Monday, April 26, 2010


And since there are probably 2 people that read my blog who know what that is it is, "San Francisco Catholic Engaged Encounter". Scott and I left work on Friday, packed our bags and checked in for our weekend retreat. This is a requirement for us to get married in the Catholic church so off we went. I will admit, I was less than enthused about this little getaway. I went in kicking and screaming and whining about it to anyone that would listen.

I am now going to have to admit that I was wrong about this weekend. It turned out to be about a million times better than expected. Honestly, I think something like this should be required by law to get married! haha! I thought it would going to be extremely rooted in religion and as it turns out, it was really less about that than anything else. We covered it, fighting, forgiving, sex, communication, finances, values, etc... The format was mainly: Presentation by leaders (two couples), separate and write on the topic, and then get together with your fiance and trade books, read and discuss. There is no group sharing or anyone telling you what is right and wrong. It really is just about you and your future spouse.
Ok, there is the good. I can't leave out a few items that were less than appealing:
  • The rooming situation. We checked in and got our roommates. Yes, roommates. A complete stranger that we were placed in a room the size of a shoe box with.
The doors in the distance are all the rooms lined up. It was a little like the Dharma Initiative.
  • The beds. Our linens were laid out on our beds for us to make. It was a little like the military or maybe even prison. The name of the retreat facility was stamped on our sheets and towels (which I am not even sure count as a towel-more like a very thin washcloth).
  • The hours. We checked in at 7:30 on Friday night and this deal was supposed to go on until 4pm on Sunday. Luckily Scott had a flight out on Sunday morning so we got excused at 10:15pm on Saturday (note we started at 8am that morning).
  • We had to miss ALL of the Cardinals/Giants series to be there.
Some funny things that happened:
  • I smuggled a bottle of wine in in my luggage. We had quite the covert operation of drinking our red wine out of coffee cups going on Friday night.
  • I have a bit of a syndrome. Awkward silence and I don't get along. From the moment we arrived at our first presentation Scott took to calling me Monica (from Friends in the episode where they go to cooking school and she knows all of the answers and is eager to answer). This habit continued throughout the weekend. There was one group activity where people put questions in a box to be discussed amongst the group. I decided to participate in each and every one. Scott took to making fun of me and made the entire group laugh on more than one occasion at my expense (see how much we learned)!
  • Saturday we had an hour and half while others strolled the grounds, we strolled to the bar. Let me just say that no, we are not alcoholics, by this point we had been communicating for 8 hours with 4+ more to go. Plus, it was gorgeous outside so we just had one beer at a local bar.
  • After all of this sneaking around, turns out they had wine at dinner on Saturday night. You have never seen 18 couples so excited! I am pretty sure the priest was a little tipsy for our next activity.
  • I met a fellow St.Louisan. Of course, I found out where he went to high school-SLUH. Small world!
All in all I have no real complaints about the weekend. I am very glad that we participated and took it seriously. We plan to keep our books and revisit some of the sections on a yearly basis to make sure we are continuing to work towards the same things in our marriage. One interesting topic (I swear, I am almost finished) was the 5 love languages. It was interesting to see what Scott and I each picked (you pick 2 each) and to be conscious of trying to incorporate these things into our daily lives. Try it out! By the way, it was the most beautiful weekend and we got to spend a lot of time soaking up the sunshine on the gorgeous grounds.

I leave you with the slogan of the SFCEE: A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. (No, this was not news to me...just a nice little line to pass along)

No comments: