Lovely Mexicans Up the Block; Married by a Gay Pastor Ken Doll; 29 Big Ones Today

Lovely Mexicans Up the Block; Married by a Gay Pastor Ken Doll; 29 Big Ones Today August 16, 2010

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Twenty-nine years ago today.

My wife Cat and I got married twenty-nine years ago today.

We got married on a Sunday. But today is Monday.

Can you imagine getting married on a Monday? What a total way to tell the world that you expect your marriage to be something you just drag your butt out of bed every morning to do. Something for which you must at least show up. Something that you know is just the first of what seems like an infinite number of days of sheer work?

Wait. Clearly Monday is the day to get married. But people usually get married on a Sunday, right? But what’s the core message there? “What the heck, we’re already in church”? “Hey, as long as we’re wearing our nice clothes”?

Wait—people usually get married on Saturday, don’t they? Not Sunday. Saturday!

The sex day!

So that makes sense.

I know mucho Mexicans get married on Saturday. A block from our house is a gorgeous little park, and every Saturday at least one Mexican wedding party shows up there in a rented limo or two, so the bride and groom and all their Best Peeps can pose for pictures in their wedding finery. It’s just the greatest thing to see. Cat and I always hold hands, and wax sentimental as we watch the shy and beaming bride, the embarrassed, proud groom. Both of whom always look like they’re about twelve.

Carried away by the moment, Cat and I always end up approaching the wedding party. “So where’s the reception?” we ask. “Can we go?” And then I always have occasion to recall my days working in warehouses with nothing but Mexican co-workers, and all the Spanish swear words I learned.

Cat and I got married in a public park. We looked into getting married in a church. But every pastor with whom we met seemed a lot more interested in turning us into Christians than they did in helping us bind our lives together. We were deeply pleased when we finally met the man whom we both immediately felt was the ideal person to officiate at our wedding: a kind and thoughtful Christian pastor named Ken. Ken, who was gay, was also a successful part-time model. So much, in fact, did Ken look like a Ken doll, that on the day of our wedding three of the women with whom I worked (in a book warehouse) completely hit on him. And so it was that, on the day I was betrothed, I had the once-in-a-lifetime legitimate opportunity to three times say the words, “Would you please stop hitting on our pastor?”

On August 16, 1981, as the sun was breaking through the early morning mist, Cat and I got married in the Shakespeare Garden in Golden Gate park. Everything for our wedding was donated to us by friends: Cat’s gown, the garland she wore in her hair, her bouquet, the photographer, the food at the reception, the venue of the reception. Cat and I were not exactly wealthy. On the day we were married we had nothing, except everything we needed.


Related post o’ mine: “Then What Is Love To You, Anyway?” ; also, Top 10 Tips For Becoming a Better Husband.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • jennifer

    Dude- I think Charles Manson is in the background of your pic? I see him alot in that era of pics. Perhaps he liked weddings- weird

  • Yes, we had Charles Manson at our wedding. He wanted to play his guitar and sing for us. Worst singer EVER.

  • Matthew Tweedell


    (And I loved the closing sentence.)

  • It was our anniversary, too, this weekend, except in 1998. You're right, marriages should be done on Mondays, to remind us that it does require work. I've seen too many couples assume that marriage and love are just "automatic." Marriage requires diligence and commitment–but it's worth it!

  • Tammy

    Cat hasn't changed a bit. She's as lovely as the day you were married!

  • Richard Lubbers

    Awesome, John! Happy anniversary!

    Wow, I'll be 84 when Tammy and I make 29 years! I'll have to heed your admonition to keep living.

  • Kim

    You are so cute! You could have been a stand-in for Donny Osmond.

    Seriously though, 29 years is amazing. I didn't make it past 17 the first time around, but clearly we didn't have the "nothing, but everything we needed" ingredient. Heartfelt congratulations to you both. To know and live with someone for that long is proof of true love, and most importantly, a strong friendship. Happy happy anniversary to you guys!

  • Gina Powers

    I LOVE this story, bro! Thank you so much! And you truly DID have everything you needed…..Happy 29th to you and the lovely Cat! Blessings…..G

  • gooseberrybush

    Happy Anniversary! That's quite an accomplishment.

  • Mark Lattimore

    Happy anniversary! I love to see enduring marriages! They encourage those of us who haven’t been married quite as long as you–I mean, not that you’re old–only that…um…nevermind. All kidding aside, I send truly heartfelt congratulations to you and Cat!

  • Susan Golian

    “Nothing but everything we needed” – how lovely is that. And that, my friend, is why you are still married today and will continue to be married ’til death do you part. May God bless and keep you – oh, wait, He already does!

  • DR


  • Brings tears to my eyes. But then, I love chick flicks too. Congratulations. Bev and I have been married for over 45 years now and "nothing" and "everything we need" is still all we have.

  • Ben

    Hey, I actually did get married on a Monday…

    It was a public holiday, though, for an occasion nobody ever does anything to celebrate (the Queen's Birthday on a date 6 months removed from her actual birthday! Us Aussies are a little strange that way…). So rather than a 'church day', or a 'sex day', or a 'work day', it was a day where you either chill out or hang out with friends around a barbeque.

    What does that say about our marriage? That it is what it actually is – sweeeet!

  • JB

    Happy Anniversary, John and Cat!!

  • ManimalX

    Congratulations and Happy A-day. May your future time together be even better than that already spent. 🙂

  • textjunkie

    Congrats, happy anniversary, and best wishes for many more!!