Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So many stories, so little time ... looking for a little help!

I have soooooo many past stories to tell ... and the new ones seem to come in every few days or so.  So, here is my pitch to those of you that know me, and know some of the past stories that were the impetus for this blog. 

I am now taking suggestions for what should make the blog sooner rather than later, comment below - or send me a private message (gee.i.do.too@gmail.com) if you prefer.  But, now taking suggestions for which ones to blog about sooner rather than later!  :) 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Glad I'm not getting married to him either.

Saturday, 9:47am I received the following text from my friend/office-suite-mate/fellow marriage celebrant: "Your 10am wedding is here. Either <property manager or her husband> let them in."

I didn't see the text until 10:10am, while still at home and in my PJs.  Panic set in, I didn't think I had a 10am appointment.  I scampered around my condo - checked my calendars (paper and electronic) - no sign of an appointment.  I checked my voice mail at the office (I always tell weekend & after hours weddings to call if I don't answer the building buzzer after a minute or two).  No message. Who on earth was my 10am wedding and how on earth was I going to explain being so very late?

10:11 I texted back to my friend: "who is my 10am wedding?"  While still in a panic about getting in trouble with our Chief Judge ... I decided to call her and not wait for a return text.  And, I continued scrambling around my condo to get dressed and get out the door, if necessary.

My end of the conversation went something like this:  who are they? I don't have a wedding scheduled? who let them in? crap, do you want to do the wedding?  why didn't the property manager and/or her husband call me to tell me I had an appointment hanging out waiting for me?  crap crap crap

Her end of the conversation went something like this:  they were here when I walked in and they were adamant that they were here for you.  I'm not sure who exactly let them in, but thought you should know.  I have a 10am that didn't show up and won't answer their phone.  Didn't ask them who they were because they were adamant that they were there for you.... let me go see who they are.

10:18am text received: "It's mine. He's an idiot."

about thirty minutes later, my friend sent me a follow-up text with what I thought was the rest of the story: "Sorry to panic you first thing but when they are adamant about the name I don't question them a lot at first. Before you called I called him and he didn't answer his phone and I left a message.  Then after you called I told him you didn't have an appointment"

and after piecing the tidbits together, it seems after asking his name and telling him that she spoke to me and I didn't have an appointment scheduled at 10am, he confessed to my friend that his appointment was with someone else but that he had forgotten that person's name.  He gave my name because he saw it on the sign for the building and recognized it from the list of people on the marriage celebrant list (NOTE: this list is only 5 names, so remembering the right one shouldn't be too tough).

My friend performed the wedding, all the while thinking "glad I'm not getting married to him" and I went about my morning, figuring all is well, that ends well.

BUT, that wasn't the end of it! I came to the office a few hours later and ran in to the property manager's husband - who informed me that HE had let the couple in when the arrived AT 9 AM!  (Remember, they thought they had a 10am appointment).  Do the math - they sat in our very small reception area, for almost 1.5 hours waiting for me, with whom they did not have their 10am appointment; instead of answering his phone and/or perhaps remembering the correct name for the person with whom they DID have a 10am appointment.

Glad I'm not getting married to him either.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Too Much Information ... seriously.

Sometimes I think people forget that I am NOT a priest, a minister, a rabbi, or any other type of clergy, religious, or spiritual leader to whom you must confess your sins ... or share your deepest, darkest, secrets.  I wish they would remember that too much information REALLY is a "thing" and not just an urban legend.

The most recent example:

in a flurry of information flowing from the bride-to-be to me while scheduling the appointment. 

I learned:
(1) they met online,
(2) they haven't known each other long,
(3) the families haven't met yet,
(4) she has really terrific friends who are very very excited for her,
(5) she works for a local city agency,
(6) she knows my neighbor,
(7) she loves my name,
(8) she is 53,
(9) he is 54,
(10) she has had cancerous "things" removed,
(11) they love Mexican food,
(12) the restaurant is so excited they're closing for her and providing champagne

... all charming information

... and then ... a line was crossed

... wait for it ... wait for it ... wait for it

... the next tidbit I was able to discern was
(13) she had to change her diet, to get more fiber, to make sure she doesn't get constipated.

In this instance, I would have been okay with her thinking that I was a priest, a minister, a rabbi, or any other type of clergy, religious, or spiritual leader to whom she must confess her sins ... rather than her thinking of me as her treating physician.


Friday, September 9, 2011

And sometimes it's what you don't say, or can't answer ...

It's not unusual to get calls from the courthouse asking if I'm available to perform a wedding on the spot.  Some days, I prefer those kinds of calls/appointments to the ones that schedule in advance and then don't bother to show up, call, cancel, or reschedule.  Many of these no-shows are poached by the crazy internet ministers who stand outside our courthouse just looking for the tell-tale manilla envelope.  Nothing says LOVE more than the manilla envelope.  Except perhaps, the information the Commonwealth includes with the license INSIDE that envelope.  But, that's a story for another day .... 
A lot of times, I don't need to add anything but the actual dialogue of my calls to make them blog-worthy.  Today was one of those days.
Him:  Hi, we'd like to make an appointment for a wedding.
Me: When are you interested in? 
 Him: Right now
Me:  Okay, you can come over to my office.  First, let me just get a little information from you.
Him: Okay
Me: What is your name?
Him: Oh. Hold on ... <and he puts her on the phone to answer>
... seriously?  If he can't answer THAT question, are you sure you REALLY want to marry him?  (No, I didn't ACTUALLY say this to her, but c'mon ... seriously?)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not a hoedown, but almost a throwdown!

Ever have to avoid someone because of an "almost altercation"? Yeah, me too.

How it all started ... a morning wedding appointment arrived with a typo on their license, so I sent them back to the Courthouse to get it fixed. In the interest of time and not moving the ginormous stroller back in and out of our building, I offered to meet them in the courtyard outside the courthouse for the ceremony.

Upon arriving at the courthouse, I got lost in a sea of folks who were clogging up the courtyard, the steps, the entranceway, the security machine, the metal detector ~ pretty much everything they could. They weren't moving forward, so I skirted through the crowd, said excuse me, and tossed my bag on the belt of the security machine ~ all the while, trying to get out of their way and get on my way. While on my way through the metal detector, I heard "ex-cu-use me" from a woman in a black dress. I spun around and snapped back, "I said excuse me," looked at the deputies who could see I was itchin' to throwdown and smiled ~ she was just SOOOO nasty. I, instead, went on my way to meet up with the other wedding group and didn't give her a second thought.

Until ...

... an hour later, when my next wedding appointment showed up half an hour early.

I threw on my suit, came out of my office, and approached the reception area of our building ... and then I heard that voice ... and saw the woman in the black dress, in all her nasty glory ... and the entire rest of the lollygaggers from earlier. (SIDE NOTE: there were at least a dozen of them, despite the fact that just yesterday - the bride indicated there would be just 4-5 guests - but, I digress). As a mature marriage celebrant, I ducked and scooted down the hallway quickly. Snuck in to my friend's office (who is also, thankfully, a civil wedding celebrant) and begged her to take the wedding for me. We debated the pros and cons and decided it was best for everyone (mostly me) if she just "covered" the wedding in my absence ... and I hid in my office.

Turns out, the nasty lady wasn't the bride ~ and it wasn't just me she was nasty to, as she apparently bossed everyone in attendance around; including the bride, the groom, and everyone else in her path.

They're gone now. I'm safe. There were no throwdowns at the courthouse, or in the courtyard ... and my friend killed her with patronizing kindness. I'd like to think we did the right thing by not ruining the bride's day with the awkwardness of me and her guest throwing down at her wedding. Or did we? I can't help but think, perhaps it would've made the bride, the groom, and the rest of the guests happy to have this woman put in her place ...

Monday, July 25, 2011

... and sometimes it's the celebrant that makes the faux pas!

There is a part of a wedding ceremony, where The Bride and The Groom look at each other and repeat vows to each other as prompted by the marriage celebrant. They go something like this (I'll use "Bride" and "Groom" where actual names should be):

I, Bride,
take you, Groom,
to be my wedded husband.
To have and to hold
from this day forward
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness, and in health
I promise to love you,
Cherish you,
And be faithful to you,
For as long as we both shall live.

The amount of words I say for them to repeat at one time often depends on their nervousness, and in the case of non-native-English speakers, their comfort with English. Sometimes I break the last line up in to much smaller pieces ... "for as long" ... "as we both" ... "shall live." Sometimes, I don't. Sometimes, I wish I had.

Recently, while performing a ceremony for non-native English speakers, after having the English-as-a-second-language Bride repeat "for as long as we both shall live" ... I followed with "I was afraid that might be too long" meaning the number of words for her comfort level with English, not for the period of time they should love & live.

Thankfully it was just the 3 of us and they both had a good sense of humor.

For the record, she did just fine. I wish I could say the same for me.

Infidelity and [Insert Name Here]

Kids aren't the only ones who say the darnedest things. Sometimes brides and grooms do too, and sometimes brides and grooms say things that they wish they hadn't said.

While placing the ring on the bride's finger & repeating "I give you this ring ... as a symbol of my love ... and fidelity" ~ the groom replaced "and fidelity" with "infidelity." Everyone attending chuckled, but I'm pretty sure I saw a flash in the eyes of the bride.

That flash was nothing compared to the one I witnessed after the [Insert Name Here] incident a few years back.

It was a beautiful day for a waterfront wedding. The Bride, The Groom and approximately 30 of their closest friends and family joined me in a very small space on the docks. Everyone could hear every word said during the ceremony ... including the moment where the groom said another woman's name where the bride's name should've been ... followed by a collective gasp for air ... and a flash in the eyes of the bride.