Tom Monday and Rubén Polendo were married on a balmy August evening in the courtyard of Fremont Mischief. Strands of lights swayed in the breeze off the ship canal as excited friends and family members hugged each other hello and sipped cocktails. Stacks of paintings by Steve Keene, which guests were invited to take home at the end of the night, lined one wall of the courtyard. Formerly of alt-country and roots music magazine No Depression, Tom runs Small Batch America, a guide to independent food and drink companies—and as much as humanly possible, the celebration was sourced from anticorporate, anti-awful local makers. Rubén is the executive director of arts for NYU Abu Dhabi and runs a theater company called Theater Mitu. A steam whistle on the roof announced dinner was ready, and theater and music-industry folk politely attacked a mountain of barbecue.
The ceremony was held under a sign with a Sanskrit wedding blessing to mark the auspicious day. Tom's mother wished them a happy marriage. "I love Rubén," she said. "He takes care of me." Two tiny kids delivered the rings to the stage in the mouth of a plush turtle. Rubén raised his glass to the guests, saying that the room was everywhere they had been and everywhere they were going. Some of those who couldn't be there had filmed their congratulations. A family in India expressed their belief that the couple's bond was from beyond this life, eliciting cheers of agreement. Two friends played "In Spite of Ourselves" on guitar while a guy danced on a couch behind them—this was sweet enough that people teared up, and funny enough that some had to fight to keep their drinks from coming out of their noses. One girl revealed she had been saving all of Tom's e-mail subject lines, such as "Hermit crabs are stuck up." Judging by how hard he laughed, he had no idea she had been doing this. Friendship Bracelet, a band the couple's friends formed just for the occasion, took the stage. The looks Tom and Rubén exchanged while their friends played their favorite songs were the wedding's greatest event. It was clear they were admiring something they see in each other that is truly cause for celebration.
This article has been updated since its original publication.