Don Miguel Ruiz at the altar

So we went to a wedding this past weekend, and I think it’s fair to say we had never been so thrilled to be at any wedding in our lives. Never mind that we had just experienced a hellish five-hour drive across California along with the fifty million other people who seem to have moved here when we weren’t paying attention. Never mind that we had hurriedly changed our clothes in the parking lot with nothing but the glare of a dirty car window in which to assess our unwashed reflections. Never mind that, due to a tragic backpack-switching incident, John was forced to wear flip-flops along with his formal attire. We had made it, dangit, and we were feeling good.

The ceremony began. It was one of those nice, benign, modern sermons, and I was spacing out a little, hoping the eyeliner I’d quickly applied lay somewhere in the vicinity of my eyelid. Then the rabbi started to talk about something that sounded remarkably familiar…

“As we go through life we make agreements,” said he. “Agreements that determine how we relate to each other…”

My ears piqued at “agreements.” Could he mean…? No, of course not. I chastised myself. Not everything in life is related to a bestselling book!

But then he said there were four agreements. And then he started listing them. And so I started poking John and giggling and yes, they are THE four agreements: Be impeccable with your word, don’t make assumptions, don’t take anything personally, and do your best.

It was hard for me to take the message seriously after that, but I know that many others (who weren’t familiar with the book) were in raptures about it afterwards. And sure, the four agreements do make a lot of sense in a marriage context. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the whole thing was a tad cheesy. Still, it could have been a lot worse: imagine weddings based on these other bestsellers…

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus:

“Today we come together to honor the bland coexistence of two aliens who have absolutely nothing in common. Let us begin the ceremony with a hug…”

The Da Vinci Code:

“This is an event in which we celebrate the joining of two people in holy matrimony…”

A wedding, thought the albino.

“On my left is a woman in a white gown…”

The bride.

Slowly, the woman at the altar turned to face the gathered crowd.

Holy mother of Jesus, thought the albino.

Then…the groom began to scream.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff:

“Bill, do you take this fern to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

I shouldn’t joke. Things like this have probably been done.

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