Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Midnight Wedding 2012 ~ Glenn and Bonnie

Photo by Hydropics.com

It's 11:30pm on Sunday, the night before Hurricane Sandy, 2012. I am at my friend Bianca's apartment in Manhattan's East Village, near where I live. Our friend Joel is with us, too. We are playing a dice game called RLC that I got in a goodie bag at Dan and Dennis's wedding two days before ~ out on Long Island. Long Island will be hit hard by Hurricane Sandy on Monday and Tuesday. 

My phone rings. 

It's Glenn. Am I available to perform a wedding for him on Monday before the hurricane starts, since I am so nearby on the Upper West Side where he lives? My business address is on the Upper West Side. 

Glenn says he and Bonnie got married in 2004, on October 29th. When Bonnie first met Glenn in a meeting, she knew immediately that she would marry him, and told a co-worker so. Yet, Glenn was with someone else at the time. Years later, Glenn's friend suggests to him to look Bonnie up. He does. She's right. They get married. 

So, if they are already married, why do they need to get married again, and in a Hurricane?

In order to marry couples in New York City, an officiant needs to be registered in New York City itself. You go down to the Marriage Bureau and sign your name with a pen into this gigantic old book. It practically has butterflies and magic and dust swirling out of it. Their officiant from 2004 was legal in New York, yet not in New York City. They found out years later. 

So, married yet unmarried Bonnie and Glenn are really ready to (re)tie the knot. They planned to go to the Marriage Bureau on Monday, October 29, 2012, for their anniversary. And to make their legal wedding date and their first wedding date the same. Hurricane Sandy is coming. The Marriage Bureau will be closed. Can I marry them on Monday?

The MTA trains and busses are already shut down. I am in the East Village. They are on the Upper West Side. The storm is only going to grow, yet hasn't started yet. The wind is gentle in the trees, so far. The air feels a little heavy and little soft

Glenn, ok, Glenn, I say, if you and Bonnie come here to Bianca's apartment right now, you can get married on October 29th. At 12:01am. She and Joel can witness your wedding! (Couples need at least one legal witness to wed.)

OK, says Glenn, I'll get her out of bed. 

It's 12:20 am. Bianca is winning at RLC, even though she doesn't want to because someone said if you win you won't find a husband. Her doorbell rings. Glenn and Bonnie clomp up the stairs, a little hesitant, a little purposeful. 

Glenn said on the phone they just want someone to sign their paperwork. No romantic ceremony. Mmm, hmmm. No one ever really means that. 

The Upper West Side to the East Village is a long wedding aisle! They took a cab. Bianca says take off your shoes. They weren't expecting that. They do it. She offers them seats. She offers them drinks. Bonnie says, well, I would have a tequila. Bianca has a tequila. The evening softens again before the drink lands on the table. 

Bonnie tells us now that she knew Glenn was her husband at first sight. They talk about their first wedding, how beautiful it was. Her tequila tastes good. We are all relaxing and laughing. Bonnie's eyes are sparkling from reminiscing. Mine are too because we are having a love adventure. Bianca is taking video on her phone, and I don't notice. Joel checks his phone. 

Glenn and Bianca's wedding ceremony is short, sweet and real. I ask them if they want to marry each other. I ask Bonnie what she wants to say to Glenn today on their wedding day ~ in 2004. We decide it is still 2004 in the timeless East Village kitchen of Bianca from Italy. I ask Bonnie first because I know intuitively that she has love to share. So does Glenn. 

Bonnie appreciates all they have been through together, supporting each other through health and ups and downs. How they razz each other. How they made and are keeping a promise with the God of their understanding. It's Glenn's turn and he is moved. He says I love you and the moment is held between them. Caught on iPhone. Remembered by heart. 

Oh, they forgot the flowers, Bonnie says to Glenn, in a soft yet wishing way. Bianca gives Bonnie a flower made of recycled materials. It's odd to her and perfect for this wedding, which is also proudly recycled from 2004 time, into a brand new kismet.

Bonnie and Glenn, you are now officially married by the power vested in me. I'm so glad that power is vested in me, and that I am willing and eager to show up for love whenever and wherever. They walk out into the married hurricane night, before the rain falls so much. 

The shortest time I have been asked to show up for a wedding has now shrunk from 5 hours to less than 1! 

Are you next?