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...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Passion Of The Crists

Unlike almost every other little girl, I never once daydreamed about my wedding when I was a child. I didn't slave over bridal gown magazines. I didn't plan out my registry items ahead of time. I didn't meticulously choose the colour scheme for my bridesmaids.

On the rare occasions that I did think of my marriage, I knew there were two things I wanted.

An High Mass wedding inside a Cathedral. At night. That's it.

The reason for the night request, was that I wanted my bridgegroom to be able to wear white tie and tails, and for the female guests to be dressed in floor length gowns, with as much jewelry as they can muster on their matronly bosoms.

That's the Catholic inside me talking, because British wedding ceremonies are daytime affairs. The male participants, like my cousins, then get to wear what Americans call cutaways, and what we call morning suits. The Ascot tie is a particularly favoured flourish, as are the impossibly huge summer hats on each of the womens' heads.

I hated this Laura Ashley redux vision. It's the worst of British tat -- a relic of Victorian frilliness and geegaws on dark oak furniture.

Mine was to be the splendour of the Vatican, not the corner bedstand of Queen Victoria.

Actually, come to think of it, I guess I did think about my wedding at length just like any other girl. Ah well.

Such was my surprise when I learnt that Governor and the soon-to-be Mrs. Crist would have a night-time wedding. Would the Governor follow protocol and wear white tie and tails? He's such a proper, elegant man, but in America, one never knows. This is a nation where men wear full "tuxes" at midday, after all. Something I always thought should merit the death penalty.

But Governor Crist didn't let me or any other fuddy-duddy person down. Here he is, alongside his new bride -- who looks like a giant 39 year-old meringue...

(Come on now. I don't mean to be overly catty, but white for the second marriage? Not just any white wedding gown either, but the full Princess Diana St. Paul's Cathedral model. Jeez)

One of the commenters suggested Governor Crist is a dreamboat. Well, he looks like a fragile powder grey gazelle most times to me, but I do agree that he cuts a very dashing figure in full habillé today.

His wife, practically my neighbour over nearby Fisher Island, was driven with her new husband in a "State SUV", whatever that is. Probably an Escalade. Hey, don't knock it. The Prince of Wales' and Camilla's families arrived in coaches -- of the bus variety.

Some of the guests included:

Among the 200 guests: U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D- Boca Raton; Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and his wife, Cyndi; Cabinet members Charles Bronson (agriculture and consumer affairs) and Bill McCollum (attorney general); lobbyists including Brian Ballard, brother of Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty, and Ron Book, who represents the likes of Miami Dolphins co-owner H. Wayne Huizenga; Palm Beach socialite Gertrude Maxwell, an animal activist who's also a Crist financial backer; former Crist chief of staff George LeMieux and current chief of staff Erik Eikenberg; Fox News talk show host Geraldo Rivera; former Gov. Bob Martinez; former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, a Crist mentor; former state Senate Presidents Jim Scott and John McKay, and incoming President Jeff Atwater.

(P.S.: Geraldo Rivera?? What's that about?)

Not since 1967, when ex-Governor Claude Kirk (then the first Republican elected Governor in the South in over 100 years) married a very young German woman as his second wife, has Florida had such a fête.

But maybe Crist's hometown of Tampa and environs had live coverage, or even adequate coverage of this event, because other than a few mentions during the various 11 o'clock local news, there was very little fanfare given this wedding down here.

Never mind. Tonight, Governor Crist is a happy married man, and his wife is our new First Lady.

I wish them well.

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