7 August 2010
On a midsummer eve, at a magnificent location on Long Island, magic was afoot.
Although most celebrants would arrive at the designated hour that Saturday afternoon, many had begun the journey days and even weeks in advance. From Italy and Romania, the Dominican Republic and Dubai, from South and North America, the east and west coast and even the US heartland, homo sapiens and favored spirits (human and feline) advanced with hearts and minds firmly focused on the impending formal consecration of Holy Crap.
As all such spiritual occasions demand (even of those who are short), planning and preparation had commenced more than a year earlier: it was all about the party. The queens of Queens’ Castle cater exclusively to those with the highest standards, privileging the rare few blessed with creative capacities for combining The Ceremonial with The Corny.
Details having been meticulously tended since the beginning, the big day dawned with a long list of easily-managed minor tasks. The expectant mood was as calm as the balmy weather, deep and peaceful – despite the faux frenzy of bride and groom seeking reprieve from the upcoming ordeal. Would she trip down the stairs? Would he stumble over the confetti? Could they speak their vows loud enough for us to hear them?!
“I must warn you. I have fed.”
If the ceremony was all about the party; the party was all about the food. And the food. And the food. (The open bar didn’t hurt.) Mainly, it was about the food: the homemade wine and family-recipe red sauce, the award-winning chef’s six or eleven dishes, the family’s seven thousand home baked cookies, the surprise Muffin cake. Oh yea, there was some dancing, too (just a bit). One hundred and thirty-four personages drank, danced, devoured – and then devoured and drank more and danced to the max. That was homemade lemoncello! In handcrafted glasses made of frozen ice!
“It’s not a party until someone is wearing a basket on his head!”
Now, we don’t have to turn this into a competition. (I’m just saying.) Just because those of us at the Dragonfly table left the biggest mess and stayed longest doesn’t necessarily mean we had the most fun. (Emphasis on “necessarily.”) If we ranked by time logged on the dance floor, the (self-identified) “Black Section” probably pulled neck-and-neck with our domestic/international mix. A nod is definitely due Consuela Bananahammock and her mate from the Bumble Bee table for cutting the first turn on the dance floor – which (if you must know) was never near empty again.
Agnostics, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, a Sikh, gays and lesbians, citizens, immigrants, and welcome guests from other countries; conversations flowing in English, Italian, Romanian, and Spanish…. …. the diverse and unabashedly happy crowd is itself testimony to the lives these two have touched and will no doubt continue to inspire.
Time to get busy!