding that defies convention, I’m your man. That’ll be $50 plus airfare and accommodations. Photos are extra; a lot extra.
I understand you may still be skeptical. I would be. So, to help calm your fears (or stoke them even more) here is a copy of the wedding ceremony that I’ve written. That means it’s copyrighted, jerks, so don’t try stealing it. We are gender neutral at the Church of the Latter-Day Dude, so we’re using the terms Spouse A and Spouse B rather than bridge and groom. We really don’t care who takes which role. Here’s the ceremony:
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here with friends, family, and a couple of people no one likes but the couple felt obligated to invite anyway, to unite these crazy love birds, Spouse A and Spouse B, in legal matrimony. If you were looking for Holy matrimony, you hired the wrong Dude.
Spouse A and Spouse B have decided to join their lives and a portion of their worldly possessions together not only for the tax and spousal benefits but because they believe in this crazy little thing called love and were looking for a good excuse to throw a party. It is their hope that this expression of love and sappy sentiment will ignite in each of you a passion for something other than crappy macramè and cheap bottles of wine.
While marriage itself is a long-standing representation of male domination, both Spouse A and Spouse B are vanilla and kindly ask that you save your rope and ball gags until after the cake has been served.
Spouse A and Spouse B, you stand here together as a symbol of your acquiescence to social morès and traditions established by people who could not have anticipated the degree of fabulousness you share. In entering this union, the coolness between you also joins, then splits violently like a hydrogen atom creating a romantic energy that will brighten your darkest days, the fallout from which will cause the disenfranchised to wretch slightly at the sight of your public displays of affection. With such incredible power between you, this marriage may well inspire others to write books, or love poems, or at least a documentary for Netflix.
Marriage is not an easy road and many have fallen into the potholes and never been seen nor heard from again because heaven forbid this stupid state spend a dime on infrastructure. You will face many challenges, from trying to remember the date of this auspicious event to trying to not commit murder when you find out Spouse A’s cousin voted for the downfall of the free world. You have to power between you to overcome these challenges. Remember to update your calendar daily and compare family notes before holidays.
The vows you exchange today are not legally binding and are not meant to enslave or unreasonably obligate the other. They are an expression of your commitment to each other at least through the end of the reception. So, will you please join hands and, Spouse A, please repeat after me.
I, Spouse A,
Do take you, Spouse B,
to be my lawfully wedded other
to hold and to snuggle but not too tight
to cherish on the good days
and tolerate on the bad;
when you’re healthy and
when you’re puking;
to listen when you’re correct
and not tease you more than three days when you’re wrong again;
from this day forward until one of us becomes intolerable
or is convicted of a Class A felony.
Spouse B, here’s your equal time. Please repeat after me, loud enough for you mother to hear because she never thought she’d live to see this day.
I, Spouse B,
do take you, Spouse A,
to be my lawfully wedded other
to embrace and to fondle
to celebrate your achievements
and quietly dismiss your failures
not matter how frequent and public they may be;
to remind you to take your meds
and to scream at the insurance rep
when the pharmacist says they’re not covered under our new plan;
from this day forward
until one of us is deported
or becomes mentally incapacitated
and becomes a ward of the state.
That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now, may I have the fiery brands of ownership, er, I mean, the rings, please? [Receives rings from Best Dude and holds them above his head because no one has ever actually seen rings before.]
These rings that I hold symbolize roundness because no one has ever had square fingers. Rings can be powerful. They can activate the Wonder Twins or grant wishes if inhabited by a genie. Both of these rings seem to be void of any supernatural presence, but they will give you a tan line so that strippers know to give you a fake cell number.
Spouse A, place the ring on Spouse B’s hand and repeat after me:
With this ring
I summon the power of the ancients
that they may bestow upon you
enough cash to pay for the honeymoon.
Spouse B, place the ring on Spouse A’s hand and repeat after me:
With this ring
I call upon the powers of the cosmos
that they may instill upon you
the knowledge to always know when to duck.
That’s it, you’re legally stuck with each other. By the power invested in me by the Church of the Latter-Day Dude and the state of abject horror, I now pronounce you married with all the rights, benefits, and depositions due you. What this Dude has joined together, let no jackass try to split.
Feel free to make out now.
See? Nice, easy, and a hell of a lot shorter than my first wedding. We are more than happy to provide this non-traditional wedding service to all our friends. All we ask is that you give us plenty of time to work out the details. Some states have some really strange laws that require a fair amount of hoop jumping.
You know, you’re not entitled to a copy of your partner’s death certificate if you’re not married. As stupid as that is, there are a number of reasons why you might want to have a non-traditional wedding. Sure, there’s that whole love thing, but even if you just barely tolerate each other you might want to consider giving it a go. Who knows what manner of horrors await us after this next election. You might as well flee the country together, married, just to be safe.
Book your 2017 wedding with us now. You’ll have a whole year to talk yourself out of it. Deposits non-refundable.