When I got the invitation to the Nolls' anniversary party, it specifically said "no gifts." Hey, great, I thought. One less thing for me to pack. A lot of the other guests, however, figured that as a token of their affection they would bring a bottle of wine to the party. Really, a lot of the other guests figured that. It ended up being quite the party.
Around 9:00 the Nolls had a ceremony to renew their vows, complete with an officiator who I seriously think may have gotten his minister's license online – in real life he's the director of the Salem Repertory Theater. Many of the party guests didn't know the "minister" personally and couldn't remember his name (Ted), but just calling him "the guy" seemed too ambiguous. We sort of settled on calling him "the officiator," but after a certain amount of partying*, the word "officiator" becomes difficult to remember, let alone pronounce correctly. Eventually we started referring to him as "the fish guy," because "offish" is about as far as most people could get with a couple of margaritas under their belt.
The ceremony itself was quite nice. Not too long, and with just the right blend of humor and sentiment. They promised to love and care for each other for the next 50 years, and then kissed and took a bow, and the party went on.
More obscure lyrics which I've had running through my head as I was writing this:
Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine
And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down
Let's have a round for these freaks and these soldiers
A round for these friends of mine ...
Come on Carey get out your cane
I'll put on some silver
Oh you're a mean old Daddy
But I like you
- Joni Mitchell, "Carey"
*Yes, when I say "partying," I mean "drinking." And no, I personally was not drinking. Duh.