A HITCH is something that prevents perfection. Your perfect day is a sign of your perfect life to come; therefore, it must go off without one. But what if this is not your perfect day, but someone else’s? What if that you is someone marginal, one slightly south of the top of a cake? The Wedding Planner, for example. Forgive my bias here, as author and omniscient narrator, but if this day belongs to anyone, it belongs to the one who has drafted the plot.
Because the wedding is an ideal fictional setting. We live in a world that is stark in its lack of ritual, and for many people, the event is a desperate, ritualistic grasp. Despite the constantly changing—and many would argue, declining—significance of the event, it remains one of the most memorable happenings of our lives. Your lives.
And this ritualistic singularity results in a number of dreamlike qualities: heavy symbolism; tension between the mystical and the carnal; often comical attempts at idyll; Bacchanalic reveling that can tip that idyll over the brink into the realm of the sinister; the bizarre commingling of people from often vastly different strata of the happy couple’s lives.
The ceremony also sheds light on issues of sexuality and class. Its relationship to queerness remains uneasy; even with the rapid and widespread legalization of same-sex marriage, its normalization feels forced. The irony here is that—outdated stereotype or not—wedding vendors and their support staff are iconically gay, and their aesthetics key to your wedding’s orchestration and effect. An intricate network of foppish servants spins the gossamer web on which your perfect day rests. So be nice: millennia of matrimonial exclusion could still creep up and bite you in the ass.
But enough about exclusion. There are no crashers here. You’ve been invited. Invited to glide, yes, in the way all true weddings are envisioned to glide, to gracefully reach the end of the evening without a hitch. But also to dip. To dip in and out of the various other—colluding, conflicting, contrasting, careening—points of view.
And in what ways, you ask, does this invitation distinguish itself from the rest? First, there is no date to save, no temporal confinement. There are infinite ways to attend this wedding, to begin to engage with your role as guest. Pick a book and start reading.
THE HITCH entails many different weddings, which are also the same wedding: the ceremony at heart is formed around conformity, despite the surface-level attempts an individual wedding may make at distinguishing itself from the rest. Like art. Just kidding: like art, the goal of a wedding, ostensibly, is a reflection of its participants’ obsession. Dare we say love? And mean it. Something so small, it can be lost in the rush for the dazzle, resulting in uncharted and contorted emotional states. Are you ready then, reader, for what follows? Are you ready to shed those eternally flummoxing tears of joy?