Readings for the Tough Guys

Mr. Dragon and I settled on each of us picking a reader and a reading for the wedding ceremony. I had a really hard time thinking of someone to choose, though—most of the people I wanted to honour in my life were already going to be standing up in the bridal party and I wanted to share the wealth, but a lot of “my” people at the wedding aren’t big on public speaking. Mr. Dragon has the majority of the guest list, so there weren’t that many of my peeps to choose from, and I wanted to make sure I did a good job of it!

It dawned on me one evening that our buddy Bob would be an excellent choice. He and his girlfriend are probably our closest non-family friends here in town, and he has been jonesing to be a part of the wedding in some way.

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Personal photo / Mr. D and Bob geocaching last fall

Bob and I teamed up and tried to get Mr. Dragon to agree to install him as an honourary ring bearer, but he just ignored us so that was a no. If he couldn’t be a “ring bear” as he called it, then maybe he’d be a reader!

Of course he said yes, so I had my reader in place…but there was still the matter of finding a reading. The only “traditional” reading I really like are those verses from Corinthians, and that’s because they’re really sweet without being schmaltzy or overly religious. Still, that didn’t really seem like a Bob kind of thing.

Bob is more of a rock ‘n’ rolling, motorcycle-riding, mountain-hiking kind of dude and I couldn’t really picture him comfortably reading flowery, sugary words. My sister already used two of the better nontraditional readings out there, “I Like You” and “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog,” so I had to do a bit of digging.

I actually found a response to “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog,” which I thought was awesome:

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Cat

Cute, adorable,
Love looks at you with innocent eyes,
And purrs when you pick it up & care for it.
But love can be lazy & eats your lasagna,
Like a certain orange figure with black stripes
And can hurt you if you don’t leave it alone once in a while.
Caring for it, earning its trust takes time and effort.
It’s not going to be like a walk in the park.
Love needs its nails trimmed; to be fed, cared for, and cleaned
(But don’t use a bunch of water or else love will retaliate and that isn’t a pretty sight.)
Love will always be at your side,
No matter what the cause may be,
Love will do everything in its power to serve you in any way possible.
At the end of the day,
Love jumps onto the couch, comforts you, and gives you a sense of peace and stability in a chaotic, uncertain world.
Aren’t you glad that love can do so much for you?

I also loved “The Promise” by Eileen Rafter, though I’m not really into rhyming things.

The sun danced on the snow with a sparkling smile;
As two lovers sat quietly, alone for a while.
Then he turned and said, with a casual air
(though he blushed from his chin to the tips of his hair),
“I think I might like to get married to you.”

“Well then,” she said, “there’s a thought.
But what if we can’t promise to be all that we ought?
Can you promise me, say, that you won’t rage and shout,
If I’m late yet again, when we plan to go out,
For I know I can’t promise I’ll learn to ignore
Dirty socks or damp towels strewn all over the floor.

So if we can’t vow to be all that we should
I’m not sure what to do though the idea’s quite good.”
But he gently smiled and tilted his head
Till his lips met her ear and softly he said
“I promise to weave my dreams into your own,
that wherever you breathe will be my heart’s home.

I promise that, whether with rags or with gold I am blessed,
Your smile is the jewel I will treasure the best.
Do you think then, my love, we should marry—do you?”
“Yes,” she said smiling, “I do.”

I also loved “The Book of Love” by the Magnetic Fields, and I thought Bob would be psyched to say “damn” during a wedding.

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions for dancing

But I, I love it when you read to me
And you, you can read me anything

The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb

But I, I love it when you sing to me
And you you can sing me anything

The book of love is long and boring
And written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
And things we’re all too young to know

But I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings

I, I love it when you give me things
And you, you ought to give me wedding rings

There was an excerpt from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh that spoke to me.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity—in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits—islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Then there was “Scientific Romance” by Tim Pratt, which is so far up Mr. Dragon’s alley it’s crazy (though the part about a three-way is probably not wedding appropriate):

If starship travel from our
Earth to some far
star and back again
at velocities approaching the speed
of light made you younger than me
due to the relativistic effects
of time dilation,
I’d show up on your doorstep hoping
you’d developed a thing for older men,
and I’d ask you to show me everything you
learned to pass the time
out there in the endless void
of night.

If we were the sole survivors
of a zombie apocalypse
and you were bitten and transformed
into a walking corpse
I wouldn’t even pick up my
assault shotgun,
I’d just let you take a bite
out of me, because I’d rather be
undead forever
with you
than alive alone
without you.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back
to the days of your youth
to see how you became the someone
I love so much today, and then
I’d return to the moment we first met
just so I could see my own face
when I saw your face
for the first time,
and okay,
I’d probably travel to the time
when we were a young couple
and try to get a three-way
going. I never understood
why more time travelers don’t do
that sort of thing.

If the alien invaders come
and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide
whether to invite us to the Galactic
Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead
a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful
argument for the continued preservation
of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me
in particular.

If we were captives together
in an alien zoo, I’d try to make
the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism,
waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes
about breeding in captivity.

If I became lost in
the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my
only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be
whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even
if it was a world ruled by giant spider-
priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even
a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because
you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway,
and plus
we could get rich
off inventing sandwi
ches.

If the Singularity comes
and we upload our minds into a vast
computer simulation of near-infinite
complexity and perfect resolution,
and become capable of experiencing any
fantasy, exploring worlds bound only
by our enhanced imaginations,
I’d still spend at least 1021 processing
cycles a month just sitting
on a virtual couch with you,
watching virtual TV,
eating virtual fajitas,
holding virtual hands,
and wishing
for the real thing.

All of the readings I liked were kind of all over the map, so I decided to let Bob decide—I sent him copies of everything and left the final choice up to him. He has, so far, crossed off “The Promise” because it’s too cutesy, and “Scientific Romance” because it’s too long (even though he really liked it and wanted to say the word three-way). He’s leaning toward “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Cat” or “The Book of Love.” I won’t know, probably, until I finish up our programs and HAVE to know, but I’m happy with any choice!

If someone uses “Scientific Romance” please let me know so I can live vicariously through you!

Did you have readings at your wedding? How did you choose the readers, and what did they read?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Dragon

Location:
Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    carnivaltheme 290 posts, Helper bee @ 5:16 pm

    I’m looking for some interesting things to read as well, as our ceremony is completely void of religion, and we only want it to be about 15 minutes TOPS!

    Personally I thought “the Book of Love” was great, as well as the “gift From the sea” excerpt – I’m a realist, and that one seemed so truthful. I know it doesn’t sound very “romantic”, but it’s what a relationship truly is built of, which is why I think it’s so great!!

    Hope you find something you both really love.

    carnivaltheme

  2. Member
    sigyn 291 posts, Helper bee @ 5:44 pm

    I loved “The Promise” I actually copied it and stuck it in my folder teehee :)
    I almost started crying just thinking of those words and looking into my SO eyes.. eckkkk

  3. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:57 pm

    If only I had seen the cat reading before we dropped our program off with our minister today! It’s brilliant.

  4. Member
    MsMagtoMrsK 52 posts, Worker bee @ 7:10 pm

    Loved The Promise!! But can see how it is not manly enough. Maybe you could edit Scientific Romance and pick the stanzas that mean the most to you. I think it is the best reading I have seen so far to fit our nerdy sciencey interests and will definately be showing my fiance later tonight!

  5. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:32 pm

    Oh I can not figure out what readings to use. Why do these things take so much thought…

  6. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 8:15 pm

    I love the cat one, so sweet :)

  7. Member
    AllShookUp 643 posts, Busy bee @ 10:12 pm

    I love love LOVE that Scientific Romance. It would be hard to do it in a chapel, but I sort of picture us taking turns saying it to each other during the reception… if only I can convince him to make another speech in front of people. Maybe after a few beers… ;)

  8. Member
    Ocean 350 posts, Helper bee @ 6:54 am

    We are having “Gift of the Sea” too!! Our other reading is “Union” by Robert Fulghum. We each chose one person to read that has been our personal “rock” during bad times prior to meeting each other. They saw us through the bad, they should surely be part of the good!

  9. Member
    LaughLines 346 posts, Helper bee @ 9:36 am

    Great list! Our officiant suggested Gift from the Sea and I think we may go with that (I think it resonated partially because of the name — we are getting married at the ocean!) I love the fact that you are letting your friend choose.

  10. Member
    WoodenShoes 389 posts, Helper bee @ 11:18 am

    i personally love the poem by ee cummings- I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart). I am really looking forward to picking out verses and readings for the ceremony, but i still have over a year to go!

  11. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 1:02 pm

    @carnivaltheme: I hope you find something you love, too! :)
    @Sigyn: It can be pretty emotional thinking about the ceremony itself, I find!
    @Future Army Wife: I really like it — and with three cats, it makes sense!
    @MsMagtoMrsK: That’s a great idea — I’ll tell Bob!
    @Miss Ke Aloha: It’s pretty challenging… I’m happy I handed off the decision to someone else. :D
    @AllShookUp: That would be awesome, if you could convince him!

  12. Member
    Miss Gamer 141 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:07 pm

    Oooohh, me, me, over here! I’m going to use “scientific romance” for my vows because we are eloping to Vegas and our families don’t have to hear it!! :) :) :) thank you so much for posting!! I might write my own version of the cat poem because sometimes our cats are anoying and languish, but then they make up for it by being adorable and playing with string.

  13. Member
    coyote 1548 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:43 am

    I love the “Book of Love”. That is such an awesome, but sweet reading! Can’t wait to see what he chooses!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Tim Pratt, Guest @ 11:04 pm

    I’m glad you like “Scientific Romance,” though I see your point about menages-a-trois not necessarily being wedding appropriate. I know at least a few couples have used it in their weddings, though, because they’ve written to tell me so. I’m happy to see the Valentine’s Day poem I wrote for my wife travel so far and wide! Good luck with the wedding.

  15. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 6:00 am

    @Tim Pratt: Thanks for dropping by!! Had he chosen it I would have just went with talking about a menage-a-trois at a wedding because with the guests we have, I think it would’ve made them laugh. :) I love the poem!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Beth, Guest @ 5:43 pm

    I know this thread has been quiet for a while but since I came across it, I thought I’d mention that my partner and I are using Tim’s poem “Scientific Romance” (with a slight moderation of Sandwiches to pizza) in our celebration this summer.

    We’re actually considering using it in place of vows because it’s so very spot on for us that I can’t imagine being able to write something that fit more perfectly. Our friends and family are used to our cringe-worthy sense of humor so my vote is that the three-some line stays!

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