Monday, October 30, 2006

What I Learned at the Wedding

  1. The Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony is pretty to watch. I especially like the crowns, and the bit where they all go round and round and round the little table like this:

    Circle

  2. My tarantella remains as sprightly as ever.

  3. A gentleman who can jitterbug is always in demand. (My Aunt Fran can really swing it, by the way.)

    Swing

  4. My Great Aunt Vera hasn't aged since 1950. The older I get, the more unfair this seems. I'm not even going to show you her picture because it's simply infuriating.

  5. I will never grow tired of watching my parents on the dance floor.

    Parents

  6. Despite the big influx of new Greek relations, I'm still the only homo in the group. Or at least the only one who goes to weddings. Or at least the only one who isn't "discreet" (read "married and closeted").

  7. My relatives are loud and raucous. They smoke too much. They drink too much. They eat too much. They bicker and nag and yell and scream and hold grudges. They tell extremely bad jokes. They watch NASCAR–on purpose. And they love me. And I love them. In this lifetime, I've had the incredible good fortune to be born into a group of people who haven't always understood me, but they've never stopped loving me. So many people are born, live, and die without this.

    I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize and appreciate it.

    All her life my beloved Aunt Eva used to say that no matter what, "you do for la famiglia." But she never specified what you "do." Now I think I understand: you do whatever you can, because that's simply how it is with people you love. Even when they frequently drive you batshit.

    Almonds
    Sugared almonds, symbolic of the bittersweet nature of life–a traditional Sicilian wedding favor.
Joey and Paulette, I wish you a life together in which the sweet overwhelms the bitter. Thank you for inviting me to be there at the beginning.

Salute cent'anni! À la famiglia!

Sisters
My mother (left) and her sisters Jay (mother of the groom, center) and Fran.

59 comments:

KellyD said...

Franklin.
I'd jitterbug with you anytime.
And your aunt is right. Its all about family. when the world sucks and it all seems dark and yucky, family is there. Weird, wacky petty and picky yes. But always there.
Ok I've waxed Hallmark again.
Glad you had a great time! BTW what did Delores wear?

MonicaPDX said...

Everything in the post - wonderful!!! And nazdravie! Thanks for sharing.

JoVE said...

Whoever it is that loves you like that is worth holding on to. And I don't know why it is so hard to see that kind of love either. But once you've figured it out, life gets a lot better.

Sister Sue said...

I don't know how you do it, but you always seem to do it right. Thanks for the great and sweet recap of the wedding I had to miss.
Love ya,
Sister Sue

Sean said...

Looks like a lot of fun! I've always envied people with big, boisterous families. A "huge" family gatherin in our clan has about 12 people.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. I love the one of you on the dance floor!

Paul said...

The pic of you and Aunt Fran is adorable. Excellent post - very well said!

LaurieM said...

Most excellent! You are quite fortunate and I'm very happy for you. My relations with my family of origin are strained right now and it's like a knife in my heart. I like to see the happy familys and I like it even better when they are appreciated!

Lisa said...

Sniff. I always loved to watch my parents dancing at weddings too. Mom is gone over five years now, but some of my best memories are of her and Dad doing the polka at big obnoxious Polish family weddings. Thanks for the smile.

Sarah said...

I would jitterbug with you too! Alas, my husband has not dance genes....he tries but I do miss a man who knows how to dance and lead.

Sounds like a great wedding and a wonderful family in which to belong!

Ruth said...

The photo of your parents is so lovely - they look like a couple who has adored each other for a lifetime.

Ted said...

I'd jitterbug with you, too. (But you'd have to teach me first.)

So why do they go 'round and 'round that little table?

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Absolutely lovely. You have a very handsome family.

And I envy you quite a bit.

pd said...

What a sweet post.

Snarled Yarns said...

Salude! to you and the familia.
Got to hear your spot on Cast on.. Was totaly cool! That inspired a new blessing for you..May your sheep never run out of smokes. (or is that a curse?)

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing!

sweet photo of your mom and dad.

shake your groove thing, bay-bee!

anne marie in philly

rho said...

Your family is wonderful - believe me you ARE lucky - I married into the family from hell - which was balanced out by my small family for awhile but they are all gone now. How can people enjoy being so hateful - I will never understand.

But I take offense at the one comment -- I watch NASCAR on purpose too :D

Looks like you had a fantastic time -- oh BTW did Delores sneak in?

Kate R said...

Franklin-
I come from a sicilian, greek and armenian family.(yes, we eat, yes, we talk-loudly! yes I can dance to a band that has a mandolin frontman.) I have been reading your blog for a while now. This post makes me like you even more. Shared experiences, knitted, familial or otherwise makes one feel like you have friends all over the country. That small-town-i-could-knock-on any-door-and-use-the-phone-in-an-emergency feeling.

Kate

Sean said...

How cute are you, dancing, Franklin! Thanks for the smile!

CateK said...

I consider myself fortunate to have been invited to my stepson's wedding a couple of years ago. His lovely bride's family are Russian Orthodox and the wedding ceremony was simply charming, traditional and magical.

Bobbi said...

Thanks for sharing the wedding and your family with us. I have a similar family situation but my spouse's family does not understand the "for family" concept. Their loss. Great to see other families filled with "sweet and salty" (and a few nuts to boot!).

canknitian said...

Wonderful pictures (as always), but it's the words that really get me. I love that your aunt can still "really swing it, by the way."

Sounds like you're all very lucky to have each other.

Kathy said...

Wonderful. Brought a smile -- thank you.

anneonymousone said...

Dolores wore a tasteful off-white wool suit, of course! Someone mistook her for the bride until she pinched the backside of a young John Abraham/Arjun Rampal look-alike. (Yahoo! image searches rock!)

The section you wrote about family is lovely; I would read it to my students tomorrow if I thought for a minute that I could get through it without crying.

Carina said...

Which church was it in? I didn't recognize the priest, and we used to be in that metropolis. Anyhow . . .

What a great-sounding family. What a blessing they are, even when they drive you crazy. So many of us haven't had much "done" for us that we don't "do" for the rest. Sad, really.

Wendy said...

It's funny how some of things we aren't quite sure about fit in with the way things are.

I envy your big family!

Norskybear said...

All I want to know is:

What was Monte's family doing at your family's wedding?

Maxly said...

I am very glad I have found your blog. I appreciate your honesty and humor.

Thanks for a great post about family on a not so good Monday. It made me smile.

PuppyMomma said...

Do Greeks wear yarmulkes too?

Buzz said...

Ok all weepy sentiment aside...what did the bridesmaid's dressed look like?

Anonymous said...

May they love happily ever after!

Linda said...

Oh Franklin, you are blessed with a lovely crowd of people in your family.

LauraJ said...

You do know that the crowns symbolize martyrdom, right? Kind of a grimly accurate view of marriage, not unlike the sugared almonds.

mlj1954 said...

What incredible fun. My family is so much like that. Over the years we have managed to embarrass and appall many of my siblings in-laws and now the nieces and nephews are getting married and we can do it to even more new relatives!!! Actually, it isn't really embarrassing or appalling . . . it is more that we are loud, laugh (a lot), thoroughly enjoy each others' company and don't really care who knows it!

The pictures are grand. You are so blessed to still have your parents.

Thanks so much for sharing.

TrickyTricot said...

You look quite dashing in the photo - what's with all those folks standing around!

I'd kill for that much room on a dance floor!

Laura said...

what a lovely tribute to your family...and the best post i believe i've ever read about a wedding. it was a nice reminder to me to be grateful for my own wonderful family. thanks!

and i loved "the romney." brava!

roggey said...

Even when they frequently drive you batshit.

Absolutely.

It's exactly the reason why I hauled my happy chubby ass up a very tall ladder to paint the ceiling in my grandmother's kitchen four days before Thanksgiving, and during the week I was finishing up mid-terms (several years ago).

Gran may drive me batshit, but she's my Gran.

junior_goddess said...

Oh, yay! The fact that you can jitterbug makes you better.

I enjoyed the post, Franklin. I can "hear" the fondness. Yes, do for family.

Lynae said...

I married into the Armenian community....pretty much the same wedding ceremony!

I agree about the family thing....just wish everyone in my family felt the same way!

Cindy G said...

Reading this made me happy, Thank you.

Lee Ann said...

I plan on asking you to jitterbug right after I get a hug, should we be fortunate enough to meet in person.

Of course I can jitterbug, sugar. I can foxtrot, too. Just don't tell the sheep, okay?

Anonymous said...

Just lovely.

Leeny said...

Very lovely pictures, thanks for sharing with us! I love the one of you dancing with your aunt. Absolutely, family should be there for each other. I have a college-aged nephew who came out a couple of years ago and there are some in the family who still have a hard time with it. You are so blessed with your wonderful family!

TheBunny said...

What gorgeous women you have in your family!

And I don't think it is uncommon for the family not to understand each other. I know my family doesn't understand me and I certainly don't understand a lot of what they do. That is why we HAVE to love each other unconditionally. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Your family just sounds wonderful. And you're absolutely right, a gentleman who can jitterbug is truly always in demand. There's too few of them these days!

David said...

That picture of you cutting the rug is too cute for words.

Sahara said...

Your post made my lunch hour! Your mom and her sisters look like they are still having fun! Do they travel together?

Maybe it's taken you so long to realize this because, when you're young, even though they are accepting you for who YOU are, you're too busy not accepting THEM for who THEY are.

As you get to be an old coot like me, you start Really accepting yourself; then it's easier to understand your family, and see the love.

LindaD said...

What a beautiful post. Family is so important, and you're right, family should be what we do. Anyhow, I've got to go call my mom.

hookinmama said...

The wedding looks gorgeous, and it looks like you all had such a great time. Congrats to the new couple!

mehitabel said...

Wonderful post! It's so great to belong to a family that will love and cherish you no matter what. (I didn't have that in my birth family, but it's been created in my own.) Cheers!!

Kathy said...

Franklin, you look so handsome on the dance floor! If you weren't an "indiscreet" homo, I'd be licking your ear (nicely, of course). This is such a lovely post and the photo of the bride and groom circling the table is fabulous. What a beautiful church.

My good friend Dave always gets really pissed off when his two homo cousins sit out family functions, too. Apparently a show of force is needed....

Emily said...

Just look at your cute parents! I love this post. You are such a good egg, Franklin.

KnitNana said...

Bravo! (you should frame that photo of your parents...it's terrific!)
(((hugs)))

Teyla said...

Oh it sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.

vanessa said...

your mother has a lovely smile.

Elena said...

Ha, ha ... I loved the picture and the stories about the greek wedding!!

Jessica said...

brilliant.

Anonymous said...

OH.
MY.
GOD.
I'm Aunt Fran.

And my family still loves me anyway.

Anonymous said...

The photo of your parents is so lovely - they look like a couple who has adored each other for a lifetime.

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