I went with my friend to the psychic. Yes, the psychic. I know so many of you have opinions on psychics, but can you just try to hold them in while I tell this story? Anyway, the psychic is at a nearby tavern, so my friend and I use the card readings as an excuse to meet, have a few laughs, catch up on our lives, and find out what our futures hold. I was seeking career advice and she needed guidance on her romantic life. As we were waiting for our individual turns, we started to talk about marriage or rather the idea of getting married again.
It is funny, that we both said “Probably not” on our willingness to walk down the aisle for a second time, but for very different reasons. She had been through a bad marriage and divorce and is happy with her life now. She likes having a special someone in her life, but she also likes the independence that comes with being single. Me, I am used to being married. I am lucky that I have been happily married for a long time, but let’s face facts: to be married for a long time, requires a lot of work. If I were to find myself single for some reason (No, I have not hired a hit man or divorce lawyer—this week anyway), I don’t know if I would take the plunge again. I’m not sure if I could find that connection that I have with my husband with another person. I would have no problem dating or being in a relationship, but I don’t think I would marry.
So, there we were patting ourselves on the back for being independent-thinking women when she got called back to see the psychic first. Fifteen minutes later, she runs back to the table with startling news: she is getting married to the guy she is dating!
After a few squeals of “Really, how exciting!” and “I knew you were meant to be!” and “What kind of dress do you want?” we calmed down and I said, “Hey, what happened to ‘I don’t need a piece of paper to be happy?’”
“I don’t need the paper, but I love him a lot, so why not take the plunge?”
I have to admit I was really happy seeing her so happy. So, then we started to talk about her wedding and what it would be like. She is a practicing Catholic but divorced, and well that means unless she is willing to pay $3,000 or more for an annulment, no Catholic ceremony is waiting for her. However, I jokingly reminded her that there was nothing to worry about because as it turns out, I am an officially ordained minister thanks to a church on the Internet.
Yes, I am a woman of the cloth. I think admitting this will be the last nail in that old excommunication coffin but what can I say? My views on religion, how shall I put it, disagree greatly with traditional Catholicism on so many levels, and the idea that women cannot be priests makes my blood boil. So, instead of just following along like a blind lamb and obeying dogma that I find offensive (don’t send me angry letters) out of fear I will go to hell, I took a bold step. I decided that I would snub my nose at that rule and get ordained myself.
Okay, I admit I did it as a rebellious lark, and to be honest, it was rather easy to do. I found an Internet church that seemed to reflect my attitude on life. Its credo was, “Always look to do good and never do harm to anyone or anything in the universe,” and I thought that was nice. I try not to harm anyone. I did email them to ask if their philosophy included spiders in my house because, honestly, I feel strongly that they have to die. I am waiting on that response. All in all, this church’s views were a new-age version of the golden rule, so I knew I could live with that.
Next, they sent me material that I had to read. After I completing the course, I checked a few boxes, took a test, and a few minutes later, I got this wonderful email that said, “Congratulations Reverend Cavanagh!”
I could not help but emit a loud chuckle when I saw my new title.
Anyway, as my friend and I were sitting in the bar talking about her upcoming nuptials, she looked at me and exclaimed,
“Oh my God, you really can marry us!”
“What? Oh, no! NO! NO! ” The panic in my voice was evident.
“Yes, it’s perfect. You can marry us! How great would that be?” she repeated.
“You want me to speak in public? I don’t speak in public. That’s why I write. You want me to officiate your wedding? I didn’t even buy my minister kit yet. I don’t even have a robe. I think I need a robe!”
“You have your daughter’s Penn State graduation robe! That will work, and it’s blue. You look good in blue.”
It’s true; I do look good in blue. I was starting to get excited about the prospect of doing this wedding thing especially if she arranged it in the Bahamas or someplace like that. The Internet church people told me it was legal to perform weddings and officiate at funerals, but I never really thought about it. I mean, I am not a religious person—but what the hell—I guess I should say heck now, huh? Damn! Do I have to give up swearing? Goddamnit! I mean—oops! Anyway, I made a mental note to go online this week and buy my official wedding kit—just in case.
“Okay,” I told my friend, “but I have to make sure I do everything legally correct. I don’t want you to wake up one morning next to your new husband and find out that he is not your new husband because your idiot friend did not read the fine print on how to be a good minister.”
After we decided what her wedding theme would be (yes, we are fast workers), the hostess came over and told me it was my turn for a reading. I was excited to hear all good things. Well, I have to say, my future looked pretty good. I found out my book is getting published. I told my agent the next morning. She said that now she could relax and not push so hard since my fate was already decided. I could be wrong, but I sensed sarcasm in her voice. One omission in my psychic reading: no mention of my upcoming stint as a wedding minister. I thought since my friend and I had just talked about it at length, the psychic would have picked up on that energy. Oh well, maybe I shouldn’t iron that blue robe just yet. Maybe, my work as a minister in the Universal Church of Life is not in the cards after all.