April 6, 2014
Ceremony, Uncategorized, Weddings
cultural changes in marriages, Equality of Marriage, same-gender couples, wedding ceremony
Pre the swinging ’60s, when your grandparents were young adults, the idea of living together before marriage was socially unacceptable. While some couples dared to try it, they dared not do so openly – for the judgment of society could be cruel. Gay couples also were in jeopardy of social condemnation.
In 2014, however, living together before marriage has become more the rule than the exception – the “new normal.” And gay relationships too are becoming mainstream in the eyes of most Americans. Recognizing this cultural shift is important for Justices of the Peace who help couples design their wedding ceremonies. Often the old words and assumptions underlying the “traditional” wedding ceremony don’t work anymore and need to be updated.
In the last few years, every couple I have married lived together before tying the knot. Some brought children to the wedding. We worked to bring these little ones into the ceremony. While traditional wedding verbiage might still work in these cases, the modern wedding ceremony should be able to accommodate the reality of children born before wedlock, or the realities of second or third marriages. The outdated Victorian notions of the “virgin” bride and groom – and one marriage for life – rarely reflect the circumstances of couples getting married today, who deserve nevertheless to have a wedding that honors them.
In addition, same-gender couples are entitled to feel that the modern wedding ceremony captures and respects their experience. I worked with an older same-gender couple a few weeks ago to remove heterosexual biases from the language of their wedding script. After 25 years together, with two children entering high school, the laws of their state and country have finally recognized the legitimacy of their union. They deserve to have a wedding ceremony that befits and validates their deep love and commitment to one another and their family.
With the turn of the 21st century, our culture has turned a corner in our views of sexuality and marriage. Today, many young couples test the waters with each other before taking those serious steps down the aisle, and gay couples are delighting in their freedom to participate fully in our societal rites and customs.
If you are gay, have children, contemplating your second, third or fourth marriage, or simply have a different idea about what your marriage ceremony should look like, don’t be shy about asking your Justice of the Peace to modify the language of your ceremony to fit your circumstances and ideas. Of course, most JPs are more than willing to adapt your ceremony in any way that feels meaningful to you. But make sure you select the JP that you feel respects your need to be fully “you” in your wedding ceremony.
(This blog was originally posted on the FindaJP.com blog. FindaJP.com is THE site to find advice and guidance about wedding officiants.)
January 8, 2014
What does a run-of-the-mill blogger write about having three successive flights cancelled and ending up stranded 1500 miles from home? Probably nothing new except for a few unique experiences attributable to our whims.
To wit, we visited the Textile Center in Minneapolis. In this high-tech digital age, it is refreshing to see what artists can do with small strands pulled from the cocoons of worms or a bunch of one inch square scraps of fabric. Such a place makes it easy to ignore sub-zero temperatures outside.
Another personal quirk, liking to wander aimlessly in a city, took me to the downtown Minneapolis skyway system. I parked in an indoor ramp near the Metrodome and entered the maze of fast food, convenience stores, ATMs, and the entries to every variety retail establishment one could imagine. All this covering blocks and blocks without ever going outside in the cold.
Several times this week I have seen the light rail train sliding back and forth between Target Field and the Mall of America and thought that maybe a couple of round trips might be fun. I wouldn’t even have to go out because I could park near the Mall door and drop down to the Metro Transit station to jump on board. However you may be happy to know I haven’t gone completely stir crazy because I headed for the MOA Apple Store instead.
This whole parallel universe thing seems about to shift back to normal. We have our place in the boarding line for tomorrow evening, the weather has moderated along our route, and even if we get cancelled again we are driving the rental car back to New Hampshire. However, never let it be said that we just sat around and fumed. We did stuff. Isn’t that what life is all about?
November 3, 2013
habit, safety, texting and driving
We know we shouldn’t text and drive…but our phones are programming us to do just that.
The next time I contact you by cell phone from my vehicle it will be only after I pull over and put the car into park. So if you don’t hear back from me quickly enough, practice your patience because I will be practicing my new habit of turning off and stowing my phone while driving.
The title of this blog post and the quote above are from “The last word” column of THE WEEK (November 8, 2013). In this startling article, which I hope you will read, a study shows “that drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash, or almost crash, as those who are focused on the road. “
Now, like the Geico ad, everybody knows that, right? Then why does it not change? Are we suicidal or homicidal or just what? The article sheds new light by pointing out that “For many people… using a smartphone may be less a decision than a habit–a move they make without initially thinking about what they are doing or why.”
So clearly the answer is to break the cycle, start a new habit that will greatly increase your odds of avoiding an automobile accident. As a schoolbus driver, I force myself to mute my android and stick it in a shelf where I can’t see it but, up until now, I have kept it next to me in my private vehicle. No longer! After reading this article I decided that even if I don’t care about myself, I at least owe it to the other drivers and pedestrians to pay complete attention to what is happening in front and around my two ton moving steel missle at which controls I am in sole command.
If I catch you or you catch me, let’s remember “Friends don’t let friends text and drive”!