Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Now Pronounce You

So, did something a little unusual yesterday, at least unusual for me. Meaning, I've never done it before, and I don't think a lot of people do. I got ordained. I am now a reverend or minister or high priestess with the Progressive Universal Life Church.

This was a very difficult process. I had to go to the website (link provided by my soon-to-be brother-in-law's sister) and click on "Get Ordained NOW!" Then I had to decide if I wanted the Gold or Silver or Bronze package (none of the above, as it turned out--just the basic, which comes with a certificate and a wallet license!) and follow the link to Amazon (I can't make this stuff up) where I could and did initiate a One-Click Purchase for $19.99.

And now I'm qualified to perform exorcisms. Whew! No wonder I'm exhausted.

But seriously, Readers, there is a noble purpose to this hubris. I am going to co-officiate (along with previously mentioned sort-of-sister-in-law) my sister's wedding next month! This is a huge honor, but it will not be the first time I've performed these services. It will just be the first time I've performed them legally. That's right, the great state of California will recognize this marriage, just because I tell it to. I'm a bit giddy with my new-found power.

But soft, Readers. Don't click over to another blog just yet. I need you. With great power comes great responsibility, and I'm not equipped to handle all that without your wisdom. I have been asked to deliver a short sermon under the heading "What Marriage Means to Me." You'd be amazed how many people on the internet are trying to answer this very question. Bah. I need to hear what YOU think. That's right--YOU.

I have a few little ideas, true. But my gut (and heart) are telling me that you will have a few more, and that I do this wedding a great disservice if I don't hear them and perhaps steal them outright.

So what are you waiting for? Start writing. And send your brilliant, touching, tear-jerking insights to me, via this space.

A couple caveats: this is not a religious wedding. So no Biblical readings, please. Humor is always a plus (of course! who ya talkin' to?) And first preference goes to stuff I've never heard/seen/thought about before. That's why I need you, after all.

Do you have to be married, currently or ever, to play? Nope. But keep it clean and minimally cynical--this is my SISTER we're talking about. Which is not to say you should go all Pollyanna on me and ignore the hard stuff. Did I mention this is her second wedding?

Okay, you ready? What does marriage mean to you?


Stephanie said...

I'm going to stew in this one a bit, I'll be back...

In the meantime, it doesn't answer the question, but I believe the Beatles last line of their last song may sum up the best relationship advice ever.

"In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make"


Aunt LoLo said...

When I got married, one of my first thoughts was, "Oh my goodness...my best friend in the whole world just promised to stay by my side. Forever." He promised to stay my best friend, to correct me when I needed it, to be Daddy AND father to my kids, and to support us. I got lucky - along with all of that, he also agreed to support my (our) decision for me to stay home and raise the kids, and he trusts me to do what I think is right.

Marriage means never needing to say goodbye! (In my case, it also meant I WON. When I met him, he was sort of kind of separated from his fiance, but not all the ties were broken...he broke it off completely about a week after he met me. And she was cute! And no, I had no idea she even existed until a few months later. So...I won! LOL)

Myrnie said...

Oh wow, what an amazing opportunity for you!

Marriage means putting him first, and trusting he'll do the same for you. Marriage means respecting him, and never speaking ill of him to the kids or your friends. Marriage means working every day to make your marriage a little stronger.

What a good question! I'm interested to see what everyone says.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Marriage means always being willing to say you're sorry (and mean it).

I will think on this some more, of course, because you asked and because you matter to me.

Now. An important question for the newly minted Rev. Dr. Sam: Will you officiate when I marry Kate? Oh, wait, we're already married. Never mind.

Marlene said...

I love the idea of a hand-fasting, in which everyone gives a blessing on their relationship when they fast their hands. Teresa did this for me once.

Stephanie said...

I happened to have been married by a Lutheran minister, and in that tradition, I was told, it is customary to state your vows with with "I will" as opposed to "I do". I liked the idea back then and in the face of your question, it comes back to me now.

Maybe marriage is all about a willingness on many levels. A willingness to learn, grow, accept and acknowledge not only our partner, but ourselves. Being the best partner we can be before expecting to receive the best in our partner. A willingness to choose what is most productive and healthy for the greater cause, even when it's difficult and the very last thing we want to do.

Perhaps as important, but so much less romantic, is the willingness to just stick around to try again.

The Wades said...

You want ME to write something for YOU??!! Yeah, I don't think so. I got nothin'--well, except for the best hubby in the whole wide world. If inspiration happens to hit, I'll let you know. I'm betting, however, that you'll pull out some Sam magic and deliver your finest performance yet! (Will we get a copy?) ;)

Congrats to you. Please use your powers wisely. ;)

Paul and Heather said...

Marriage is having your favorite place on the planet, change from an actual location (tropical island, disneyland, etc)to a person.
Paul is my favorite place to be. It doesn't matter if we are on the couch, in the car, in that tropical island or in disneyland...he is my destination of choice. Its like that feeling of "I want to be home"...only now its "I want to be WITH Pauly"
Marriage makes that relationship so comfortable it becomes your favorite place, your comfy bed, or that ratty old pair of sweatpants that makes you so happy at the end of a long day. Just being in their presence can elicite that same feeling of "AHHH...that's what I needed".
Coming home to that person is like slipping into a hot bubble bath or pulling a silk robe over your shoulders. Being with that person feels just that good.

Amanda said...

hehe. This ought to be a good read. You are going to have to post what you read.

Marriage is when he can look at you with no make-up on, your hair is a mess, you have morning breath, eye boogers, and he says You're beautiful.
Or when you make a new dinner and it is really awful and he tells you it is good (while gagging)
Marriage is when he will go to the store and get you feminine products, lanolin creame, or any other female products that you are in need of.

I will have better ones in a bit when I think about them for a bit!

Teresa said...

Marriage means that even when you are at your whiniest because you're sick, you still get Chinese food when you ask for it just because there's someone there who wants to make you feel better.

Gina K said...

Echoing my girl ^, with a bit of a warp.

Marriage is when you are whiny when you are not sick, just naturally whiny and bitchy, and she just hugs you and asks what she can do to make it better. Except that she just did.

And I love the bit about the favorite destination. That is deep. And so true. Anywhere with Tee is my favorite place.

erin said...

Marriage meant to me that I should have had the kid and not the carriage, or that I should have kept my pants on.
Now it means something different to me, it's not just about kids or houses, cars, insurance or money...it's about love this time, so I'm in no hurry at all.
But, it's good to know that when I am ready you can fly over here and marry us. ;)
Yes, no one can believe I have so many kids. It did terrible things to my body and I haven't slept for more than an hour at at time or wore a regular bra in 9 years.

ko said...

Do I have to call you high priestess now?

All jokes aside, pretty cool that you will be such an integral part of your sis's big day.


DrSpouse said...

The minister at our (religious) wedding talked about the political concept of May Day (we got married on May 1st) and how revolutionary the idea of getting married is both in modern times and also in terms of putting the other person first.

I really really do not like the idea of handfasting however lovely it may seem as it was originally a temporary marriage used to find out if the woman was fertile. Not surprisingly I prefer permanence, whether or not children come along. Even though the original religious marriage ceremonies mostly mention children, they were never intended to be conditional, and in most religions there is an option to omit that bit if the couple were older (or, more recently, weren't sure children were likely).

Jen said...

I like the idea of you as a high priestess. I'm going to start calling you that! It's so cool you can officiate at your sister's wedding!

Miss J

The Wades said...

I'm ready for an update. Just thought you'd like to know. :)

Mary said...

I am excited for your trip and I know you will do a fantastic job officiating!



Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I have thought about your question.


Comfort and challenges

Flexability and tenacity

Passion and shelter

Abiding and spontaneous

Loyal and playful

Respect and risk

Reveal and protect

Love and friendship

Anonymous said...

Marriage... on the not-sunshine-and-roses side of things, sometimes it can mean that even when you have an argument and things are hard and you're really frustrated with this person, you know somewhere deep down that you'd rather be WITH them AND frustrated than NOT with them. You know? :) Lix