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A few Spo-fans have asked for stories and details about the wedding. There were the usual things: we held hands and made promises. Pictures were taken. Afterwards well-wishers came up with outstretched hands and congratulations were given.
What I thought I would write about was something that happened that was unexpected and wonderful.
We got married by a California County justice of the peace. This required having an appointment and ‘standing in line’ as it were. Before our appointment was a young couple, eloquently dressed in nice white and black satin suits. They had a wedding party of four or five people, probably friends and family. Our coterie consisted of Someone and Urs Truly – dressed in smart jackets with flower corsages – and our acolytes who were mostly in Spo-shirts.
Just before our turn to say I do, while I was at the glass window registering my information, I felt a finger tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see a young man of about twenty. He introduced himself as Oscar; his bride was Adrianna. Oscar was dressed in a red T-shirt and khaki pants. In broken English he asked would I witness his wedding registration. They could not get married without a witness; they had no one to do so. A lot rushed through my mind in the five second pause before I said yes. Where were their friends and family? Why were they alone? What was their story? Adrianna explained they had a 3yo was ‘she was at home’. Apparently they were on break from their restaurant jobs to come to city hall to get hitched. Oscar tried to give me twenty dollars but Adrianna told him that would be insulting to me. What I didn’t say at the time was they had just made my wedding day into something marvelous beyond measure.
After Someone and I got hitched it was their turn. There they stood, alone, facing each other, both wearing nice but inexpensive clothing so unlike the first couple mentioned. I was glad our wedding separated the two couples, lest O and A felt bad by the finery of the first couple (or worse, made fun of). In the brief ceremony, Mr. Oscar struggled a bit with the English; Ms. Adriana struggled a bit to hold back tears. Where was Urs Truly? He was running around with her camera, taking as many photos as he could muster. I wondered: if I hadn’t said yes, would they had been with no one to take any photos?
Someone et. al. waited for me out in the hall. Afterwards, we came out and the two wedding parties combined for a permutation of photos and all shook hands and kissed the bride (although some of us I suspect wanted to kiss the groom rather). They assured me I would be always welcome at the restaurant where they worked; they would make sure I was treated well.
I never got their names. I probably won’t ever see them again.
That night Someone and I took our friends to eat at a very fancy Palm Springs restaurant. The wine flowed as they say. While we dined I saw young Hispanic types running around busing tables and pouring water and waiting on rich white folks. Throughout dinner I thought of Oscar and Adrianna, also now married and probably eating on break at the restaurant. I compared the couples in my mind. Someone and I are well off and we solidified twenty years together – about the same time as the ages of Adrianna and Oscar. They were just starting off; they have their lives ahead of them. I sense they will struggle with funds, free time, and a raising a child (born out of wedlock). I also thought of that awful man in the White House, who wants to vilify people like this hardworking couple.
I thank The Fates for arranging these crossed threads for the lessons they provided me.