So last Saturday Brandon and I met with Msgr. Pennington from St. John's (the church we plan to get married in) to go over the final marriage prep details. You know, cross the t's and dot the i's so that we can get married in the Catholic church and live happily ever after. Turns out, in order to get married in the Catholic church you have to take a 200 question scantron test. This test does not, in fact, help you get into college. What? You don't associate scantron tests solely with the SATs and therefore, getting into college... Yea... Who does that? Weird.
The questions were pretty easy and were multiple choice (which you obviously knew because it was a scantron). For anyone who went to Holy Redeemer, when I sat down to start the test, it was almost like I could hear Sister Lorraine and/or Mrs. Hoskins reading and rereading the instructions for the standardized testing. "If you decide to change your mind on one of your answers, make sure you erase the pencil markings completely, as the computer will pick up your mistake and you will fail. Please be sure to fill in the circle for your answer only and not shade more than one circle for each answer. That means, you need to stay in the lines." Ugh. Anyways, the answer to each question was one of the following: agree, disagree, unsure. Simple enough, right? The point of the test is to graph and understand a couple's agreement levels based on five major content areas (Match, Skills, Bonders, Summary Categories, and Special Groups) which represent nineteen separate scales. For match they were looking at life style expectations, friends and interests, personality match, personal issue; for skills they wanted to know about our communication and problem solving; for bonders it was about religion and values, parenting, extended family, sexuality, finances, marriage readiness, marriage covenant; the summary categories asked about key problem indicators, family of origin, dual career and finally the special groups questions were about interfaith marriages, remarriages, cohabiting couples). Obviously, Brandon and I fall into the cohabiting couple category -- sorry Catholic church.
Here are some example questions:
|Inventory Item||A = Agree||D = Disagree||U = Uncertain|
|1)||We are in agreement about the husband and wife roles each of us expects of the other in our marriage relationship.||A||D||U|
|2)||There are qualities about my future spouse that I do not respect.||A||D||U|
|3)||We have discussed the ways our families solved problems and how this may affect our problem solving.||A||D||U|
|4)||We disagree with each other over some teachings of the church.||A||D||U|
|5)||My future spouse and I have agreed we will not have children.||A||D||U|
|6)||I am concerned that in-laws may interfere in our marriage relationship.||A||D||U|
|7)||My future spouse and I can talk about our sexual fears, hopes and preferences.||A||D||U|
|8)||We are in agreement about how we will make financial decisions between us.||A||D||U|
|9)||I sometimes feel that this may not be the right person for me to marry.||A||D||U|
|10)||My future spouse and I agree that our marriage commitment means we intend to pledge love under all circumstances.||A||D||U|
I really hope anyone who is in a relationship, or thinks they are in a relationship (I know sometimes the line is fuzzy), tried to answer the questions for themselves. It's not that bad, really. Now imagine doing another 190 of them... remember when shading in your circle, make sure you stay in the lines... The good news is, we did it, we are happy with our answers, we feel confident about our answers and most importantly it's done with. The bad news is, we have to go back this Saturday and review our answers with Msgr. Pennington. Let's just hope we have reason to be so confident in our answers. After this step is complete, we need to meet with Msgr. Filardi (the priest who is going to say the ceremony) and go over any little details about the ceremony that need to be addressed. The good news is, I already have everything picked out, up to and including the blessings. Literally, all he has to do is show up :) ...what? Are you surprised? Don't you know by now that I am a complete and total control freak. At least I can admit it!