Thursday, August 05, 2004

For Those Who Didn't Get the Email

I emailed this out yesterday, mostly to friends who do not, for a variety of reasons, do not read Silentio. I had the intention at the time to quickly post it, but by that point the bottle of champagne was taking its toll on my already-stunted short-term memory.

Ding Dong... Ding Dong...

So the bells chimed throughout Maaseik, Belgium, announcing the wedding of B. J. and K. Z., before the legal eyes of the Belgian government. It was a quaint, quick service, spoken almost entirely in Flemish, and thus mostly indecipherable to the likes of me. My linguistic deficiency aside, the only panic was that my witness, Katrien's best friend, would not show up in time. I did not understand why this might be a big deal until I realized that at 11.00, a few moments after I was supposed to kiss the bride, Belgium's national day of mourning was set to begin. But like a blonde-headed angel, and they're all blonde of course, E. came running into the little room, startling the mayor, who was wearing the Belgian flag like a sarong, announcing her intent to affirm my participation and consent. There wasn't a dry eye in the house as I prounounced, with pride I might add, 'Ja' to all the questions asked of him by the mayor, trusting that his English translation of the service was grenade-range accurate and legally binding to make all of this worth it. Should none of you believe that I, the traditionally non-marrying type, did indeed get married, I recommend that you ask to see (a) the pretty snazzy crystal glasses given to us by the mayor, adorned with Maaseik's town seal (sans copyright), and (b) the utterly confusing 'marriage book', at which I've looked and of which tried to make heads or tails, but have thus far been unsuccessful.

I thank you all for your warmest well-wishes, hopes, and whatever other good omens you have effectively thrown our way. It has been very appreciated. Upon our return to the States sometime in the autumn, K. and I hope to have some kind of ceremony -- perhaps a ring-exchange, wherein you are entrusted to threaten me with a vicious thrashing should I break the heart of the Belgian. I hope to see many of you there, or at least sometime soon before or thereafter. For those of you not in the States, but marooned on the isle I will soon be vacating for bigger, though arguably less alluring shores, I hope to see and celebrate with you soon. Meanwhile, I'll see those of you on the Continent soon enough, if I haven't already.

Best to you all.