I had the pleasure of attending my friends Wedding Blessing. They were celebrating 33 wonderful years together and decided to renew their vows. I can honesty say I have never experienced anything quite like it nor do I think I ever will again.
The Service the was mostly organised by the Wife of the couple, her Husband was happy to be a statue and stand where he was bid. He would have stood there naked if it would have pleased his lovely wife.
There I am sitting in the pew, waiting for it all to begin and I noticed the Minister. He was an older Gentleman, small in stature but he had the most compelling voice. He introduced himself and welcomed my friend and I to the Church. Turns out he is the reigning World Champion in Flower Arranging. Mac, as he introduced himself to us, never mentioned this, in fact had it not been mentioned in the Thank you speech, none of us would have been any the wiser.
As the Service continued, I should have been focussed on my friends but I couldn’t take my eyes of Mac. There was something just so familiar about him, I suspect he just had the gift of making everyone feel like a friend. At the end of the service my friend arrived over to us with Mac and another guy on her arm. The other guy, was the opposite of Mac, over 6ft tall, manicured nails, designer glasses, couture suit, aftershave that wafted around us, making me want to enquire its make. I shook hands with Mac again, adorned in his Ministerial Robes and turned to shake the hand of this handsome stranger and to my utter shock and disbelief as I’m shaking his hand, he’s introduced as Macs Husband.
As the reception continued, I found myself musing, if I had some internal notion that Ministers should be celibate, or must be straight. Maybe it was the fact I had looked at Mac, this small, elderly man and decided he had to have a typical Ministers wife at home, who would make sure his attire was neat and tidy and he had his glasses with him. Why shouldn’t he have a husband?
Why couldn’t or shouldn’t a Minster be gay?
Should the Flower arranging title have been a stereotypical clue?
As I started to munch through a ham sandwich, I wondered if there were other preconceived notions I had or held about other folks?
I like to think I am open and accepting of anyone, no matter race, creed, size or shape, but today I had written this enigmatic older Gentleman off as a retired Minster who must have a home maker wife. His Husband came over and sat at the table my friend and I were at.
What an interesting man. He talked with passion on many different topics. He made me laugh when he talked about Mac forgetting where he had left his reading glasses, only to discover they were on top of his head.
The tone of his voice, softened as he playfully teased Mac and you could easily hear that it was in jest and he was indeed proud of his Husbands many different achievements, his World Champion Status, his standing in the Church. They way they smiled at each other, the twinkle in each others eyes made me yearn for something similar.
For the first time since the end of my current relationship, when asked if I was with someone, I confirmed my single status. The words sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, but after they were said I actually felt more at ease. We spent the rest of the afternoon critiquing Celebrity outfits and decided we obviously had much better taste than they!
Two days have past and I still find myself reflecting to Mac and his delightful Husband. The incorrect assumptions I had made, the look of surprise I tried to hide when we were introduced.
How can I be outraged and pissed off when someone makes an incorrect assumption about me when I am just as guilty as they are?
My hope is that this chance encounter with a delightful new couple will teach me a valuable lesson. You truly cannot judge someone, based on a two second glance. I would have missed out on a delightful afternoon in their company.
So what did I learn?
Never judge a Minister by his job,
never assume you will suddenly have these gay spidey sense that will tingle and alert you to every other LGBT person in a 1 mile vicinity to me.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. I can say I am recently single without bursting into flames and complimenting a gay man on his aftershave ensures you a BFF for life.