Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Meeting with Father Frank

On Saturday morning, we arrived for the first of many meetings with the man who will marry us. Father Frank graciously welcomed us in his office with open arms. I was quickly drawn to all of the photos on the shelves and walls. They were everywhere. People of all ages and ethnicity's smiling back at me as I glanced at their beaming faces. Noticing us starring at the photos, he began to tell us a little about some of their backgrounds like where they were from, how he came to know them, and what they are doing today. I was deeply impressed. Father Frank was responsible for helping many of these faces get a college education and helped them find work. Many were from different countries like Africa and South America, to name a few.

As we continued to talk, there was a knock on the door. Father Frank welcomed them in. It was a young man. He nodded at us and apologized for the disturbance. Father Frank said, "Don't worry about it. Come in!" He then introduced us to the young man and told us that he was leaving back to Ecuador the next day and that the church was holding a celebration for him and his wife because they had just completed their college education. We congratulated him and allowed him to speak briefly with the Father. After they were through, Father Frank sat in his chair and starred at us. Then without warning he looked me straight in the eye and asked, "What would you change about him?" All I could say was "Huh". He smiled and said, "Give me some examples of things that he does that you wish he didn't." I jokingly said, "Let me pull out my list." Everyone laughed. But then, when the laughter was over, I had to answer.

Now this meeting was not going exactly like I had expected. I went in thinking it was going to be more about getting the proper paper work filled out and maybe an overview of things we had to do throughout the year. It turns out that Father Frank has three different Master Degrees in Psychology along with a Doctorate in Theology/Psychology.

My answer consisted of careful analysis of what I think my fiancee can improve on - NOT! I was put on the spot and trying hard to think of something that would not make me or my fiance look like fools or worse...cause an argument later when we left. So I quickly spoke about my very detail orientated nature of having to plan everything and how sometimes my fiance can be very inpatient. He then said, "A lot of men have this problem. Women by nature are more organized then men and that is why 90 percent of my staff were women when I was a principal at a catholic high school. Then, it was my fiance's turn to answer the question.

He was consumed in nervous laughter. All of the things that were going through my mind, seconds before, were now going on in his. He then said, "Her planning...that has to be something that I can't stand sometimes." And the referee calls, "Safe". He stood in the safe zone - as I did. Father Frank quickly paraphrased what he had said before and quickly moved on seeing that none of us were really going to say anything that may potentially come back to haunt us later. He then asked, "What is one thing you like?" Well this was an easy one. With out any hesitation I said, "His sense of humor", which is so true. I can have the crummiest day and he will find some way of making me laugh. And his answer you ask? He said my understanding nature, which is in tune with my zenness of course.

The day was spent with many more questions and even some tears. Tears? Yes tears. You see, his last question to us was, "If you had one moment to say something to him/her before you died, what would it be?" Wow! Talk about intense. He gave us a couple of moments to think about it before we answered. I went first and then he did (No. I won't tell you what was said - too personal). We then got up and hugged each other. It was really nice. Then the Father concluded the session by giving us a blessing. He walked us out and gave me some paper work to fill out at home. Then we parted telling him we would come to see him soon.

Although the meeting was different then what I expected, I learned a lot about my partner that day. It was an awkward, funny, tear jerky day, to sum up. The remainder of that day went smoothly as you can imagine. I just wonder what the other sessions will be like. One thing's for sure. I will bring my handkerchief - LOL. Until next time, take a Zen moment and reflect.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Tail of Two Ricans

In the mist of axes, chains, bloody rats, and devilish attire, I saw a young man who took my breath away. He was tall, dark, and handsome - You're thinking quite the cliche, but it's true. He had long, wavy hair that reached his shoulders and dark mysterious eyes. I was awestruck at the sight of this man. I was also deeply concerned about my appearance. You see, I was wearing bunny rabbit ears, with a tee that had a huge white star, black jeans, and a vampire cape. No I am not a loony, I was working at a Halloween shop in the local mall.

As I began re-stacking masquerade masks to their proper places, I saw that one of my fellow co-workers began talking to this handsome stranger. They were chit-chatting for awhile, but to my dismay there were no looks my way. Stupid rabbit ears! As I continued stacking masks, I noticed a costume on the floor that needed to be put away. I nervously carried the costume just behind the rack of costumes they were standing in front of. As I made my way back to the masquerade section, the co-worker who was speaking to the handsome stranger made his way towards me. I smiled and said, "Wow, who is that you're talking too?" He looked back at me curiously and said, "Why? You like him?" I said, "He is really good looking." Then he smiled and said, "I'll be right back." I quickly grabbed his arm and said, "Where are you going?" He then looked and said, "Don't worry. He asked about you too?"

I was mortified. All sorts of things started popping in my head. What will he tell him? What will he think? I am such a loser to have a co-worker approach this man for me. After about two minutes, my co-worker came back. He told me to go over to the horror and mask section. I was dumb founded. I am suppose to meet him where? Everything was happening so fast... before I knew it I was being shoved over there. My heart begin to beat faster with every step. I approached and saw him waiting for me. He smiled and said hi. I shyly replied hi (looking mostly at the floor out of embarrassment of what I was wearing) and then he asked where I was from. I told him and then he said something that has stomped me to this day. "You have an accent", he said. "An accent?" "Nobody has ever told me that before", I answered. After a moment of awkwardness, he asked for my number. I quickly looked for a scrap piece of paper and pen and wrote in perfect penmanship. He took it in his hand and glanced at it once and then said he would call me. I watched him walk away with dancing butterflies in my stomach.

Two days later, I got the magical phone call that has changed my life. I met a handsome stranger that day. And now I'm on the road to being his wife. Until next time, take a Zen moment and reflect.

Student says
I am very discouraged
what should I do?
Master says
encourage others
Zen proverb

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hola Mon Ami (Hello My Friend)

Well, where to begin...this is my first posting so bare with me . I am a bride-to-be or shall I use Bridezilla - the overly obsessed wedding detail machine that is on the verge of man handling everyone and everything (including small pets) around them. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, "Give this one a Prozac." But actually, I am just pulling your leg. I'm as much a Bridezilla as Cortney Love is a good actor. I'm actually more on the procrastinating side when it comes to my wedding. The only thing I have done to date is book my reception hall, which really comes with everything: cake, center pieces, matching linens, full bar, and 5 course meal.

The problem is I'm at a halt with doing anything else. I really find myself unmotivated. We do have a meeting with our priest this coming Saturday though. He will finally explain the rules of getting married in a catholic church. Now all we have to do is put our halos on and act like good abiding Christians (hopefully we are better actors then Courtney). Father Frank, our priest, is really cool though. He knows that me and my fiance have been together for a long time and that this christian girl is wearing white more for aesthetic reasons (He, He). But seriously, I am completely honored to have him marry us because he has been part of my fiance's life since he was a child and they have always remained in contact throughout the years. He called me the other day and said that he would make it a beautiful ceremony. And I know it will be. After all, I am marrying a really great man.

For my next post, I will tell you how we got together. It is a really interesting story and of course how he proposed. Unitl next time, take a Zen moment and reflect.

The world is like a mirror you see?
smile and your friends smile back
Japanese Zen saying