Monday, March 30, 2009


When you marry into a Catholic family, especially one where all of the relatives live in a radius of 25 miles, you are assured to do two things -- and do them often: go to weddings and funerals.

I have been married for --- wow it will be 11 years this April. In that time I have been to countless weddings and funerals -- mostly for people whom I have either never met or have met maybe once or twice via the big family gatherings that seem to happen every few months. These people love to get together...and eat, basically.

I don't come from a large family so this was all very new to me. I'm also extremely not Catholic.

So when I go to these we usually sit in the back -- unless the person is of great importance, like when Mary's father died we were right in the front. It's somewhat uncomfortable, mainly because Catholicism involves a whole lot of rituals: standing, sitting, singing, praying, shaking hands with other people, repeating what the priest says, and pretty much everyone in the church takes part -- but me.

I asked a long time ago, "hey should I be doing this stuff?"

I was told to stand when asked, sit when asked but other than that -- don't worry about it.

So that's what I do. I stand, I sit, I make eye contact with infants and make them smile because they have about as much knowledge as to what's going on as I do.

My mind also tends to wander. This is mostly the case when I don't know the person getting married or the person being buried.

Like today.

Whenever I sit in that nice country church in Danville, OH my mind starts to wander toward religion. The hows and the whys flood my mind -- this usually is a funeral thing. Today was different, though.

"How many people will come to my funeral? This place is packed. Is it because it's all family/friends or is it a church thing?"

So I started counting -- OK who would show up? Not counting my immediate family -- which is a shade on the small side, who shows up to bid farewell to me? When I reached my number I told Mary.

"How do you know that?" She replied.

"Well it's a pretty fair estimate."

"OK who is on that list?"

I tell her.

"You're forgetting a lot of people."

"Well, if I am forgetting them now there is a very good chance that they'll forget me then."

"Ok. Do you care?"

"Right now? Hell yes I care. Will I care then? Unlikely."

So this is how I spent my Monday.

I'm hoping next time it's a wedding so I can predict to Mary how long it will last before papers are filed based on how nervous/anxious/bored the groom looks.

I'm fun at parties. And really not a bad wedding date.