A Chicago Italian wedding

July 3, 2007


Last summer we went to four weddings. This year it appears we get one, maybe two. Yesterday we got back from JP and Kandace’s wedding in Chicago. JP has a large Italian family, all beautiful people and especially ravishing women. JP is Daniel’s friend since they were 6 years old, and Kandace, his bride, is a gorgeous, vivacious Chicagoan gal with wild loose curly blond hair.

We stayed with a Greek couple, Bill and Maria (heavy with child and 3 more months to go) and their 2-year old daughter, Gia. Bill went with Daniel and me to a nearby Apple store to buy the new iPhone. It was the 2nd day it was on sale and we were surprised to just walk in an get one with no line. (BTW: we love our iPhone, but for those non-Mac dweebs who are curious, you may want to wait till the next generation which by then will be even more amazing.)

Grandma was there, remarried for the past 10 years to a retired California Supreme Court Justice. A terrific couple: she like an elegant movie star, wise, still sexy at 75, told me many interesting stories about a side of music in LA that I never knew about; he a brilliant, poised, wise, judge/attorney, 80, who offered me this advice about leadership: “hire people who are better than you are, and let them do what they do and praise them for what they do. Don’t take credit for things accomplished under your watch.”

Sister Stella, of St Paul’s, who was the principal of Daniel and JP’s grade school was there on JP’s invitation. I got to spend some good time chatting with her. (She’s ready to get an iPhone.)

During the reception, I was placed at a table with three of JP’s former and current bosses. They all work for the transportation department and Homeland security. Could have fooled me: they seemed like Italian mafiosi alpha-males. I’ve never felt so gay in my life, well, so un-heterosexual. I tried to butch it up and have a conversation with them, but they kept checking their Blackberrys and looking at the door. On my right was another guy in the same category, but he was a mortgage broker. On his right was a guy with long black reddish hair who I soon found out was a hairdresser and psychic. Whew! Now there was someone i could relate to! I begged to switch places with the dude on my right and I got to spend the rest of the reception dinner chatting with Frank. He held each hands separately saying that there was a lot of interference in the room, but he told me that there were big changes about to happen to me and that my career was about to take off.

After the dinner, as I usually do, I danced with as many girls and women as I could, mostly JP’s mom’s siblings, daughter and nieces. They all thought I was the best dancer there, go figure. There was another man there whose ballroom dancing technique was excellent and I wanted to be lead by him. He didn’t seem to be gay, but I thought I’d ask him whether he would lead ME, which I did, but he was too shy. One of the more amusing dances was my dance with one of the “the triplets” who loved being hurled and twirled by me, but with one twirl, her very long hair got caught rapped around the button of my coat. We stopped, with everyone watching, kept moving in place, and her sister came and untangled her, and we continued.

During my time there I was told that I look like Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, and Steve Jobs. Not sure what to think about that, but ok.

Oh yeah, during the ceremony, held in the beautiful St Ita’s Cathedral, when we got to the ring ceremony, the bride and groom looked into each other’s eyes in horror, realizing the rings were back in JP’s condo. Bill saved the day by disappearing for a while and returning with them a bit later (to much applause). One of the aunts wondered whether this scene was scripted. (It was not.) Whew!

I burned a lot of social calories and was happy to come back to LA and start my new job as Chair of the UCLA Music Department.

What did I do on my first day at work? Silly you, what would you expect? Besides a few meetings, I did what any respectable gay man would do: I rearranged the furniture! My new office is now fabulous!

[Photo not of JP and Kandace.]

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