“We’d like to register.”
The man at William Ashley China smiled. We obviously were not the first gay couple to open a wedding registry at their store. This was, after all, downtown Toronto, just a few blocks for the gay village. It was, according to the Toronto Star, the area of city most highly populated with gay men and lesbians.
Some people think that gay men have a gift for things like picking china, decorating, dressing heterosexual women, etc. If we do have a queer eye for such things, it is a skill that has been lost on your humble blogger and The Partner. All I knew was that I didn’t want any china with little flowers painted all over it. No roses or peonies or (god forbid) little blue periwinkles.
Luckily, William Ashley has what they call ‘personal china consultants’ who help couples like The Partner and I put together our own china ensemble. Our china consultant was named Lydia (as one might expect) and she walked us around through the endless shelves of earthenware, stoneware and porcelain while explaining of the difference between them. I have since forgotten what the difference actually was.
After an hour in the ceramic labyrinth, China Consultant Lydia had helped us pick out our own china pattern. It was a natural pearl colour called… well… “Natural Pearl”.
Besides having sex with men, this may be the gayest thing I’ve ever done, I thought.
“It’s classic and charming”, China Consultant Lydia said.
“I have to agree”, I said.
“Let me take a photo”, The Partner said. He moved back and took a picture of China Consultant Lydia and me standing by a plate.
And just when you think you’re finally finished… there’s silverware to choose as well! China Consultant Lydia put the china on a small table covered with black velvet and began placing different silverware beside it. Who knew they made so many kinds of spoons?
“Too frilly… too plain… too heavy…”
Beside us, next to another small velvet covered table, a straight couple is choosing glasses (Oh Christ, I have to choose glasses too?). The male half of the couple watches us and I see after a moment of confusion on his face, the eureka moment when he figures out that The Partner and I are not buddies out choosing flatware for the chick-magnet bachelor pad we share together but a gay couple.
“Too thin… too dull… I don’t like the back of the forks…”
Finally, after choosing the stemware it was time for the paperwork and we walked to a desk and computer in the corner of the store. And although we were not the first gay couple to register at William Ashley’s China, I suppose they had not felt the need to change their software.
“So,” China Consultant Lydia asked looking up from the computer screen, “who wants to be the bride?”.
71 days to go.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom