That’s what his text read…one simple word…”Leave.” Five letters that changed my life and I am only now able to process what happened and the growth I have experienced.
I am the Wedding Coordinator at our church. I am either planning full weddings or I am just the gate-keeper. I am usually only the gate-keeper when we have people outside our church use our facilities for the wedding event. When I am just the gate-keeper I am not always treated well by wedding parties because I am seen as the lady who gets in the way of their plans and fun due to the unenviable job of having to enforce the rules and keep the facility running properly. When I actually plan the weddings I am seen as the lady who makes all the magic happen and I am treated as a member of the wedding party.
This past Saturday I was the gate-keeper for a wedding reception for a very young couple from outside our church community. I started meeting with the couple (who routinely cancelled appointments) in January. Other than their inability to make meetings so we could coordinate logistics, everything seemed normal. They were doing everything on a shoe-string budget and the Pastor really only allowed me to charge them for all set-up and coordination fees. In other words, the church made nothing, which is par for the course.
I am very good with contracts and I brought our church up to speed a couple of years ago. They had the worst contract you ever saw and it was no way to enter into any kind of binding agreement (they didn’t even have a hold-harmless clause). I made sure all our rules and regulations made sense and were enforceable and that we understood the requirements of our insurance company. I always, always, always go over the contract line by line with every couple because I have to make sure they understand what is required of them if they want to use our facility.
The reception wasn’t starting until 5:00 pm. I already had a bad experience with them Friday night because they were close to an hour late to set up the facility. On Saturday, we were at church at 9:00 am because my husband and I run the Shabbat school (it’s a Messianic congregation) and we were there to teach. I helped get the classrooms prepared (thank goodness I had a volunteer to help me) and my sweet Sir took over so I could start organizing for the wedding reception.
We do not allow alcohol in our church so I knew people would leave easily enough after the reception so I could make sure tear-down went well and that I could get out of there once the janitor arrived (10:00 pm). Sir was anxiously waiting for me at home and I was anxious to get home so he could have his way with me. By the way, the only reason we don’t allow alcohol in the church or on premises is because we do a very large recovery ministry and we don’t ever want to take a chance on bottles being left behind as a temptation for recovering alcoholics. So I spend the day preparing the facility with all of the necessary signs placed inside and outside of the building directing guests with parking, handicapped entry, etc. I met with their sound people to get the system set for the evening. They were bringing in food and just using the warming ovens and ice so I made sure the ice machine was in order and that the warming ovens we working properly. I went through and made all of my facility checks (lights, doors, bathrooms, parking lot). It’s all pretty routine, but it takes up a lot of time. I had lunch and then a couple of hours of quiet (the calm before the storm) before getting myself personally ready. It’s a wedding, afterall, so I need to look good.
The chaos began at 4:00 pm when the friends and relatives started showing up with the food and to get the buffet ready. It was like getting run over by a freight train. People started turning on the main ovens in the kitchen and trying to put food in the walk-in. I ran interference and was abruptly screamed at by the bride’s Aunt Sherry. I had to yell back at Aunt Sherry to “shut up.” I do not take kindly to being screamed at by anyone…ANYONE! I have never had someone confront me in such a rude manner so quickly, so unnecessarily, and without a build-up to a confrontation. She did not like the fact that I would not allow her cupcakes in the refrigerator. It was in the contract, but everyone was asking me to break the rules. I demanded an apology, which I received, but it was heavily laced with excuses. Don’t take your stressful day out on me and by yelling in my face. Italian New Yorkers don’t take the shit.
The next order of craziness was the father of the bride pulling me aside and trying to talk me into allowing him to sneak alcohol into the facility. Are you kidding me? You can guess how that conversation went. There were some leaders from the church who were still there, and when they saw I needed help with this unruly wedding, volunteered to stay. You have no idea how much I appreciated their offer. The problems continued from the father of the bride having a supposed “diabetic incident” (he was drunk) to shutting down the elevator due to children going for rides, to the DJ having a snit with me. “Mario the DJ” was/is a piece of work, let me tell you! The problem with “Mario the DJ” was that he ate my food. You read that right, he ate my food. When I asked who ate my food, he admitted it. I handed “Mario the DJ” the rest of the plate. He then went into a diatribe about how important his DJ-ing was and that I needed to stop talking to him, even though he had his lame-ass “posse” up in the sound booth chatting away as he was doing his all-important DJ-ing and updating his Facebook page. He also forcefully let me know that he was a Pastor and that he knew the Head Pastor at our church. I told him that since he was a Pastor he should know that by eating my food he was stealing and that I could call the Head Pastor right now if he wanted to speak to him about all of this. Yeah, that pissed him off real good. The guy was a friggin’ blow-hard! Turns out that the guy who’s in charge of my church’s AV and has a DJ company had actually fired “Mario the DJ” last year. What a dick!
I was on my last nerve and really trying hard to keep myself composed, but I just couldn’t anymore. I was being treated worse than a doormat and my church friends were watching it all unfold and were trying very hard to keep me encouraged to see it through to the end. I sent Sir a text letting him know some of the things that happened and telling him it was the Worst. Wedding. EVER. I immediately received a text back from him that simply read:
And so I left. I introduced the bride and groom to one of the leaders that had elected to stay and help, told them they were in good hands, grabbed my bag and headed for my car. I left…I really left! This was a big deal for me because I have never walked out. I’ve had difficult weddings to deal with, but I make it work and I smooth out the wrinkles. I have always worked extra hard (and to my detriment) at making sure everyone was happy. Sir always hated this because he saw me being taken advantage of and my work-ethic and generosity abused. He has wanted me to stop doing weddings because he’s seen how it goes unappreciated and I am left fried and useless the next day or for several days after an event.
He said he was very pleased with me when he received my text response:
I left and I’m on my way home
He was thrilled and relieved to see me walk in the door. He said he had his doubts as to whether or not I would obey.
And here is the growth part…I chose him over my part-time, unappreciated, very little pay, gate-keeper/doormat position. I have chosen so many things over him because I felt obligated and it wouldn’t be professional to just quit…walk out…leave. I obeyed my Sir because he has my best interest and I don’t. I allow myself to get taken advantage of and pushed around far more frequently than I would care to admit. I put on a veneer of toughness, but really, I’m a softy. The veneer is out of necessity and not really who I am. It’s a self-preservation garment that I have been starting to shed since we began our D/s marriage. I have broken through a submission barrier and I feel light and free. We are in a different place now. It was a significant act of submission and I get it…I really get it. I now stand naked before him and ready to receive and to give to the one who knows me and cares for me far more than I know and care for myself. I feel valued and worthy. I feel confident and strong. I feel loved. I feel like a kitten, who sometimes bites and scratches, but really just wants to curl up in my Sir’s lap so I can purr while he pets me.