Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer

There Will Be No Chicken Dance

Filed By Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer | March 08, 2012 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, gay men, wedding reception

My work schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, so I have a mini-weekend in the middle of the week. Wednesdays are often booked up in advance with meetings to do gay-men-cake-topper.jpgwith the business of my latest theater project, my Lizzie Borden musical which is entering a new production phase, and doctor's appointments - until recently I haven't had health insurance for many years, so I've been making up for lost time with eye surgery, treatment of various skin problems, dentist visits, etc.

But some Wednesdays are all mine, and I relish the glimpses of a life that is productive, fulfilling, and whole. Last week I spent the whole day writing my last blog post. I'd had all these changing and unfolding thoughts about marriage which I hadn't had time to organize and write down and post until last Wednesday and it all came flowing out. When that happens - or on an even bigger scale, like when I spent 2 weeks at MacDowell Colony last fall writing pages and pages of the stories I'd been storing in my head for years - it's both gratifying (to finally have it down on paper and see that I am still capable of producing good work) and disheartening (to see so starkly how prolific I would be if I could devote every day to this work instead of a day job).

But then maybe if I was sitting here every day writing at a more measured pace, I would miss the pleasure that comes with finally letting it all out like a good piss after you've been holding it in the car for too long.

I have a chicken simmering on the stove which this afternoon will become, among other things, tortilla soup. I just spent an hour composing a draft of our New York Times wedding announcement. I am going to devote a couple hours to the theater piece I began at MacDowell, and either before or after that I plan to search for poetry that we might use in our wedding ceremony and do a little research on Istanbul because we'll be there for a day and a half before our honeymoon cruise departs.

We mailed our invitations Monday, so I guess many of them will have arrived by now. They contain information about our "wedding web site," which has travel and lodging information for guests and a link to our gift registry. It has taken me a while to get used to the idea of a gift registry. My family and friends have been so generous throughout my starving artist life, lending me a hand when I've needed it over the years. To ask them now to buy me stuff just because I'm getting married makes me uncomfortable. But the first question many of them have asked when I've announced our marriage is "Where are you registered?" so maybe I have to accept the fact that this is the protocol. This is the world I live in now.

Last week our cake topper arrived by FedEx. We bought it on ebay. We didn't like many that we found online. Some were just too silly (like one with one of the grooms climbing up the side of the cake) or mix and match grooms standing side by side but not relating to each other in any way. Lots of them looked like children, and a surprising number were made from Fisher Price "little people" painted to look like grooms. Dressing up dolls and children to look like adults creeps me out. We finally found one that looked like two fairly generic men, one with his arms around the other, in simple tuxes.

We were surprised when we opened the box to see just how gay they were. Like super-gay, Platonic ideal of gay-gay. The picture online didn't show their pursed-mouth, pink lipstick and rouge faces and fey expressions. They look like stoned lesbians. I bought some acrylic paints on my way home from work yesterday so I can tone down their makeup and paint their jackets dark green and their ties pale yellow, like the ones we'll be wearing. Don't hate - I love fey boys and lipstick lesbians. I just want the cake topper to look sort of like us.

I didn't want a cake topper at all, at first. I thought it was gauche or too kitschy or something, but I changed my mind. I also didn't want dancing at the reception. I was horrified by the possibility of the chicken dance at my wedding. But my friend T reminded me that, regardless of the fact that I don't like dancing, people want to dance at a wedding reception. They want to cut loose and drink a little too much and have fun. Of course. Why would you not want two grooms on top of your wedding cake and dancing at your reception? I swear sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking.

(The band we hired plays 1920s and 30s jazz. There will be no chicken dance.)


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