Monday, September 17, 2012
I married my daughter this week.
I know that sounds awful, but now that I have your attention, the above statement, while accurate, isn’t what you think. I married my daughter this week because I am now an ordained minister.
I look to the skies waiting for them to part as I write this, but yes, I am an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church – The Monastery.
I am a fryer – I mean, friar. A brother.
I even have the little skullcap bald spot to prove it.
I have never been much of a religious man, though I am spiritual. I know there are those who say you can’t have one without the other, but you can. I take exception to people who say, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual,” that’s like saying, “I’m not honest but I think you’re interesting.”
I never said I wasn’t a walking contradiction.
Two things you never talk about – religion and politics – and I have long maintained that I’m apathetically curious and curiously apathetic about politics.
Still, it’s quite the stretch to believe I am an ordained minister. Talk about one of your Signs of the Apocalypse – Dan is an ordained minister.
It is 2012, you know.
Actually, my working title is Wedding Officiant.
One of my ordained monastic brothers is Conan O’Brien. He is also a member of the Universal Life Church – The Monastery. Like Conan, I too became one of the more than 46,000 ordained ministers of the church.
In the five minutes it took to register online I became Pastor Dan (spoken like Forrest Gump says Lieutenant Dan).
Would it help if I said I was contemplative and introspective during that five-minute registration period?
I was. Honest.
I did this because my daughter asked me to. She wanted an intimate wedding ceremony and likes my knack for taking a serious and very emotional moment and bringing it down to earth.
She thinks I’m funny.
I walked my daughter down the aisle – actually it was a really long hill down to the river where the chairs had been set up – gave her to her husband to be and said, “Who gives this woman to this man in marriage?”
I waited a moment, looked around and then replied, “I do.”
Then I got on with the “Dearly beloved we are gathered here today” part.
I always wondered what went on between a father and his daughter during their walk down the aisle. I always wondered what they talked about.
I found out.
For Sarah, the weeks and days leading up to her wedding could be compared to putting a candle inside a microwave and watching it slowly melt. In her case it was more like an emotional meltdown.
“It’s so emotionally overwhelming,” she said afterwards.
So I talked about any and everything that would keep her from pulling a Wicked Witch of the West at the end of the Wizard of Oz.
In fact, other than a pair of “I do’s” I did all of the talking, aware that at age 54, my testosterone levels had dropped by almost 50 percent or so the commercial says, which explains why I’ve been really weepy lately. This wasn’t easy for me, either.
But we got through it and in so doing I was there for my daughter. Looking back on my five-minute journey to this point, it was worth the hardship.
And yes, it’s been asked several times since some wedding photos showed up on Facebook ...
My fly was up.