I’d like to thank all the readers who had given me the advice to just sit back and relax at my Church-Sponsored marriage prep class. I took your advice and really enjoyed myself. The morning began at 8:45am, and although hard to be bright and bushy-tailed after a late Dodger game the night before (Go Big Blue!), I was still a little nervous.
Our comfortable cushions in hand, we were led to the gym, and then down into the basement. A little grumpy at spending $70.00 for eight hours of what I thought was going to be the typical church fare of God-speak, I collected our packets of information and stuck on our nametags. There was a spread of bagels, donuts, fruit salad, coffee, juice and water; enough to sustain us until our lunch break.
As I perused our workbook and family planning pamphlets, I took a good look at the rest of the 30-some couples around us. At nine o’clock, the presentations got underway. We had two couples who were kindly spending their day helping us to learn to communicate and work together, taking time out of their day for this, and I would pay attention. At one point, the priest at the church we were at came in and gave a long talk, uncomfortably filled with the most politically incorrect stories, complete with the words “Negro”, “retarded” and “drunk”. The talk soon became less hysterical as he told us the different ways marriage could fail. He talked of young couples newly married, when one “dropped dead three weeks into the marriage” or when the wife soon finds her husband to be less than kind. This talk really brought the group down as a whole. You don’t expect to enter a marriage prep class being told marriage is all great times and easy streets, but to be separated into parts and told that “that side over there, in numbers, won’t have their marriage work out” was a shock.
Still, the class taught us of hardships and fighting for what you believe. At times we were told to separate and work in our workbooks. When we’d come back together, we’d see if what we envisioned for whatever it was we were discussing (dreams, communication, finances) was somewhat the same. Luckily, our views are about the same on everything, and there were no real “Oh my goodness, you think that???”.
At one point, I looked to one of the other couples in our assigned group of two other couples, and realized I went to high school with the groom! I haven’t seen him in ten years, and now, out all the people in this room, I sat next to him. Also funny, they were at the Dodger game the night before, too!
One thing that was interesting- something that was seemingly obvious was mentioned again and again, we are the product of our roots. I fight because that’s all I saw growing up. Mr. Kiwi is patient because that’s the example he had while growing up. It’s funny because I had known that, but it never really hit me how much that was true until seeing what exactly I’ve picked up.
Overall, there really wasn’t much we didn’t know beforehand, but it was nice to hear that we have the same values, despite my non-Catholic stance. Taking the class, although mandatory to marry in the church, enabled us to get closer, and to anticipate our upcoming marriage. This class, although initially thought to be a pain, gave me eight straight hours of learning about Mr. Kiwi. And that, is something I’ll always remember.