While I'm not terribly overt about my sexual orientation, most people who know me understand that I'm a card-carrying member of the Greatest Show on Earth (note to Red Delicious: that means I'm gay). So imagine my surprise when, one bright morning at the office, our receptionist asked me to marry her.
Noting the stricken look on my face, she clarified.
"Remember how you told me once that you're an ordained minister? Well, my fiancé and I were going to get married in Hawaii, but then we decided to get married in Houston. So will you marry us?"
I quickly flipped through my mental files, desperate to find this particular recollection, and uncovered a folder marked "Stupid Things I've Said To Make People Think I'm Niftier Than I Really Am, Which Will Later Come Back To Bite Me In The Ass." Opening it up, I learned that yes, I did indeed inform our receptionist of my ordination when she told me she was engaged. There was even a little sticky note attached, which read, "Offer to officiate at her wedding, knowing she'll never actually want you to do it."
"So will you do it?" She asked.
Yeah, here's the thing about my clerical credentials. I didn't go to seminary, or on a vision quest, or even to a Leisure Learning workshop. I went to the Web site of an online, nondenominational church, entered my name and contact info, and received an e-mail announcing that I was now and for all eternity a Legally Ordained Clergy Person.
I've met Pagans who use online ordination to make themselves and their practices ALAP (As Legitimate As Possible), but to be perfectly honest, I got ordained for the hell of it. And I wanted to be able to use the title "Reverend" in personal correspondence. I just never expected I'd ever have to, like, do anything.
The receptionist was still waiting for a response, so I thanked her for the offer, and explained that since I'd never really done any actual officiating, she might want to go with someone a little more experienced.
"You know what? There's a first time for everything," she replied. "If you screw up, it'll be funny. Besides, I already told my fiancé that you're doing it. He's looking forward to meeting you."
Personally, I don't think I'd find it funny at all if the minister at my wedding kept asking what page we were on and cursing to himself, but different strokes, I guess. Taking a deep breath, I said, "I'll do it," then hopped on my computer to order an officiant's manual and a copy of Texas' marriage laws.
It's apparently going to be a very small, casual ceremony, just family and a couple of friends. And as it happens, I recently acquired a smart new sports jacket and a handsome pair of dress slacks, so my ministerial ensemble is ready to go. I'm sure everything's going to be fine. But if you have a spare moment, go ahead and pray for me, 'kay?