Meet James and Carolina. James and I have known each other since we had a man-date on Friday, April 29th, 2005, to see Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Since then, we began hanging out on a constant, regular basis and a solid friendship was born. He and I put in thousands of hours creating the themes and props for all of the Halloween parties we threw at my old house, and he has been an integral part of my life when I was married, through my divorce, and now, when I’m in round two of my twenties.
Carolina entered the picture a few years after James and I met, and it was obvious to anyone who saw them that they were a match made in Ned’s “The Pie Hole”. She’s a proud card-carrying nerd and a great youthful balance to James’s ornery old man ways. And best of all, she never resented me for inserting myself into their lives over and over again. And over. And Oh My God over and over again. In my opinion, she was a saint and they should just make it official already.
This year, they finally decided to tie the knot. In typical James and Carolina fashion, it was going to be a small informal event, with less than twenty people in attendance. There would be no attendees, no groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no ring-bearers, no flower girls. Just family, friends, the bride, the groom, and the person to preside over the ceremony and make it official:
To say that I was honored would be an understatement. James, while my best friend, isn’t exactly a supporter of most of my normal shenanigans and tends to get frustrated with the fact that I make every antic, action, and activity public for the world. The fact that he would trust me to preside over his wedding, which included writing the entire ceremony script, spoke volumes to me.
A few days later, my credentials arrived. I started to understand how Jesus must have felt. I have the power to marry people and baptize children and preside over funerals! I am the most powerful person in the world! I AM GOD MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can . . . do the same things that anybody else can if they go to a website and fill out some information. Hmmph.
Writing the script for the ceremony was a challenge. James told me to make it fun, keep it light, and write something that would appeal to the geek in both of them. I was tempted to include references that would mean something to James and I only, but I had to keep reminding myself “Adam, you’re not marrying James. That’s not allowed in Florida yet. You’re giving him away to Carolina now. Let him go.”
On the big day, I was nervous. What if their parents hated what I had written? What if there was a tornado? What if James was lying about the whole thing and it was just one of those stories that he makes up all the time? What if Bruce Willis was dead the whole time? What if Verbal IS Keyser Söze?
I shouldn’t have worried. It went beautifully. The ceremony script was received well, with the parents being puzzled at many of the references that got a chuckle from the bride and groom and friends. There were tears, and not just on my part. Though, for the future, it’s good to know that if you have to take a second to collect yourself so you don’t cry, everyone may assume that you’re pausing for comedic effect.
[JAMES AND CAROLINE STAND FACING EACH OTHER]
On one side, we have James, the Clown Prince, the prankster, the man of a thousand quirks. His obsessive compulsions and anal retentive tendencies may outnumber the people he knows, but it’s the friends he keeps close who see him for the loyal, gentle-hearted man that he is.
On the other, we have Caroline, the New Yorker Dora, the numerical wizard, the woman with the mischievous smirk. Letting her geek flag fly proudly, this diminutive astronaut will never let her OCD shift her focus from the people and puppies who mean the most to her.
These two have found each other, against all odds, and it is my pleasure today to preside over that day I never thought would come – their wedding.
Now, what is a wedding? Well, Webster’s dictionary defines a wedding as the process of removing weeds from one’s garden. And while that is a bit odd, it’s entirely appropriate. We are here to pluck the weeds of singlehood and plant the oranges of matrimony.
Marriage is not easy. It takes work, compromise, and, most importantly, two people. It requires that James love Caroline even though she continues to ignore her allergies and intolerances to tomatoes and dairy and eat pizza with extra cheese. It means that Caroline loves James even when he tries to convince her that he had a brother named Hugo who lived in the attic because he can’t help himself from making up stories about the strangest things.
If I have learned anything from my marriage and from all of the movies and television shows I’ve watched, it’s that there are three important rules to a successful marriage. First, you have to have love. When two people truly love each other, for example, they can demonstrate that love by building robot replicas of the other to show how much they love their original meat suit versions. Second, you must have trust and honesty. You have to trust that when life hands you a chance to be with someone special, you grab that brownish area by its points and you don’t let go. Finally, the third rule of marriage is that you never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
[JAMES AND CAROLINE TURN AND FACE ME]
James, will you take Caroline to be your lawful wedded wife? Will you get things off of high shelves for her, tolerate her feet digging under you, and love and cherish her until the robot apocalypse?
[James: I do.]
Caroline, will you take James to be your lawful wedded husband? Will you give him perspective on how normal people do things, keep him young at heart, and teach him how to use Facebook properly before he’s 90?
[Caroline: I do.]
[JAMES AND CAROLINE TURN AND FACE EACH OTHER]
And now James and Caroline will recite their vows that they’ve personally written.
[James and Caroline give their vows.]
This ring is a symbol of your commitment to each other, to Gordo and Walter, and to your life together as a husband and wife. The ring is symbolic because as a circle, it has no beginning and no end, as there will be no end to the mutual love and trust that you share. And, also, we don’t have square fingers, so it wouldn’t make any sense to have a ring be any other shape.
James, please place the ring on Caroline’s finger.
Caroline, please place the ring on James’s finger.
[TURN AND FACE ME]
From this day forward, until the Observers come from the future and enslave us all, James’s and Caroline’s lives shall be shared and spent as one. And by the power vested in me by the state of Florida, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may now enjoy squishy smooches.
James and Carolina had chosen to write their own vows, and they were both truly amazing, filled with references to Futurama, Serenity, Dr. Seuss, Back to the Future, and Fringe, among others. Each of their vows mirrored the others in serendipitous wonder, and can be summed up best in a quote from Carolina’s vows:
“May our love story live up to the likes of Wash & Zoe, Olivia & Peter, Super Hoody Simon and Alisha … and even though they are merely characters from TV shows, I’ll leave it on this note, as said by Saffron from Firefly, ‘I cried for I’d not dreamed to have a man so sweet, so kind and beautiful. Had I date to choose, I’d choose you from all the men on all the planets the night sky could show me.’”
To me, the most interesting part of this entire weekend was that the feelings and strength of James and Carolina’s connections to each other was in no way made lesser or frivolous from the informal setting with a big bald goofball like me marrying them. In fact, I feel like their feelings were more truly pronounced without the pomp and circumstance and without the weight of tradition and years of etiquette and structure. It felt pure and true and honest, and I wish more people who genuinely wanted to be married would get married in this way. And also, I want them to ask me to marry them, because I AM GOD! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!