Sorry it's been so long, but I've got a thesis committee meeting coming up and we were camping this weekend and I'm getting over a cold and I'm not closer to picking a photographer, so I've been totally blaaaaaahhhh lately. Not in a horribly bad way, just busy and frazzled.
I do have news to report though!! Sorry, it's not about photographers. I'll give required background first:
Ever since I was born, my mom's parents have been a huge factor in my life. They've always been the most kind, awesome grandparents a kid could ever ask for. They helped me learn to ride a bike, jump in leaves, read, eat pancakes, know my 10 Commandments, etc... My grandparents have always been deeply involved in the church as my grandfather is a minister, so I grew up there and was loved and spoiled by them and every sweet old lady in my grandfather's church. I went to church camp every summer as soon as I was old enough to, and was baptized at 13. The point of all this is that while I do consider myself to be a spiritual person I don't go to church right now. Thankfully, last time I talked to my grandfather he conceded that he feels sorry for anyone looking for a church nowadays because of all the "junk" that's out there, church-wise. Oh and he's not a zealot by any stretch of the imagination, he has a refreshingly practical take on religion in that he's with the times, he always seems to be able to put anything in terms that I can appreciate and understand, without a hint of scolding in his tone about my and the whole world's sinful ways.
Well, the issue I struggle with is that Kyle and I live together and have lived together since I came to grad school about 4 and a half years ago. No one was thrilled about it per se, but they understood that if we were both going to be in Philly, rent is too ridiculous to have two apartments. To be completely honest with you, I also really needed to start being an adult and live a normal sharing-the-bills life and I wasn't going to get that in a studio apartment run by the campus. I also really wanted to my make my relationship with Kyle work and really determine whether or not we were as compatible as we both felt we were. I was amazed at how easily we fell into a daily routine and quickly delegated tasks like laundry and dishes (me, him, respectively), and we were getting along fantastically. Did I mention we'd only been dating a few months before we decided to move in together... let me just put it this way, I was pretty scared! What if it didn't work out? Where was I going to live? Would my family be angry with me for making such a bad judgement? Anyway, my grandparents both only mentioned anything to me once, got it off their chests and moved on without treating me any differently. It made me feel uncomfortable that they worried about my immortal soul, but at the same time, I wouldn't want them to lie to me. Everyone loved and loves Kyle, but you know, some people stick to their beliefs... which again, I wouldn't want to be any other way, be kinda' hypocritical wouldn't it?
To the point! This all actually made me a bit nervous when contemplating officiants. We obviously don't have anyone in mind here in Philly, there are no churches we wanted to go to... anywhere... in this entire city, so we've had no chance to develop a relationship with any ministers. Furthermore, I have a huge problem with just hiring someone from the phonebook. I completely understand that some people have to do that and I have nothing against anyone else doing it, but I have a perfectly good minister sitting at the head of my mom's family who, of course, was always going to marry me! BUT... knowing how he felt about me and Kyle living together, I was honestly nervous to ask him, because I was worried he would have an ideological problem with it: So much of the marriage ceremony is dedicated to celebrating a man and a woman coming together and being joined for the first time... I'm not going to go any further, my mother reads this :) But does that make sense? I was worried he would think none of that was real because we had gone against God's laws by living together. Sounds awfully Holier than thou I know, but it's the way my head works sometimes... As if my own grandfather would ever treat me like that. Well, I did him a disservice by thinking these things. I finally got up the courage to ask AND HE SAID HE WOULD BE HONORED!
I was beyond excited. I felt like that little girl again who jumped in his leaf piles and sat across from him in the booth at IHOP. And you know what he said when I admitted to him that I had been trepidatious? He said "I would have no problem helping you do the thing I would have preferred you do in the first place!" Well, I was relieved, excited, warm and fuzzy. And that's that! We have an officiant! And not just any officiant, the man I always hoped would marry us!!!