You know that feeling you get when you are fairly certain you're on the cusp of something incredibly memorable?
Saturday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts was one of those times.
David and I sat outside at the Multicultural Arts Center to witness the marriage of his dear friend's daughter.
The setting was beautiful: lush greenery, a nice cool breeze, musicians playing in the background, everyone jockeying for the best seats in the house, and lots of very dressed up people smiling from ear-to-ear.
From the start, with over 150 guests milling around, I assumed it would play out like other weddings except there would be two women in the lead roles instead of a woman and a man. It reminded me of my take on vegetarian chili the first time I made it, substituting a vegetable or two for the meat portion of the recipe and calling it a day.
I began to see subtle variations from the "norm" as the ceremony began, with the absence of a trio of familiar customs: a bridal party dressed in a theme color, bridesmaids walking down the aisle followed by "Here Comes the Bride," and ONE bride, in all her glory, making a grand entrance.
Instead, the two brides addressed their guests from the chuppah - the bridal canopy - and thanked us all for coming, introduced both officiants and explained the importance of the Jewish and Catholic wedding practices we'd see. This was followed by a reading of the proclamation that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
After blessings by a handful of their most special guests, these two young ladies exchanged their vows. These promises started with stories that outlined similar values and beliefs, their love and respect for one another and the moment each knew she was in love.
As I sat there overwhelmed with joy for them, in large part as a result of the thrill they shared in being able to wed, I found myself thinking that everyone - most of all same sex naysayers - should realize the power of connection and how much better the world could be if more people were able to find the peace that these two have in loving one another.
When the celebration was over, I realized it played out very differently than I had expected. I didn't see the traditional "show" with a substitution here and there. I was instead privy to a uniquely powerful and enlightening glimpse of life and love for two people who in another time would've been gypped from the honor of formalizing the potentially lifelong bond of marriage.
I am happy to say that I too share in the enormous appreciation for the jubilation and triumph of this new era, when lesbians and gays are finally free to marry, like everyone else.