table 9: homepage links to the sites i visit and revisit
well, at least they were sites at some point
my partner kirk and i went to the wedding of a dear friend of mine when we first met. he was understandably apprehensive about meeting so many of my friends all in one place so early in our relationship, so i did my best to put his mind at ease. my friends are cool with gay people, i told him. i’m out to all of them and they are not at all narrow minded, i told him.
when we arrived at the wedding, indeed, we felt initially very welcome. kirk met my friends, some straight, some gay, and the wedding itself was lovely…on a large deck overlooking a beautiful new jersey lake.
time for the reception. each person had a table assignment on a card set outside the dining room.
kirk and i were at table 9.
we entered the dining room and began our search for our table. there were eight tables set in a semicircle around the perimeter of the room, with an expansive area in the center for dancing. we were both a bit perplexed as our eyes quickly scanned the room…each table having a large card in the center proudly announcing its number in the hierarchy…table one, table two, and so forth to eight.
not wanting to upset my dear friend the bride on her special day, kirk and i started looking for someone official and connected with the reception hall to rectify the situation. as we did so, we noticed several other people milling about with place cards in their hands and confusion on their faces…two men over there, a couple of women near the entry door…
hmmm. do i sense a pattern here?
as the lost souls gathered near the center of the room on the dance floor, it became increasingly apparent that we had more in common than lack of a table. we looked at each other a bit sheepishly at first as we compared cards and confirmed our newly-found brother and sisterhood, and then one marvelous woman broke the ice by saying, “well, it looks like all the gay people are at table 9.” i replied by saying “we’re here, we’re queer, we want a table!”
of course, the bride quickly realized that not only was there not a table for ten of her guests, it was also the sum total of all of the gay and lesbian people she had invited to the wedding. you never saw a table get set up so quickly.
as it turned out, the bride hadn’t consciously segregated all of the gay people onto a table 9. she had made seating arrangements by who knew who, and quite sensibly and naturally, all of the gay people had a connection somehow. because, of course, we all know each other, as we later joked. there were a couple of straight people seated at the table, and they joined right in with the jokes and humor the queers used to defuse the situation. and of course she didn’t actually deprive us of tablehood. that was the fault of the caterer, who apologized profusely.
and the wedding itself was as much fun as i’ve had in years. the common bond at table 9, established through a series of mishaps and miscommunications, gave us an instant rapport. we ruled the dance floor after dinner and made sure everyone had a blast!
so, to me, table 9 is that place where queers form common bonds with everyone, straight and gay. where we take the separation from society that is imposed by society itself, and turn it on its ear through insistence, commitment and humor. where we, indeed, take our lemons and make lemonade.