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You may now kiss the minister

OPINION

January 06, 2013|By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley | For RedEye

Over the holidays, I became an ordained minister and married my friends Megan and Eric.

Now I assume that any regular reader of this column will ask herself: What kind of self-loathing, mentally unhinged bride and groom would ask Stephen Markley to stand in front of all of their friends and family and say whatever he felt like—no edits, no second opinion, no notes—on the most important day of their lives?

"Hey, Stephen, I really liked that column you wrote about almost having a threesome. Would you want to pop off at the mouth and marry us? No F-words or 'Star Wars' references, please."

Well, Eric and Megan never got so much as a prior glance, so my ministry basically consisted entirely of references to Harrison Ford action movies. That's now the foundation of their marriage, and it was so good I'm surprised Eric didn't get Megan pregnant on stage.

The question is what should I do with this awesome power of ordained ministry I now possess? It occurred to me that I could start sneaking up on people and suddenly prank marry them. For instance, if this gay marriage bill passes the Illinois Legislature, I can run up between those men who used their last gasp of homophobia to oppose it and just marry them to each other while they're eating lunch. Then they'll have to figure out who's the bottom and who's the bear on the fly.

On the other hand, maybe I should just go into business for myself. Are you getting married any time soon? How would you like author and D-list Chicago celebrity Stephen Markley to perform your wedding ceremony? I'll charge less, and unlike 95 percent of religious ceremonies, I won't include any weird, misogynistic subtext. (I've been to few weddings where the minister essentially asks something like, "Sandra, do you take this man to be the father of your children and promise to allow him to pump as much seed into you as is necessary to create an army of God-fearing soldiers to fight the abortionists?")

All I'm saying is I'm at the age where I spend a lot of time going to weddings, and I view the movement toward marriage-by-irreligious-friend as the best thing to happen to marriage ceremonies since the invention of alcohol and bridesmaids dresses with cleavage.

Perhaps my favorite part of performing Megan and Eric's ceremony was that I really love those two. Megan has been my friend since the seventh grade, and when she met Eric, he and I became close friends. When I married them, I could talk about the strength I saw in them and the hope I had for their lives together.

Instead of some expensive stranger imparting false, unearned wisdom who was ordained by a pseudo-corporation instead of the harder ordination of friendship, Megan and Eric had someone who will be there for them long after the applause faded and the church bells went quiet.

Also, I got in a reference to the part in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" where the guy tears the other guy's heart out of his chest while it's still beating.

Now that's a wedding.

RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."

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