It should come as no surprise that I am the one in this situation. I am the one in the middle seat of the back row of a seven-seater van in the middle of Illinois/Indiana. I’m sandwiched between my soon-to-be husband and my soon-to-be officiant, Father Paul.
Why am I in Chicago/driving to Indiana? I am here on a whim, on a last-minute ticket provided to me by Bryan’s grandparents because we just must see the USC/Notre Dame game that was played the weekend of October 17th. The weekend kicks off with the horrendous flight situation (as described below), picks up with my arrival at our hotel for a short nap, escalates when I wake up and realize that due to a serious miscommunication, Bryan has left me and gone with his grandparents 1.5 hours away in a taxi cab–which costs me $65 to catch up, and carries a theme of relative confusion and tired irritability throughout. I am whisked away to two meals that nearly run back to back with the USC yell-leaders and cheer-squad. Traditional to his grandparents, they treat the whole team to dinner (and in this case, an additional lunch) at the finest restaurants in whatever city the team plays. I make a mistake in ordering a ‘carrot cake.’ I am introduced to the crowd as a sort of celebrity…since I will now be ‘family.’ I freeze on Michigan Avenue and am the sucker for the ‘Chicago’ sweatshirt. In between the mayhem of a USC pep rally, these dinners, an alumni brunch for the highest ranking donors and their guests, the actual game, the voyage out there and back, and making it onto our 7am flight out on Sunday, I managed to catch a few pictures from the city.
But back to the Priests–there were two. I happened to be sitting next to one and behind another, and this comprised the third ‘start’ to our premarital discussions. I was completely unaware that my coursework wasn’t the be all end all. Nonetheless, I welcomed the chance to get to know the man who would be ultimately presiding over the ceremony. The more he questioned me, the more I questioned. The more he asked, the more answers I provided. I consider myself a healthy debater of sorts and tested these waters –albeit outside the Basillica on Notre Dame’s campus (anyone here can sense the hilarity of the scene itself) as they needed to be tested. He asked us why we were getting married. I raffled off a long list of reasons, Bryan cites ‘love’ as the answer. Apparently he was right (at this point we are now in front of an ND paraphernalia shop). I have missed my first question!
There are Skype dates yet to be set with our Priest in the future (I am not kidding) and questions to be heard, but I bet none of my peers have ever spent a 12 hour day with their Priest…let alone body to body in a van.