They Do, I Did

You can't put a price on true love, can you?


They Do, I Did

C. Derick Miller – Head Writer

Your Stories on Video

If you read last week’s blog, then you know I’m inching up on my two-year wedding anniversary! It’s a very special time for me and my wife considering we’ve spent most of our marriage trapped in a pandemic. These are trying times for couples. Everyone’s scared and being bombarded with information from all sides. No two sources are alike.

In my previous marriages, not even one of them made it to the two-year mark without committing some type of infidelity, so I consider my marriage to Samantha to be the most special one of all! Either that, or she’s just good at not getting caught. I joke, of course. I know deep down that she’s the one I’ll force to attend my funeral. That line’s no joke. I’m way older than she is. It’s simple math!

I’m a big fan of love and I have been since I was a little child. In the eighties, all our movies and music mostly dealt with the topic of love, and I just couldn’t wait to be a part of it. The films I saw on the big screen all made it look so pleasant and the music I listened to led me to believe it was something I couldn’t live without! There was only one problem. I didn’t have the game most of these movie stars and singers from the eighties pretended to have! I was kind of ugly too. Big buck teeth in the front and a bad bowl cut from my mother didn’t help things much. This is why I learned how to manipulate words the way I do. I wasn’t getting anywhere with my looks, that’s for sure!

Now, this is the part of the story where some of you may disagree with my line of thinking and, at the end of the day, I believe it’s okay. We’re not all supposed to be the same person and it’s not a bad thing for numerous people to think numerous things. Can you imagine how boring our world would be if we all looked alike, spoke alike, or believed alike? It would drive me insane! Variety is the spice of life, otherwise See’s Candies wouldn’t make so much money during the holidays selling those giant chocolate boxes. Please tell me you all know about See’s Candies. If your answer is ‘No’, then you may have a larger problem than the disagreement you and I may be about to have.

I am a heterosexual middle-aged male. Half of my heritage is Irish, which is about as white as you can be, and the other is Native American. As a matter of fact, one of my grandfathers was so dark skinned, I remember someone calling him a slang slur that begins with an ‘N’ for cutting him off in traffic once. Mix me all up and pour me in a bowl, and you’ve got yourself one of the blandest mixtures on the planet. Nope, other than writing scary stories, there’s nothing interesting about me whatsoever. I think that’s why I did it.

When same sex marriage was legalized on the federal level, I remembered reading stories in my hometown newspaper about many Justices of the Peace refusing to marry anyone at all if they were forced to perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples. Now, whether you believe in same sex unions is completely up to you, and I have my own private beliefs on the subject as well and I plan on keeping it that way. See? Wasn’t that easy? You and I have our own beliefs, we kept it to ourselves, and we didn’t get in a social media argument about it! There’s hope for humanity yet!

Anyway, my problem wasn’t that these elected officials were revealing their own personal beliefs in the media for all the world to see, it was the fact that they were elected to do a job and were refusing to do it. Isn’t there a chain of command in the government? Federal, State, County, and Local? These County elected officials were refusing to follow the laws handed down to them on a Federal and State level, and no one had the gumption to challenge them. This upset me, so I took matters into my own hands. No, I didn’t write a harshly worded Twitter post. I became an ordained minister. I think everyone deserves to endure the overwhelming joys and sickening heartaches of marriage equally!

The bookings were instantaneous! Heterosexual, homosexual, you name it! People were asking me to perform their weddings left and right and, to this day, I have yet to turn a single couple down. I’ve performed weddings in living rooms, churches, and even a cemetery! My only oath I made to the church who sponsors me is that I agreed to never say ‘No’. If someone asks me to perform their wedding, and it’s a legal circumstance, and they possess all the official documentation, I cannot refuse.

I never would’ve guessed it at the time, but performing weddings gives me the greatest happiness. As I speak my words, I look deep into the couple’s eyes and see the love flowing through them on what could very well be one of the most special days of their entire lives! I see it in a way the attending crowds do not. I’m looking directly into their souls at the most vulnerable time. I’m honored to do so.

It’s been almost seven years now since I’ve obtained my ordainment, and I’ve joined a couple dozen couples in matrimony. I work strictly off donations because you can’t put a price on true love, can you? I think not. Sometimes the groomsman will slip me a few bucks, sometimes I’m treated to a wonderful meal, and sometimes I have a free beer in each hand while I watch the lucky couple dance the night away! If there was a way to do this for a living, I think I truly would. I don’t want to be a Justice of the Peace because I wouldn’t want to pronounce people dead or conduct traffic court. Nor would I want to be a preacher because I don’t want to hold the salvation of other peoples’ souls in my own hands. But a full-time wedding officiant? Where do I sign?

I bring this up now because I spent my early morning hours marrying a man and a woman in a very private, intimate setting on the shores of a lake this morning. It made me think of my own wedding and how I still haven’t stopped looking at my sweet Samantha the way I did when we were married two years ago. We’ve let nothing at all come between us, including this strange, ever evolving pandemic we’re all enduring. We’re as strong today as we were the day we said, ‘I do’, if not stronger. I couldn’t ask for a better pandemic partner, and I hope I never have to spend a single day without her. I know it may be a selfish wish for me to pass on long before she does, but I also know that she’s a stronger person than I am. She’d survive without me around. I don’t believe I could do the same.

What was your wedding like and who performed it? Was it outdoors in the southern August heat or in the confines of a beautiful church? Did you have your favorite childhood priest stand over the ceremony or did you have a crazy wedding officiant just like me? Maybe even one of your best friends dressed in a toga? Here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! We want to turn your wedding into the most important chapter in a movie about YOU!

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PS – For those of you still cliffhanging from last week…

We decided to spend our anniversary weekending riding rollercoasters. Real ones. Ironic, isn’t it?

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