Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4. The Time I Got Ordained

Growing up, I really hated my name. William was also the name of my best friend, and Miles is just the most uptight thing that ever bourgeois-ed into my life. Plus, all the kids on the playground would mispronounce "Hughes" to "Huggies". I'm cool with my name now, and I even like it most of the time, but this is the story of my favorite part of my name: my title, Reverend.

I really love Lower Manhattan. Just north of the Financial District, right around City Hall is such a great conglomeration of architecture and monument. Plus the bars are full over rich Fire Island gays that are totally into buying people drinks to show how much money they have.

One day I went to this bar across from the clerk's office. It seemed promising and kind of taverny but also cheery. I was with a friend of mine from work (female) who makes my drinking look responsible and infrequent. We get in there and this very nice group of three women and a gay man start talking to us. They were mid to late twenties, and you could tell they worked together, and were going out in what seemed to be a routine.

I started chatting up the guy, who was charming in that "I'm-neurotic-and-vaguely-nerdy-but-also-older-and-more-successful-and-therefore-hot" way. He asked me what I did, which is such a turn-on, because it implies that I seem real enough to be something besides a college student. He told me he worked at the clerk's office as some kind of manager. I didn't believe him, so I told him to prove it, expecting a business card. (So I could get his number! Did you see what I did there? Did you? Just checking.) He told me to give him my full name and number and email address and other information. At this point, I was a couple shots in, so I went along with it.

At this point, I should have realized that something was off, and that I should be giving my personal information to random strangers/potential identity thieves. Alas, I lack that basic impulse for self-preservation. Anyway, we hooked up at his place. Wonderful view of the city from a high rise in the financial district. I remember vividly his floor to ceiling windows, and thinking that I should really think about being a court clerk. I mean, I want to afford that apartment when I'm 25.

We went our separate ways in the morning after he made me a very nice breakfast (brioche French toast!). On the way back I remembered the whole "prove it" conversation, and thought that it was a funny little detail to a very pleasant evening.

Then I got the email. (Aside: I just read that as "LINE BREAK LINE BREAK Then I got the email. So dramatic. So Theatre!) The city of New York was writing to let me know that my application to become a registered officiant of marriages and last rites had been granted. I found out from the internet that all I had to do to marry was sign a license, have the couple sign a license, and then send it in to the city with fifteen dollars.

So yeah! My name's in a city database, and every once in a while I get junk mail addressed to Rev. William Miles Hughes. And that's how I learned to love my name!