Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweet, Sweet Normalcy

My wife and I teach the remarriage class for the Diocese. The Catholic Church requires you to take marriage preparation classes if you want a Catholic wedding. The classes have been great fun and we feel we're making a difference in these couples' lives with our stories and lessons.

Every class starts with the couples introducing themselves and telling their love story. The stories are sometimes funny and sometimes touching, but they all have the same dynamics in common. The man talks about how beautiful he thought the woman was and the woman talks about how kind and capable she thought the man was. They say it with humor and they say it with love. It always gets the class started out on a happy note.

The couples are all different ages, races, wealth levels, education levels and so on. It's a lovely cross-section of America. For 7 hours or so, all of us in the room share intimate stories and discuss important topics in daily life. Seating is haphazard, so when the class breaks into discussion groups, the combinations are random. There's never any problem with that.

When I see stories about UCLA students occupying buildings over "microaggressions" or Chris Matthews telling us we're swimming in racism or hear that we're not supposed to use the word "bossy" any more because it somehow prevents little girls from growing up to be leaders, I think of these classes and wonder how Chris Matthews, the Huffington Post writers and the student protesters got so darned weird.

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