“Congratulations, you have guts.”

bride walked down the rose bouquet-lined aisle and scarcely anyone noticed, the
priest stressed many times that the Church approved of sexual pleasure, and the
groom kept his arm around the bride’s waist from the gospel reading onwards.
Teye and Hegel’s wedding was simple, inadvertently funny (“She’s already there?
But the music just started…”) and as assured of itself as the intense blue

Alan, Cynj and I arrived early –
around 8 am- and they proceeded to wrap the rose bouquets (14 of them!) which
I’d put together with magic tape and loosely-woven sinamay earlier in the
morning. I made the bride’s bouquet (of white stargazers and roses) using the
fold-out door on the back of the truck as a table. After flower girl duties, it
was time to be make-up artist. Teye had no jitters whatsoever.

(Non makeup mavens can skip this
paragraph.) I mixed Lancome Transparence with Lancome immanance du teint, used
Shiseido opalescent white on her browbones and cheeks, and spackled everything
with Shu Uemura’s translucent matte loose powder. Teye kept peering into a small
mirror. I told her, “It’s not for real life, okay? It’s for the pictures.” MAC’s
cream color base in Fuchsia Perfect went on the cheeks, topped with Shu Uemura
glow-on blush; I went for natural definition around the eyes with the matte
light pink shade from MAC’s Chromezone 2 palette, added depth with Sue Devitt
silky eyeshadow in Madrid (a shimmery, deeper pink) and lined near the lashline
with MAC Powerpoint liner in Bountiful Brown. The lips went glossy with NARS
Frisky Summer. Teye did her own eyebrows and mascara.

Then came the underwear issue. “You
can’t wear that thong! The priest might see it!” Out came the underwear bag.
What about this? No, it’s too dark. Or this? It’s purple! You could try this
white one… okay, take it off, it’s not working. After 30 minutes, the
appropriate underwear was found. And then, “Hey, I can see your bra!” Everyone
sighed and proceeded to fuss over the kids

Teye was halfway down the aisle
by the time everyone in the church noticed. She and Hegel stood at the altar,
Hegel in a long-sleeved white cotton shirt, khakis and leather flip-flops, and
the ceremony began.

During his sermon,
the priest talked of the three levels of love, and said Teye had to be a devil
in bed and an angel in the kitchen, and asked Hegel that question about the boat
capsizing and you can only save your mother or your wife, and Hegel said my
wife, and the priest said, “That’s the correct Christian answer” and read the
Bible passage in support of that, and I glanced at Hegel’s mom and saw her
shoulders stiffen. I think it never strikes you, until someone shows you the
black-and-white of it, how marriage revises your entire life’s loyalties. The
priest congratulated them on their courage, and said it took a lot of guts for
couples to promise “till death do us part” in front of so many witnesses.

When the mass ended, I signed the
wedding document together with two other witnesses. I’ve never been an official
anything at a wedding before. It was a strange adult feeling, but not a bad

Mary had brought dried rose petals
and lavender-scented petals from Bangkok, and distributed them to friends and
family. We threw them into the air when the couple walked out the church, smiled
into a million digital cameras and mobile phones, and hugged the new Mr. and Mrs.
Ganias. It was, as we had all wanted it to be, a beautiful day.