Writing our marriage vows, we promised to… I don’t remember. I do remember that we intentionally left out the “obey” part. The obey bit seems a bit forced, but surely ‘showing respect’ should be part of the marriage compact.
We married in the Rayado chapel built by Kit Carson for his wife Josefa. (According to local legend, she did not like taking the carriage… riding through a cloud of dirt and dust to attend church 11-miles north in Cimarron, New Mexico.)
For years, I’ve told the story about reaching out to the diocese in Santa Fe and asking them if we could use Josefa’s chapel for a wedding. The diocese was reluctant: the church had not been open in 30 years, and it was dirty. Whimpering worked. And I promised to clean the chapel and leave it better than we found it.
Finding an organist who would play the wheezy, antique organ with a couple of non-functioning notes was also difficult. The organist who finally acquiesced, began by saying, “I am a musician! This is not a musical instrument!”
I whimpered some more saying, “It’s not about making music. The function of the organ is to create historical ambience.” It was a hard-sell, but the organist caved in.
This morning, I did a bit of research. First, I needed a photo of the chapel (I have yet to digitize mine) and then I needed to confirm that Kit Carson built the chapel for Josefa. As it turns out, the local legend is so much more colorful than the facts behind Santa Nino built in 1902 by Petrita Beaubien Abreu in memory of her husband. How disappointing! I like the legend so much better than the fact!
But it is a fact that when I married Mark on June 10, 1978, I did not promise to obey. However, you would think that showing respect would be part of the marriage vows.
Every time Villanova makes college basketball’s Final Four, Mark revisits my sins of 1985 – the year that Villanova won over Georgetown 66 to 64. Excited as if he had scored the final points himself, Mark went to the closet looking for his Villanova blazer. Pumped up and glowing with success, he would wear it to work and gleefully make a perfect ass of himself.
Unfortunately, I had recently cleaned out the closet and given his cherished blazer to Goodwill. Not only had I given the blazer to Goodwill, but I had forgotten to remove the insignia from the breast pocket. Someone somewhere… maybe someone pan-handling on a street corner… was wearing his blazer! HOW COULD I? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I had also failed to show respect.
Tonight, the Villanova Wildcats (34-5) play the North Carolina Tar Heels (33-6) for the NCAA championship. Mark, however, will be reduced to wearing his Villanova sweats. If the Wildcats win… all will be well. If they lose to North Carolina, it will be a long night as Mark revisits my lack of respect and the disposal of his “lucky” blazer.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THEM.