The shutdown almost ruined their wedding, but Joy and Adam were able to tie the knot on the appointed day thanks to their fellow Americans’ kindness and generosity. Joy Miller’s dream was to get married in California’s Yosemite National Park, which, like other US federal government-managed sites was on shutdown order.
Joy said: “When we heard that Yosemite was going to be closed on Monday, and our wedding was on Sunday, I cried for two days straight. Two days straight. It was devastating.”
Adam said: “Yeah, I didn’t know what to think at first, I was in shock. I knew this meant everything to her. We’d been planning and saving for a whole year.”
Fifteen thousand dollars for that happy day (11,000 euros), cash on the barrelhead; the couple had already paid. That was non-refundable for the reservation at the Ahwahnee Hotel inside Yosemite for the party of 85 guests.
But the media got wind of it and a gust of solidarity blew in: kindly caterer Jen Stakich, and a reception venue that normally costs around 11,000 euros to rent for an event like this, put up everything for free.
Jen organised it all in 48 hours. Maybe they could use people like her in Congress.
Jen said: “I believe that the country is really being held hostage at the moment, I think that Republicans will really do anything to prevent people from having access to affordable healthcare, and I’m really proud that even though it affects people like Joy in a negative way, I’m really proud that for once, the Democrats aren’t folding, and we’re sticking to our guns, and we’re not going to let ourselves be bullied.”
From California to the New York Island… All the way across the country, in Washington DC, for instance, there have also been demonstrations of solidarity for government workers, being given things free.
Even in a cupcake store: “I think it’s great. I think it’s great to get empathy, the support from other businesses, because it’s been rough. Everybody’s going through something, so to have people who stay in our corner and give that support – it is a really good thing.”
Thankfully, Joel there can count on his regular cupcake cornucopia, because he has a government job – it is the biggest employer in the US capital region – and like around a million other people in the country at the moment, he’s not getting paid.