Married With Children


I might have had a busier three weeks in my life at some point, but I can't remember when.  This is the first day that I don't have ten things screaming at me.  So I get a chance to see whether my neat-o Perl scripts for linking pages together will survive a change in the year.

Yes, I'm married.  Diana and I were married the end of last year, at my house.  Her officemate, a woman of wonder, managed to totally transform my living room into a fairyland of flowers and gauze, produce an outstanding dinner for 45 people, make all the corsages and bouquets, and, by the way, serve as Matron of Honor.

We had an interesting experience with the ceremony.  This is my third marriage.  For the first two, I let my wife-to-be pretty well call the shots.  We got married where she wanted, and how she wanted.  And, in truth, I didn't much care how the ceremony went this time, but I did want something of myself in it.  I didn't just want someone to open a book and read some words and that's it.

Be careful what you wish for--you may get it!

We first started looking for someone to marry us in Nov.  Diana has attended a church for the last 15 years or so, but hasn't bonded with the two ministers who are there now.  She asked a retired minister who she knew, who, somewhat to our shock, declined--he felt that he would have to counsel us before he could marry us, and he felt this was incompatible with his friendship with Diana.  He's a man in his 70's, and, we suspect, not that keen on second and third marriages anyway.

We turn out to know a lot of people who are Universal Life Church Ministers, and many of these folks have married people.  For various reasons, none of these folks quite fit the bill.  And then we thought of Rob.  He is an MFCC, a wonderful trainer, and quite a spiritual person.  Some friends said he had done some wonderful weddings.  So we asked him.

He said he had been part of a spiritual community a decade ago that gave him the authority to do marriages.  But the community had dissolved, and he was unsure about his current status.  He'd be happy to marry us, but it might not be legal!  So I went to work on the net...  And sure enough, California has a "Quaker Form" license, where the two people involved marry  themselves with at least two witnesses.  The key requirements are that the couple publicly speak their vows, and that two witnesses to these vows sign the form.  So Rob could marry us, or more properly officiate at our ceremony, and when we said our vows to each other, we were married.

This left the ceremony up in the air.  We had dinner with Rob, and he pointed us to some wonderful "plan your own wedding" books.  So a couple of weeks went by while we checked out readings and ordered CDs with music.  The day before the ceremony, I assembled all the music tracks together into one CD, and promptly crashed the music editing program I was using.  Frantic emails to Germany, and equally frantic searches of the new for shareware programs that would do the same thing.  A last minute email from Germany pointed us to the patch that fixed the problem, and show went on.  I was up until almost 2 the night before the wedding making programs, etc.  No time for a bachelor party, the more so because my Best Man was my son!

We had readings from Hafiz, Shakespeare, and e e cummings, among others.  And sang "The Rose" and "True Love" and "Make Our Garden Grow" along with the audience in lieu of hymns.  The latter song, from Bernstein's Candide, so perfectly captured my mood at the ceremony.  Here are the words:

You've been a fool, and so have I, but come, and be my wife.
And we will try, before we die, to make some sense of life.
We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good.  We'll do the best we know.
And build our house, and chop our wood, and make our garden grow.

The wedding was wonderful, despite a gray rainy foggy day.  Many wonderful people were there, they all loved the ceremony,  Tears and laughter and some wonderful wedding presents.  One aspect of the ceremony particularly touched people.  Before we exchanged rings, we gave gifts to our spouses children.  Diana gave my kids boxes inlaid with the Tree of Life (Frank Lloyd Wright).  I gave her sons gold coins, to signify their worth and power.  It was a wonderful day, duly captured on video tape and in a photo album.  Don't tempt me, or I'll post a few...

Two days later we went to Boston, and bought a house.  That will have to be a later entry!  For now, we are scurrying to get ready for the movers and a big going-away / retirement / wedding party we are throwing on Sun.  The business won't slow down for a few weeks yet...

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2002 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.