So here I am back after a 3-week hiatus from this blog and what’s the first subject I choose to write about? The joy of returning to Paris after so much time spent away? Tips on how to treat homesickness when withdrawn from the city for too long? None of the above. Today’s post on Paris Inspired is about Canada.

What is this madness? Exactly—because this little entry is all about how I got committed.

That Paris Karin and I are betrothed and that our nuptials are being celebrated September 9 is common knowledge if not the social event of this rentrèe. What you, my loyal readership and assorted rubberneckers, may not be aware of is that we already eloped. Kind of.

For those of you about to get married, plan on being married, or holding on to the desperate hope you will one day be married, I suggest a do-over wedding. A Plan-B ceremony. A goof off, a Mulligan, a freebie. Start off with the marriage you want to have before getting the wedding you have.

As Karin and I are getting locked in wed here in the City of Light, far from the hearts, minds and prying eyes of our respected loved ones, we decided to have a Commitment Ceremony on the banks of Cumings Lake for the benefit of family, friends and me. “Me” because I had my heart set on a ceremony I could get my heart into. Here’s how I went about doing just that.

First off, my sister married me. Us. Well, had us committed, technically. See, my little sister is an ordained minister and she marries people part time on the weekends so Karin and I asked her to perform our Commitment Ceremony. She stood at the end of a dock (reminding all of us that marriage is like pacing a walk on a short pier) while our esteemed guests sat on the boats floating around us.

Karin made her entrance from one side of the house and I from the other as I gave the cue for someone to start the wedding procession music on a boombox on the boat. We’d chosen Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” intro because we both like the group and the song but mainly to include Karin’s eldest, Sam, vicariously because he couldn’t be there but had Facebooked us to play Zeppelin at our wedding.

Everyone knows “Stairway to Heaven” is the fourth song on Zep’s fourth album; but, unfortunately, when going through songs, I’d left their first CD in the player. For those readers less than familiar with Led Zeppelin’s discography, the fourth song on the first album (“Dazed and Confused”) begins like this:

and has lyrics that go:

 Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true

Wanted a woman, never bargained for you

Lots of people talking, few of them know

The soul of a woman was created below.

After sorting out this happy accident, the ceremony began in earnest when my son and best man escorted me to the dock. Because it was my Alt wedding, I got to wear the accouterments I wanted, which consisted of a t-shirt (white, of course; it was a “wedding”, after all), cut-offs, a sueded sports coat, and I was barefoot, wearing mirrored shades and smoking a cigarette.

Anaïs, my daughter, bridesmaid and flower girl led Karin to the Alt-ar where my sister performed a beautiful Commitment Ceremony, including the reading of “Blessing of the Hands” when Karin and I exchanged copper rings we bought at a souvenir shop. We also wrote our own vows, where Karin expressed many poetic and touching sentiments and I made puns like:

Some people might say being committed is insane. That love is nuts. But I’m standing here today because I’m crazy…about you.

Afterwards, I tried to have the guests vote with their applause for which speech they preferred, but that worked about as well as when I frenched Karin at the end and she locked her lips.

There you have the story of how Karin and I were simultaneously committed. The ensuing jocularity bodes well for the “real” wedding on Friday, September 9, 2011. If any of you would like to witness that spectacle, just show up at the Marie du 19éme, 5-7, place Armand Carrel, Friday 09/09/2011 at 10:45am.

The Picnic Reception will be Saturday, September 10 at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Noon. The picnic is pot luck & BYOE, which stands for Bring Your Own Everything. We’ll meet near the north entrance to the park, the one across the street from the City Hall. Here’s a map with the exact location:

Click to Enlarge

If the weather doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain, we’ll retire to Karin’s and my apartment, 5 minutes away on foot.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions and Hope to see you there!