Saturday, July 14

the mystery marriage book...

Aside from chatty "do you and your husband have big plans for your anniversary?" questions at the dentist, I expected our first wedding anniversary to pass relatively unnoticed by our community.  Then a mysterious package from something called Family Business Services with a Gastonia, NC address arrived on our doorstep (it wouldn't fit in the mail slot) and inside was a book entitled "To Have and To Hold: A Newlywed Keepsake."

Inside was a letter with several local businesses listed in the margin - an insurance agency, a funeral service, a flower shop, and the local Holiday Inn.  None of which we've ever had any dealings with.  The letter began "congratulations from your hometown friends," said some things about "the institution of marriage" and ended "we send our prayers and best wishes for a strong and ever renewed married life!"  Mr. Q and I were confused:  if this was a wedding gift, it was very late.  If it was an anniversary gift, that was kind of strange - how did these businesses know it was our anniversary.

The first few pages are things like a marriage announcement and family tree followed by various definitions of committed love.  We were still confused about what the point of it all was...

A-ha!  Hello there, Jesus!  The next pages of the book are a summary of the Gospels with pretty illustrations that remind me of the condensed New Testament my mother used to teach me about Jesus when I was a small child.  Apparently Family Business Services and those local businesses want us to know about Jesus.  Mr. Q put a photo of the book and a "what is this?" status on Facebook and some local friends said they also received one close to their first wedding anniversary.  According to the Family Business Services website, "in our sponsorship marketing method we offer to newlyweds and anniversary couples, whose names we have retrieved from the local newspaper, a beautiful hardbound book reflective of the Judeo Christian values upon which our nation was built."  The mystery of the marriage book is solved.  It's kind of strange, but I kind of like it.

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