Dan and I got married on Saturday. This news may be surprising, given my little peccadillo with Jack Fogg and the uproar when my stunned partner – now husband – found out. But it led to the talk we should have had years ago, a discussion too personal even for me to write about. Let’s just say that we came to an understanding, then made up, then out, and finally came in a very different sense of the word.
We’re beyond being best friends. My faults still register with Dan, but there’s a trace of a smile on his face when I tell the same jokes I always tell. And I’m proud of being married to the world’s greatest klutz. (Life with Dan: bang, crash, “shit!”) We’re genuinely intertwined in ways we weren’t four years ago, when I….
Well, the fact is that I have Parkinson’s disease. I haven’t mentioned it before because it hasn’t been part of any of the stories I’ve told. It’s no fun, but I live with it, and if you saw me you’d never guess I had it unless you happened to catch me doing the last three reps of a weightlifting set. That’s when I tremor.
Dan has been there for me throughout the whole bad trip, and I’ve been there for him, too. (The six months leading to his promotion to V.P. at CogniTech was practically as traumatic as my PD.) So when New York granted gay people marriage equality, we went for it. The scene: the beach house. The characters: our friends Gary and Heath, Dan and me. The state legislature was taking its time. I checked the news just after 11 p.m.
“It passed!” I yelled. We toasted with what was left of the dinner wine. Then:
Me: “We gettin’ married?”
We’re clearly not into the top-of-the-Empire State Building stuff.
So we got married. There were eight guests, including the judge who married us, who happened to be Dan’s father. We got the private dining room of a terrific restaurant in our neighborhood. The ceremony was one minute long. We said we loved each other, and Dan’s father said, “I now pronounce you married.” Then lunch.
We left immediately for the beach, arriving rather late. I brought a rack of lamb to grill, some vegetables and two cupcakes. But yechhh: the only champagne in the refrigerator was bad not very good. (We keep some in there all the time – like Mary Richards and her can of artichoke hearts – “just in case.”) “I hate that swill,” Dan said. “There’s no need to fear,” I replied. “Underdog is here!’”
We had Creme de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur. Undrinkably sweet on its own, it’s the perfect solution to bad mediocre champagne. I grilled the rack of lamb, roasted some fingerling potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts in butter. We drank two bottles of bad bad champagne transformed into Kir Royales. The rest of the night I’ll leave to your imagination.
The Kir Royale
1 bottle of bad champagne
Crème de Cassis
Add a few drops of Crème de Cassis to each glass, then fill with champagne. Use cheap champagne. Don’t ruin a good bottle of bubbly by adding anything at all.