13 Married! 11/11/11 at 11:11:11

Otis and I were unofficially married on the playa at Burning Man four months after we met. Four years later, I felt it was time to make it official. I proposed to him on January 1st, 2010.

Otis didn’t react the way I thought he would, you know, jumping up and down in gratitude that a goddess like me would ask him to marry her. In fact, he didn’t really look that thrilled at all. He considered the idea and after a long pause said, “If we’re still together on November 11, 2011, then we’ll get married at 11:11am!”

That’s a year and a half away! I was sure we would be broken up by then. I have always made every important decision in my life on a whim. Nothing serious ever happened if I was given time to think about it twice. I was sure the wedding would not happen at all.

The ensuing year was spent discussing the pros and cons of getting married. Otis had many ideas about how things should be done. I discovered that the entire wedding had to be done his way or else. First, he wants each of us to pay half the cost but the man has $500 to his name! I am rich and have a lot more, like a lot more! I want a nice seven-layered cream cake, loads of roses, catering, a rental hall and all that jazz.

He is Jewish. I’m Chinese. Should we have a Jewish chuppah or a Chinese dragon tent? We argue about this. I then hire my good friend, a Toltec master teacher, to officiate. Otis does not like his style. They get into a big fight and he fires the guy after the first rehearsal. We fight about this, but in the end, I agree to his crazy idea of having us officiate our own wedding. We continue to fight about everything…

And then November 11th, 2011 rolls around.

There is no catering. I cook coconut curry with mango chutney. Everyone loves it. I make the wedding cake: a raw, vegan, coconut cream pie. I am not vegan and neither are my daughters but Otis is. At the last minute, the wedding host picks some flowers from the garden to make me and the bridesmaids’ brocades.

My youngest daughter, Sasha, comes home to be with me. Sasha and Otis do not get along but for my benefit Sasha puts on a cherry face. I can read the pained expression on her face and I don’t blame her. I sometimes question my own judgement too.

My eldest daughter Weixin is a Naval officer and undergoes a 36-hour journey traveling via Thailand, Hong Kong and Honolulu to surprise me out of the blue!

All my best girl friends are there and I designed a “Walk of the Goddesses” on top of our outdoor dining table. The idea was that all the men would look up at us, kissing our feet as we prance by. At 11:11:11 we start the march on the table. Weixin holds my hand while Sasha plays an Irish wedding tune on her fiddle. One by one, my girlfriends climb onto the table and do their walk. The men all cheer. Here comes the bride! I hop onto the table and begin my walk and at this moment, my dog hops up and walks alongside me.

Otis looks into my eyes and I look into his. We exchange vows: “Mahco?” “Polo!” “Mahco?” “Polo!”

No one knows what the hell we mean – only we know. It’s a deep commitment we are making.

His ways are not my ways. But I must say, I am very impressed by the young man I picked to be my husband. He sure has many ideas and is not in any way afraid to implement them.

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