As a writer, my primary goal for our wedding ceremony was to find texts that reflected us as a couple, that embodied our sense of humor, and that avoided religion at all costs.
I search endlessly online -- not for texts but for ideas. How do you make it your own? How do you find something that hasn't been done before?? Every piece of writing I encountered in my every day was a possibility: the backside of parking tickets; nutritional information; the messages on urinal cakes.
Then, one morning, 2Es and I raided the children's section at Borders, read through ALL of his books, and came across a poem that matched our intentions. It's called ATIONS.
I've loved Shel since I was a kid. Back then, I thought he was weird. Today, I'm convinced that that man was nothing short of a genius.
Unfortunately, his poem didn't end on the right note. I could just envision our guests' faces, puzzled; I could predict their confusion. So (being a writer), I decided to write an addendum to the poem. Feeling ballsy, I put my own spin on Silverstein.
A few of our relatives and friends who attended the wedding have asked that I publish the text. So for them -- and for those people who feel like they're stuck and can't find a single ****ing poem or song with wedding-friendly prose or lyrics -- here's the proof that all that searching pays off in the end.
by Shel Silverstein (and Brian Leahy)
performed by my brother & sister
If we meet and I say, "Hi,"
That's a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
If we stop and talk awhile,
And if we understand each other,
If we argue, scream and fight,
That's an altercation.
If we later apologize,
If we help each other home,
And all these "ations" added up
Now Brian and Jo -- their paths crossed
During their higher education.
Two kids bonding in acting class
Over lack of pigmentation.
And call it what you will --
Be it coincidence,
Or ... electromagnetic radiation --
They bonded instantly.
They were meant for each other.
And after six years of flirtation,
And one cross-country relocation...
...we've made it here, to the celebration
of this perfectly logical pair formation.
And if there's one thing they don't have today,
If there's one thing they do have,
It's each other --
Photo © Noah Devereaux