Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Jackie & Jill

Sadness at a gay wedding in Point Loma

The air remained a balmy 80 degrees when the sun began to dip behind the Point Loma peninsula. The azure sky was festooned with wispy white clouds that hung low over the deeper blue of the ocean. The soft, synthetic lawn was a perfect golf-course green. It was a lovely location for a wedding.

The setting was not only gorgeous, but also exclusive, as it was located on the Naval Submarine Base. My father, a retired lieutenant commander, had tried to score this same location for two of his four daughters (Jane was set on that castle in Ramona, and I eloped), but each time someone else had already snagged their selected dates. As guests began to arrive, I mused aloud to David at how far we’ve come as a country: from the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, to a gay wedding ceremony right here on secure military property.

At the rehearsal dinner the night before, Jackie’s aunt had told me, “This will be my first same-sex wedding.” I could tell by the way she said it that she was excited; not just for her niece’s happiness but also for her own edification. I deduced from the awards on the walls and books on the shelves that she had an Ivy League academic interest in the social sciences. “I’m just curious to see how it goes, you know, who says what, and how they handle the vows,” she added.

Because I have a number of LGBT friends, I easily forget that most people — regardless of how liberal they may be — don’t have direct and regular interaction with alternative lifestyles. I sometimes swim in the mainstream, but I am more often found splashing about in some subcultural streamlet.

I’ve attended same-sex ceremonies and have many friends who have gotten hitched since it became legal to do so in their states. Just this summer in New York, my Aunt Diane eloped with Susan, her partner of 28 years. For their announcement in the New York Times, Aunt Diane explained her position with heartfelt sincerity and a hint of sarcasm: “After careful deliberation, we decided to get ‘married,’” she wrote. “We want the protection it offers us and another statistic for the historical record. We are grateful to all those who fought the painful fight to make this possible. After 28 years of a loving partnership we hope we can weather ‘marriage.’”

Jackie and Jill (the spouses-to-be) had asked me to read a poem during the ceremony, an honor I was quick to accept. When my friends Nancy and Carole tied the knot, they both wore white dresses. Jill was dressed as a traditional bride, in a white gown and gossamer veil, but Jackie was wearing black pants, a white tuxedo shirt, and a custom-made, purple and black, corseted Victorian-style vest with a high collar.

When it was my turn, I read the poem the way I’d practiced it, with deliberate pauses and inflection, and then returned to my seat. I had a direct view of Jill’s face, and she was beaming. The sun was on her, but it seemed as though she were lit from within, radiating her own light outward.

It was while I was appreciating this visage of happiness that it occurred to me Jill’s family was seated on the wrong side, with a clear view of Jackie’s face, but not of Jill’s. I glanced over at Jill’s family, and saw her mother’s smile; her brother’s attention toggling between corralling his two toddlers and listening to the nuptials; her father seeming to appreciate something on the water, maybe the large container ship that was passing by. But when I glanced back over a few minutes later, I noted that the father’s gaze was still fixed on the now boat-free water. It was then that I registered his body language: arms crossed, head turned sharply to the left, while his daughter was reciting her vows to the right. He remained frozen in that exact position for the duration of the ceremony.

Later, as we made our way to the reception area, I pulled my friend Megan aside and asked, “What’s the deal with Jill’s dad?”

“It’s a huge step for him to even be here today,” she explained. My heart sank as my fear was confirmed — Jill’s dad was uncomfortable with his daughter’s homosexuality.

“That’s really sad,” I said. When Megan began to nod her head, I clarified, “I don’t mean sad for Jill. This is a great day for her — she’s surrounded by people who love her and support her, and she’s obviously glowing with happiness. I mean, it’s sad for her dad. I feel bad for him. He’s the one being deprived today. Most parents just want their kids to be happy, and that’s enough. But this guy, he’s robbing himself of this moment; here he has a chance to bask in the fact that his daughter is happy and healthy, but instead he’s over there pouting because the things that make her happy aren’t the same things that make him happy.”

The situation reminded me of that old saying, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else — you are the one who gets burned.”

“I wonder if he’ll live long enough and grow as a person enough to look back on this day and regret what a narrow-minded nincompoop he was being on his daughter’s special day,” I said.

Megan and I were still off to the side chatting when the DJ invited the newlyweds and each of their fathers onto the floor for a daddy-daughter dance. As I watched Jill lead her father to the dance floor and bring him in for a hug, I realized I had been too quick to judge. Despite his apparent disapproval of this wedding, Jill’s father had still shown up. As they swayed to the music, the aging man held his little girl tight, evidence of the love he felt, regardless of whether or not he agreed with her life choices. As the father and bride glided around the dance floor, I noticed that I was not the first, nor the last, to wipe joyful tears from my cheeks.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Matthew Stewart’s protest song earns heavy spins online

“Alternative Facts” uses the catchphrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway
Next Article

Matthew Stewart’s protest song earns heavy spins online

“Alternative Facts” uses the catchphrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway

The air remained a balmy 80 degrees when the sun began to dip behind the Point Loma peninsula. The azure sky was festooned with wispy white clouds that hung low over the deeper blue of the ocean. The soft, synthetic lawn was a perfect golf-course green. It was a lovely location for a wedding.

The setting was not only gorgeous, but also exclusive, as it was located on the Naval Submarine Base. My father, a retired lieutenant commander, had tried to score this same location for two of his four daughters (Jane was set on that castle in Ramona, and I eloped), but each time someone else had already snagged their selected dates. As guests began to arrive, I mused aloud to David at how far we’ve come as a country: from the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, to a gay wedding ceremony right here on secure military property.

At the rehearsal dinner the night before, Jackie’s aunt had told me, “This will be my first same-sex wedding.” I could tell by the way she said it that she was excited; not just for her niece’s happiness but also for her own edification. I deduced from the awards on the walls and books on the shelves that she had an Ivy League academic interest in the social sciences. “I’m just curious to see how it goes, you know, who says what, and how they handle the vows,” she added.

Because I have a number of LGBT friends, I easily forget that most people — regardless of how liberal they may be — don’t have direct and regular interaction with alternative lifestyles. I sometimes swim in the mainstream, but I am more often found splashing about in some subcultural streamlet.

I’ve attended same-sex ceremonies and have many friends who have gotten hitched since it became legal to do so in their states. Just this summer in New York, my Aunt Diane eloped with Susan, her partner of 28 years. For their announcement in the New York Times, Aunt Diane explained her position with heartfelt sincerity and a hint of sarcasm: “After careful deliberation, we decided to get ‘married,’” she wrote. “We want the protection it offers us and another statistic for the historical record. We are grateful to all those who fought the painful fight to make this possible. After 28 years of a loving partnership we hope we can weather ‘marriage.’”

Jackie and Jill (the spouses-to-be) had asked me to read a poem during the ceremony, an honor I was quick to accept. When my friends Nancy and Carole tied the knot, they both wore white dresses. Jill was dressed as a traditional bride, in a white gown and gossamer veil, but Jackie was wearing black pants, a white tuxedo shirt, and a custom-made, purple and black, corseted Victorian-style vest with a high collar.

When it was my turn, I read the poem the way I’d practiced it, with deliberate pauses and inflection, and then returned to my seat. I had a direct view of Jill’s face, and she was beaming. The sun was on her, but it seemed as though she were lit from within, radiating her own light outward.

It was while I was appreciating this visage of happiness that it occurred to me Jill’s family was seated on the wrong side, with a clear view of Jackie’s face, but not of Jill’s. I glanced over at Jill’s family, and saw her mother’s smile; her brother’s attention toggling between corralling his two toddlers and listening to the nuptials; her father seeming to appreciate something on the water, maybe the large container ship that was passing by. But when I glanced back over a few minutes later, I noted that the father’s gaze was still fixed on the now boat-free water. It was then that I registered his body language: arms crossed, head turned sharply to the left, while his daughter was reciting her vows to the right. He remained frozen in that exact position for the duration of the ceremony.

Later, as we made our way to the reception area, I pulled my friend Megan aside and asked, “What’s the deal with Jill’s dad?”

“It’s a huge step for him to even be here today,” she explained. My heart sank as my fear was confirmed — Jill’s dad was uncomfortable with his daughter’s homosexuality.

“That’s really sad,” I said. When Megan began to nod her head, I clarified, “I don’t mean sad for Jill. This is a great day for her — she’s surrounded by people who love her and support her, and she’s obviously glowing with happiness. I mean, it’s sad for her dad. I feel bad for him. He’s the one being deprived today. Most parents just want their kids to be happy, and that’s enough. But this guy, he’s robbing himself of this moment; here he has a chance to bask in the fact that his daughter is happy and healthy, but instead he’s over there pouting because the things that make her happy aren’t the same things that make him happy.”

The situation reminded me of that old saying, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else — you are the one who gets burned.”

“I wonder if he’ll live long enough and grow as a person enough to look back on this day and regret what a narrow-minded nincompoop he was being on his daughter’s special day,” I said.

Megan and I were still off to the side chatting when the DJ invited the newlyweds and each of their fathers onto the floor for a daddy-daughter dance. As I watched Jill lead her father to the dance floor and bring him in for a hug, I realized I had been too quick to judge. Despite his apparent disapproval of this wedding, Jill’s father had still shown up. As they swayed to the music, the aging man held his little girl tight, evidence of the love he felt, regardless of whether or not he agreed with her life choices. As the father and bride glided around the dance floor, I noticed that I was not the first, nor the last, to wipe joyful tears from my cheeks.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Matthew Stewart’s protest song earns heavy spins online

“Alternative Facts” uses the catchphrase coined by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway
Next Article

How they pry Marines out of downtown Oceanside

Darrius Pope cut hair 10 am to 8 pm in Pendleton barracks
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close