Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Momzilla: funny stuff that happens at weddings

I pride myself on my dark and twisted sense of humour. I also think that no matter what feedback the "pays the same"  this is especially true at weddings. With the nuclear family having been made into the real weapon of mass destruction a lot of people are opting for alternatives to traditional marriage. People my age have given far too much money to lawyers and you can only get married in some religions once.  It's good business for me and my secular commissioner colleagues since non-secular church weddings often involve regularly attending  church before hand and this does not seem to be quite as popular as it used to be.  

There is an advantage to a church wedding however; seldom does anyone get all grumpy with the priest or rabbi about how the service is to be conducted. Normally the priest is using some hour hundred year old sacramental ritual that doesn't have a lot of flexibility, so you know what you are getting. There is a lot of sign of the cross making: spectacles, testicles, watch and wallet. Some Latin: my father plays dominos better than your father (say that out loud real fast, you'll get it) and  icon worship that nobody really understands anymore.  But all in all it's peaceful, lovely and pipe organs kick ass.

When getting married in an alternative venue, be it a community hall, an old barn or on the veranda of the Magrath Mansion, which is just down the street from my house. Often a new dynamic kicks it and it is: Momzilla.

This needs further definition: usually, but not always,  Momzilla is the mother of the groom, she has really nothing to do on her sons wedding day, whereas the brides Mom is busy with pins and curling irons and generally fussing over her little girl. Worse,  for a lot of groom Mom's  she is divorced,  somewhat bitter, single and the grooms Dad shows up with a date who is  younger, hotter and despised by everyone. In extreme cases Dads  date will look like she was selected off a foreign wives website, because, often this is true.

In one notable example; the date  was smoking hot and just off the plane from Russia. It was obvious she already had her sights on something better than Dad. She was working the room. The grooms Mom was a very nice lady who had strong opinions after her third glass of wine.

The person who gets to tame these circus lionesses, is of course, the marriage commissioner aka me.  I have had many a groom mom offer me suggestions at the last minute, as her son is busy doing vodka shots with the groomsmen and there isn't really anyone else  for her to talk to. I've had them change the script, which I promptly ignored, or suggest that the sunlight will be in the brides eyes and maybe we should rethink where everyone stands I nod my head and I promptly ignore.

Mother of the bride is only ever a huge problem if she is someone of wealth and feels that in paying for this event she should get a major role in how it comes together.  I have had Momzilla's attend the pre-meeting, the rehearsal and of course the ceremony. Often there are several pre-meetings and much fussing about what colour of tie I will wear. My new policy is if you are getting married in a venue that charges $1,000.00 or more just for the space, I'm not your guy, I only own four ties, A Guggenheim and three Gerry Garcia's. I also don't wear a tux.

Momzilla may not realize she is overcompensating, sometimes she just wants a simple and perfect day for her kids and other times she is so crazed with trivial details that she needs to find someone's balls to break, she's been doing it to Dad for a long time and he's already into the scotch. 

Sometimes though it is very good:  recently I had an nice experience with a Mom, the kids had a little girl three weeks old and Mom wanted to be at the front with me, so I cut her into the program and let her say the non-legal bits while she held her first grandbaby.  She was  happy, which worked out all around.

This is an interesting ethical  dilemma: lots of Moms are my age, single, attractive and professional standards are a bit of a grey area.  But like they say, if I have to have a problem, this is the one to have.

How to avoid all this drama:

1) It's your wedding  do what you want.  I did a biker wedding where everyone wore their colours including the bride and groom.  I have also performed house weddings where the TV was on, of this I am not proud.
2) Figure out how to deal with Dad and his child bride from Thailand ahead of time, like maybe just elope, or tell him to leave her at home. He will get it.
3) Give the commissioner a heads up if you know of some unmanaged family dynamic and is likely to rear it's head.  
4) Nobody can stop your wedding: When I ask the question if anyone knows a reason why you can't be married, the list is pretty short;  not getting married in your parents church is not one of them.  I have on occasion, spoken to Mom and Dadzilla and asked if is this is how they want their daughter to remember  her wedding day?  I am like a baseball umpire on this one, it ain't nothing till I say it's something and you can't argue with the ump. So don't sweat it we know the rules.
5) If you are on a budget, buy your rings at a pawn shop, come over to my house with two witnesses and we'll do it right here in front of the fireplace. 
6) Unlike priests, the commissioner generally does not attend the reception, I may have a glass of wine at a house wedding, but the expected standard is to perform the service, get paid and go.

Being a marriage commissioner is a lot of fun, since I also do house inspections, I had one couple that I married call me for the inspection, she was pregnant and asked if I was a Doula too?  Fortunately  she was kidding. They had a good simple wedding, bought a good simple house and had a nice baby. A great way to start life together.

Second marriages are generally a lot simpler, most because everyone is older and has a "been there done that" attitude, which can make for an awesome party.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Climate change, science and phobia

My last post was about the  "Monkey Mind", that state between sanity and information overload.  This topic occurred to me  when a friend commented on Facebook that he couldn't tell if it was global warming or global cooling, to which I responded "It's always global something".    

Global something, indeed,  I am not a "Climate Change Denier" I am also not convinced that people are so bad for the planet that we should eliminate ourselves from it. We have to eat, we have to get places and in Alberta the only thing that keeps us from freezing to death is central heating and quarter inch thick pieces of glass.  I actually do understand some of the science and  the model of a positive feedback loop:

The more ice melts, the more dark sea water, dirt and rocks  are exposed which absorb more heat, melt more ice, which causes more dark sea water, dirt and rocks to be exposed which absorb more heat and melts more ice. That is a positive feedback loop and climate change in a nut shell. 

Science will also tell us that young trees sequester more carbon than old trees, so cutting old trees and planting new ones, like the forest companies do, is good for the environment.  In nature, a tree will eventually release all of carbon it has sequestered when it dies or burns down. That's why trees are carbon neutral and if, you can make something out of the tree before it dies or burns, like lumber or paper, you are actually sequestering the carbon forever.  So buying more paper and cutting down old trees for lumber seems like a good solution.

The worse thing about the climate debate are the people doing the debating, if climate change and carbon sequestration are well  beyond the purview of elected or self appointed leaders from any party or group I got to thinking: what motivates the folks in this debate and I have found some great medical phobia's that might describe the whole thing.

Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions: Especially ones you don't agree with.

Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news: Most of the people in the climate debate are clamouring for bad news.

Gnosiophobia- Fear of knowledge: This one is pretty obvious on both sides.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words: This is why science is having such a tough time making inroads.

Hypengyophobia or Hypegiaphobia- Fear of responsibility: Unless, of course it fits the election cycle.

Next time you wonder why nothing but doom and gloom seem to be forthcoming on this topic, this might help explain a thing or two. The folks involved aren't just zealots, they have deeper  issues.

Here's where I see it going: Climates change all the time, if not we'd be yielding to tyrannosaurus's on the highway and our beaches, deserts and mountains would be all wrong.  We have survived ozone layers depleting,  Chernobyl is the most natural place in Ukraine, nature just created a beetle that eats plastic, this critter will be popular until he eats a hole in your $400. MEC backpack.  Carbon dioxide, like natural gas in the Turner Valley days is simply a compound for which we haven't found a use yet, but we will, of that I am sure, because while the science of  climate change remains fuzzy over who we should blame, the science of fixing it,  regardless of who's fault it is, is going ahead full speed. And that is the beauty of being human and loving science.