Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wedding hijinks - a brief glimpse into Sudiegirl's past.

Well, D and I had the first session of our pre-marital counseling on Tuesday night. It was a far cry from how it was when I got married the first time.

Let me tell you about it.

When I married my first husband, we got married in my home church - big church wedding with plenty o' attendants. However, one of the requirements was that we had to go through these counseling sessions.

My home church at that time was becoming famous for chewing up and spitting out ministers. We were acquiring a reputation among our church's state council for this (and BTW, that's not good).

When I was first dating Mike, this new preacher with bright ideas started ministering at the church, but as time wore on, I wasn't really a big fan of his. (This bright idea pastor will be known as "Reverend Moneygrubber."

The assistant minister I wanted to officiate at our weddding left our church, and in her place came an equally weird and almost HATED one wedding, he dared mention in church that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. (He also made a comment in a sermon that he was reading a magazine one day and saw a bowl of vegetables "having an orgasm". Not a good thing in any sense of the word.)

To make a long story short, we went with the lesser of two evils and picked Reverend Moneygrubber. However, Moneygrabber was asked to resign from the church, and it was an ugly scene between many folks. Also not good.

As wedding time drew nearer, Mike and I had to go through the counseling process, which was broken down in four parts: intro, money, sex, and planning the ceremony. However, our wedding coincided with the head pastor's final weekend of serving our Methodist church, and he was gradually turning into a loose-cannon type crazy man. This greatly affected our sessions.

Now Mike may have been a jerk for leaving me, but I must say that he and I agreed that these pre-marital counseling sessions were a bust.

Mike was most pissed off about the "money" session, where the minister told us (not asked us) that we HAD to give 10% of our income to the church. the Billy Preston song says, "Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'." You can't give what you don't have. I was ignorant enough to talk money with the guy, and I just have to say I've learned from that.

I got pissed about the sex talk. Why? Because Rev. Moneygrubber related a very bizarre anecdote to us and it was supposed to be an analogy about sex.

The anecdote basically centered around the fact that he was in the restroom (at home) urinating, and his granddaughter busted in on him and started asking him questions about his uniquely male appendage. I was sitting there, dumbfounded, with a look of "I'm gonna puke" on my face.

Reverend Moneygrubber looked at me and said, "Now, I'll bet you're surprised that I told you that story."

I shook my head slowly and replied, "No, I'm just trying to picture it."

The final session was the "plan the wedding" ceremony. I guess (according to Moneygrubber) that the concept of "it's the bride and groom's day" was not in his plan. His big problem was how much music I had in my ceremony.

Now, keep in mind that I am a musician at heart - and I thought I'd scaled back considerably on the tunes and players. I only had two vocalists (one doubling as pianist), one jazz pianist, and one organist. I didn't sing to my groom. I had - I think - seven tunes? I could be wrong, but I know it wasn't in the double digits.

However, when Rev. Moneygrubber looked at the list I wrote for him, he said, huffily, "Is this a wedding or a concert?"

Now, I put up with many things in the course of this damned day of celebration that two souls can share. Just a brief list:

1. Pregnant sister (as in 8.5 months pregnant on my wedding day - we bicker anyway on general principle, but when hormones get in the way, plus stress, plus everyone watching to see if her water's going to break in the church, it can get annoying. To the oh-so-brave and anonymous commenter on this post from december 10th, '06, I hope this was enough of an explanation for you. editor's note dated 12/10/06 at 4:56 PM)

2. Pushy grandmothers

3. Desert Storm threw off Mike's academic schedule, so he was still a student...puts a crimp in our budget for daily life.

4. Total strangers came up to me in the grocery store asking me "when I'm due" (thinking I'm my sister) or "why are you forcing your mother to sew your wedding dress?" They obviously didn't know manners, the
disposition of my mother, or the situation behind all of this. However, it didn't keep those snoop-ass busy body farm wives from piping up their voices of dissent. How I kept from stuffing a shopping cart in their mouths is beyond me.

5. My male vocalist wanted to cancel
his committment to singing for my wedding because another woman was getting married the same day, and the male singer seemed to have the idea that I wouldn't be pissed about this. I advised him otherwise. I think I was even nice about it, but I don't remember - we're still friends, though.

6. My mother (who is wonderful) procrastinated on every level with planning for a June wedding. I had to scramble to find a photographer, and then after everything was finished, Mom decided she didn't like the
pictures. Too bad - June brides have a bit more work to do, yo? Should've helped me prepare, huh?

7. The other bride (mentioned in item 5) approached me at our class reunion without a by-your-leave and immediately asked, "How did YOU get the KC hall for your reception?" I advised her, "I reserved it, bitch."
Don't f**k with the bride,'s not medically advisable.

So you see, when Rev. Moneygrubber made that crack, I looked at him and said, "It's MY wedding, and this is how I want it. Is this a problem?" (Keep in mind that the tone of voice I had was one that basically expressed the feeling of "Do you want me to sink my teeth in your neck NOW or LATER?")

He backed off.

So I hate the thought of pre-marital counseling based on past experience, in case you couldn't tell.

The first session, though? It was a breeze compared to what I had to do before. Rev. Ken is a laid-back guy anyway, so the appointment was too.

Our first session basically consisted of, "'s a this stuff before our next session" and then explained how the Episcopal wedding service/approval by the bishop works. After that, we had the floor for questions, and he answered the ones we had with down-to-earth words and tone of voice. It was a relief compared to what I'd been through.

So maybe this wedding stuff can actually work on the third time?

God, I hope so.

Sudiegirl (the multiple-married, twice divorced)