Not a lot of people know this, but in addition to being a writer, a television and videogame writer/producer, a dog mom to Wallace*, and general troublemaker, I am not left handed. But I am an ordained minister. For real.
I’ve legally married THREE couples. TWO babies have resulted from those unions. ONE** ceremony was even a surprise wedding (under the guise of a housewarming party) where the bride’s own mother didn’t even know what was happening, and I had to make the announcement.
I started off trying to break the ice by asking if anyone had six fingers on their right hand. That went over about as well as Vizzini trying to poison Westley with iocane powder. Inconceivable, I know. I was afraid the mother was going to tell me to prepare to die. This wedding business is not for the weak.
I was ordained by the Universal Life Church*** in Modesto, California, through their website, and in their confirmation email they very clearly stated that I was not just ordained on the interwebs—a real person from a real congregation had made me a minister. And that I should tell people this. So, now you’ve been told, Buttercup.
It’s the least I can do in exchange for them giving me special powers. They say that I can also perform baptisms and funerals, but I’m really just in it for the weddings. So, yeah. It’s legit and so are the marriages I’ve performed. (We double checked, you know, JUST in case.) I dig being able to marry my friends. It’s so nice and personal.
Each time I wrote my own service, directed by the couple’s wishes, and each time it was almost more than I could do to resist launching into my pretty amazing impression of The Impressive Clergyman (his actual billing in the movie – I looked it up)
Mawwage… mawwage is wot bwings us togwever tooday
and then on and on until I start talking about “twoo wuvv”. I had one couple almost talked into it but finally lost out to some argument about older relatives not “getting” it. But I was ready. So ready.
Maybe the fourth time will be the one, but ultimately, I’ll tell them, it’s “As you wish.”
Released in theaters September 25, 1987.
* named after the actor Wallace Shawn who played Vizzini in The Princess Bride
** Sorry, my caps lock got away from me there
*** The Universal Life Church has an awesome on-line store. (FACT: Everything can be made better with shopping.) I can buy all sorts of cool stuff there to prove that I’m a minister. I have the certificate with the embossed seal (for doubtful parents), but I passed up the photo ID card, the parking pass (you know, to use while conducting official church business), and the robes. I usually just wear a dress.
photo by JD Hancock