Actually that's not true. The ring was replaced weeks ago, I just forgot to update the general public. So here's the skinny: Deborah and I went to this legendary Philadelphia jewelry store called Halloween run by an even more legendary Philadelphia gay icon. This dude is a friend of John Waters, claims to have been at Stonewall, designs jewelry for Elton John and he looks like this. The store is basically a big jewelry box; it is the only jewelry store I've ever been to where I actually felt comfortable.

In any case, we gave the jeweler, Henri David, a pearl I bought for Deborah as part of a necklace when I was in Vietnam (for vaca, not war). He turned it into the flower-like awesomeness you see above. It's more comfy on her hand, it's more protected from being damaged and it was cheap, cheap, cheap.

So now we're engaged again, which is nice.

[In other news, I'm in love with my dry cleaner. Check out that non-engaged-guy-related story here.]


No One Cares What The Groom Wears, But...

The fancy-ass suit salesman at the fancy-ass suit store told me that no, that wasn't possible. The suit I was looking for was not available in his store, despite the 45,000 square feet of retail space and a clientele so well-heeled that there's valet effing parking for the customers.

Somehow Matt Katz (who has owned exactly four suits since the one I rocked for the Haftorah at my Bar Mitzvah) stumped the suit store salesman with the trademark slicked-back gray hair. I was apparently aware of a suit style that, gray hair said, "won't be found anywhere outside of Milan."

All I wanted to do was combine a little 21st century Eurotrash with some Beatlemania to create a simple, black, relatively fitted number with a narrow lapel and a skinny tie. "You won't find that in America in 2008, period," gray hair told Deborah and I.

And what about this Dolce & Gabbana advertisement that I'm sheepishly unfolding from my pocket? It was in last week's New York Times magazine, so surely it exists?

"Nah," he said. "They don't make those for real. That's just to get you interested in the brand."

Well if it's cool enough to get people interested, why wouldn't they just make it for real and put it on the racks?!?

Something was fishy.

So we left, dejected. And on the way home we stopped at Zara's, an upscale H&M-like place that is, literally, visible from our apartment. I tried on the first suit I saw. It was exactly what I was looking for, and it actually fit. NOTHING fits me without a tuck and a prayer. And it was affordable. Like, seriously affordable. We bought it.

The whole process took 15 minutes. Being a dude is awesome.

(In case you're superstitious about seeing the groom in his gown before the wedding day, I don't post pics. Check them out here at Tokoni.com, where I've been doing some writing lately).

Source: barmitzvahdisco.com


Flower Power!

With the fourth florist, we really thought we found our match. After we told him what we (Deborah) pictured for the wedding, he looked at us, leaned in, and said: "Girlfriends, you guys are having the gayest wedding ever."

"Thank you!" we shrieked.

"We don't have the exclusive rights to the rainbow, ya know," he sassed back.

Our florist had just given us a compliment that might have turned off another couple, or at least another groom. Then again, another florist wouldn't have come out of the closet to a new client. Clearly this was meant to be.

But then, just like the others, he stopped responding to our calls and emails. He never followed up with the names of the plants he was going to research for us, or with an estimate of how much it was going to overcharge us. Apparently he was content making cheesy corsages for junior proms in South Philly. So screw him.

Last weekend, we visited Florist No. 5. First, there was free coffee. EVERY SHOP SHOULD HAVE FREE COFFEE. Good work. Second, the florist told us how her husband's grandfather started the shop 50 years earlier. I'm a sucker for a good mom-and-pop-shop story. So far so good.

And the hits continued: She didn't find it weird when Deborah explained how she wanted the centerpieces big enough so strangers wouldn't have to talk to each other (talking to strangers interrupts the hors d'oeuvres eating process, apparently). She gently explained that the flower Deborah wanted to put on my lapel would make me look like a clown, and not in a good way. And yes, she would put beta fish in the water of the plants on all of the tables if that's what we wanted. But no, that's not a good idea at all.

Sweet honesty! We just sent her our deposit, and that means we've now officially completed the Big Six elements of wedding preparation: Reception place, DJ, caterer, rehearsal dinner locale, officiant and florist. Mazel Tov to us, dammit.


Horah Hooray

Naturally, the answer to my Horah prayers rests with a little-known Norwegian pop band named "Euroboys." (NOTE: It's a bad idea to Google-Image "euro boys" if you're at work, by the way.)

Euoroboys enjoyed moderate success in Europe, or at least in the greater Oslo metropolitan area, with their all-instrumental experimental album "Jet Age" in 1997. Weirdly, the very first track on the album is "Hava Nagila," the old-timey Jewish tune that is traditionally played during the "Horah," a (or the) Jewish wedding dance.

Did I mention that these dudes are Norwegian?

In any case, I have no idea how this happened, but this Horah jam is insanely kick-ass. True, I love all Horah jams, and during my ongoing research of the 162 Hava Nagilas available for purchase on iTunes, the only one I haven't liked so far was by the Meshugga Dance Party. So I'm an easy sell.

But the Norwegian Horah really has all the right ingredients: Rockabilly, California surf rock, tablas and, possibly, a riff ripped off from somewhere on the "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack. I'm talking to Deejay* quick-stat about how we can drop some traditional Klezmer on top of the bass and turn this Horah into the greatest 40-minute extravaganza of music and dance that mankind, or at least Jews, have ever seen.

*this is both the name of a person and the name of that person's occupation.

CREDIT: Shot taken from a photo by Ali Smith on the dance floor during great times at Dan & Sara's wedding in March.

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