Monday, August 16, 2010

And they danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon...

When C and I got married, eleven years ago this past Saturday, it must have been The Summer of Marriage, because it seems like we attended a lot of matrimonial festivities that year (twenty-five must be the age at which one's biological clock begins to tick on overdrive). Many of those ceremonies turned out to be solemn affairs, with a surprising amount of heavy-handed godliness for a bunch of hippies from COA.

I wanted to bring a sense of joy to our ceremony, a light-heartedness and a bit of irreverence. We didn't want our friends to be bored, and we certainly didn't want to depress anyone. So, along with a number of pagan-ish readings from this book, C and I read Edward Lear's nonsense poem "The Owl and the Pussycat." C's friends appreciated the reference to the "land where the bong tree grows," while mine (those bad girls) snickered over the owl's waxing poetic over his "lovely pussy." Everyone got a huge kick out of the two being married by the "turkey who lives on the hill," at the expense of our officiant, our dear, dear departed friend Al.

"The Owl and the Pussycat" was one of my older sister's and my favorite stories when we were young, and we heard it many, many times (oddly, I can't remember what book it was in, or what the illustrations were like). It's one of the few poems I know by heart (along with about half of "Kubla Khan," and "Candy is dandy/But liquor is quicker." My sister, just to show how psychic we sometimes are, got us the book (illustrated by Jan Brett) for a wedding present and planned to read it at the reception for her toast. She was not pleased to be upstaged by the bride and groom.

This is just a really, really long way of explaining why I was so thrilled when Heather Ross came out with Owl and Pussycat fabric this summer...I knew right away exactly what I needed to do with it...a commemorative pillow for our anniversary (in disguise as my gift to C). I found a picture M drew of those very characters when he was about five years old and visiting friends of ours. I embroidered the picture and framed it with happy, sleeping moons and owls and pussycats in their beautiful pea green boat, sort of following the quilting technique form Patchwork Style, only I didn't read the directions very well and missed some steps. It's all a bit crooked and wonky...I'd like to blame my old sewing machine, but it was probably more due to me a) being lazy and b) starting the damn thing at 10:30 Thursday night (it did give me the chance to step outside sometime after midnight and view one shooting star--the Perseids were peaking that night).

(The back)

We dropped the kids off at friends' on the coast Friday night (the very friends at whose house M drew that picture), and went out to our favorite restaurant, El Camino (here's me savouring my Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme with ancho chile powder...mmmm),

then spent the night at a bed & breakfast--yes our first night away from kids since we went to Philadelphia almost two years ago. We did not dance by the light of the moon (it was a new moon), but we did sit in the park in Brunswick and, you know, have an actual conversation. With complete sentences and stuff. We even played a few hands of Rummy (like the old days when we didn't have kids or a TV). I have to say it ended far, far too soon Saturday afternoon (why is it one's children always seem so much louder and, I don't know, like there are more of them, after one has been away from them for a bit?). Next time, we're taking a week!


  1. Happy Anniversary! What a lovely idea!

  2. ooo, you look so cute! and what a lovely gift - adorable! our first college friends to get married (right after school, 22 years old i think?) had their mothers read that poem during their ceremony! all the groomsmen were smirking, and one in particular almost lost it. hee hee!


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