I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but I have two ‘side’ jobs. If you count writing, which I have not been paid to do yet, I have four jobs. I feel ambitious and industrious all of a sudden. 🙂
The first one, which I’ve done for a long time and enjoy, is read tarot cards for people. I started reading cards twenty years ago and now I teach the occasional group the basics. It’s fun and at times, it actually makes me a little money. One of the money hits this year was that the family that books me for their HUGE Halloween party (Easily a $400 night for me.) didn’t hire me this year. Later on, I saw their party pictures on Facebook and felt kind of bad. But, things change, and that’s how it goes. I haven’t read for anyone in a bit, and today, someone asked me about reading for them.
The second is that I am a notary. Which means, in the state of Florida at least, I can marry people. This is a helpful thing to be able to do since I work someplace where people want to go to get married and I’m the person that coordinates weddings there. Normally the questions I get are all about what decorations they can use, how long they can stay to take pictures and is it possible to let Grandma sit at the bottom of the lighthouse tower and watch the ceremony at the top on Facetime. (Yes, someone did ask me that!) I’m used to saying no to brides and explaining why they can’t do things like drape the trees on the front lawn with white gauze and twinkle lights, or take over the completely restored house on the site for their own personal bridal dream home or release 100 white doves into the skies over their ceremony. It’s all pretty routine and I’ve really enjoyed working with all of the couples who do choose to be married on site.
Today, though, I got thrown for a loop by a bride that called for information. It was a standard phone call, until I asked her how many people would be attending the ceremony.
“It’s just us.” She said. “Our families aren’t really supporting us in this, so we’re on our own.” I think I rattled off some polite comment and moved on. About an hour later, I got an email from her full of questions and the second one was “Do you have any issues with the race of the parties you are marrying?”
That question stunned me. And then I remembered what she had said on the phone about the resistance they were dealing with. I took some time to think about my response and then wrote back. “The short answer to your question is no. The long answer is that marriage is the biggest challenge you will take on outside of becoming a parent. You choose your partner and take that challenge on together. You become a team. Race isn’t important. So no, it doesn’t matter to me.”
It’s sad to me that such things are still an issue in the 21st century. I hope these crazy kids show everyone that has given them a hard time what a beautiful thing marriage can be when two people love each other enough to overcome the real obstacles in life – and that the color of their skin isn’t one of them. Life has this funny way of making you feel like you’re the bug on a grill of a semi-truck. All at once, you find yourself suddenly finding perspective in the most unexpected place.