Saturday, July 18, 2009

Milwaukee and Toronto

I haven't written about being in Milwaukee yet, because I couldn't find a way to say anything worth reading (assume for the moment that my ramblings are potentially worth reading) that didn't get into matters that should remain private. "What happens at [the wedding] stays at [the wedding]," as it were. There is much that I would like to say about it, about the people I met and the things I learned, but these stories are not mine to tell.

I can say that it was the happiest wedding I've ever been to, completely free of tension and status games. There are two reasons for that, I think. First, that no family members were present (other than N's daughter): the group consisted solely of friends, and while nobody but the happy couple knew everyone, it is also true that everybody knew at least a half-dozen of the others. Secondly, and relatedly, that we were composed of two overlapping self-selecting groups: we had a buttload of common experiences and interests to unite us.

The ceremony was conducted in the couple's back yard; a friend from Second Life officiated, and we all took turns to say a few words of congratulation and blessing, after which we celebrated with margaritas, sparklers, live music and waterpistol fights. Woot.

On the last evening, we had a spontaneous meet-up in Second Life, which was vastly amusing: picture us sitting at our laptops around the dining table or in the living room, chatting both in SL and across the screens in RL. It was vastly amusing; but you probably had to be there to appreciate the humour of the situation.

It was a wonderful weekend, full of joy and companionship and great conversation and fine food, and of near-constant and near-random hugs and headscritches. What I miss most is the hugging, actually, the easy and comfortable bodily contact between friends. There's not enough hugging in the world, peoples. Get to work on this, please.

I have been in Toronto for four days now, talking with my parents and hanging about downtown. I'll write about my father's condition another time. Tomorrow I fly south to visit another SL friend.

"Infinite Jest" is proceeding well. I'm reading the chapter about AA meetings, and am finding it so rich and so thoughtprovoking that I am artificially slowing myself down, making myself take time to think about it as I read. There were several Twelve-Steppers (as they call themselves) at the meeting, reading this makes me see them with different eyes.

Shabbat shalom, my dears. I hope you are happy and healthy, and encourage you to hug a friend — or even a stranger.

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Blogger Bruce Oksol said...

I eagerly wait your postings and am never disappointed.

The wedding you describe is the best kind.

My wife and I were married privately by a justice of the peace (30 years ago) and then we had three separate receptions over the next six months -- one with our friends; one with my family in my hometown; one with her family in her hometown.

It eliminated so much aggravation getting everybody together in one spot, and the receptions turned into family reunions.

July 18, 2009 at 7:52:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

Sounds a bit like our reception, the only genetic family there was D's younger brother, the rest were all friends who overlapped circles. All lovely people who mingled warmly.

I've been to parties where there are laptops aplenty, and it is funny, as you describe.

More hugs!

July 18, 2009 at 5:33:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Dale said...


Hey, I do my part to up the hugging average :-)

July 20, 2009 at 4:06:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Lioness said...

Ooh, can't wait to hear about the wedding! So you all ended up on SL? Shocker. Sweet, actually. Wish I could have logged i. Bloody hell, wish I *could" log in, full stop.

And don't blame us, Portugal is very huggy!

July 23, 2009 at 11:57:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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