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May 23, 2005

Finding a Mate
Interfaith Marriage

It now seems perfectly predictable and appropriate that a Ukrainian Jew who had rejected the religious part of his culture should marry a practicing Seventh Day Adventist whose heritage is Welsh/Saxon/Irish. After all, they share a common Sabbath. Anyway, it happened. The loving couple decided to elope to Las Vegas in order to tie the marital knot. They were set to be married in the famous Little Church of the West, which unbeknownst to them had been rudely uprooted and set down in the middle of the parking lot of the old Flamingo Hotel, (which itself has since been demolished to make way for a more elegant structure). Fortunately, their marriage has outlasted the scene of the dirty deed.

The elaborate ceremony began with arrangements made well in advance of the blessed event. He called the church proprietor the night before and made reservations for a 15 minute time slot. Upon arriving early, the couple proceeded to the cashier's window, where the groom presented the marriage license that had been obtained in a hasty walk-through at the office of the Clerk of Clark County on the previous evening. He paid the necessary wedding fees, and they received some disturbing news. It seems the Chapel had been over-booked, (an occurrence which one might be led to believe was not infrequent), and they could either wait, or have the ceremony performed outdoors. Although it was a hot Las Vegas afternoon, the principals elected expediency over elegance, and chose the great outdoors. A lectern was quickly set out on the steaming asphalt under a stunted Yew tree that protruded from the pavement and provided very little shade.

The ceremonies were presided over by the right Reverend Johnny B. Love (honestly, that is what it says on the certificate that he signed). He appeared in a resplendent pink leisure suit, white buck shoes with pink laces, and topped off the outfit with flaming crimson shades that spelled out JBL in rhinestones on the rims. He solemnly pronounced the magic words, and then began to mumble some apparently random verses from the Good Book, which he nervously flipped to and read from. While the groom had all he could do to control the laughter that was welling up within him, the bride fixed him with a gaze that said: "I know the Bible better than you do, so please stop abusing it." Like any right minded preacher he knew when he was whipped, closed the book with a snap, shut up, and mercifully released them.

The ceremonies were witnessed by her sister Claire, and brother-in-law Hal, and immediately following the ceremony the two couples adjourned to the reception, which was held in the nearest air-conditioned, sit-down Restaurant and Grill in the Flamingo Hotel. There they were met by other members of the bride's family for a semi formal wedding supper (no Jell-O with the salad). Following the meal and a few cocktails, the bride and groom departed for their honeymoon, which was somewhat abbreviated due to the fact that they both had to be at work the next day.

Given these humble and inauspicious beginnings, it should be no surprise to all that this marriage has endured and is rapidly approaching the quarter-century mark. Love conquers all.

Bride & Groom in limousine

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