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Is someone trying to tell me something?

By Sara Faith Alterman
Globe Correspondent / October 13, 2011

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Do you ever feel like the universe is trying to tell you something? That some higher power takes huge issue with your decision-making and is trying to intervene?

That’s how I feel about my wedding. Which is in two days.

Most married people will, when asked how they met their spouse, wax googly-eyed about how “it was written in the heavens’’ or how “the stars aligned.’’

I’m neither a religious nor particularly spiritual person. I was born the daughter of a southern Massachusetts Baptist and a Philly Jew, raised agnostic, encouraged to be skeptical. And yet, as the big day gets closer, it’s been increasingly difficult to ignore what seem to be urgent memos from some unknown force that’s screaming at the top of its blistered cosmic lungs: “Hey dummy! What the $%^! are you doing? Cut it out! CUT IT OUT.’’

Things that we might normally consider to be tiny inconveniences have morphed into a patchwork of omens, all knit together to produce one gargantuan red flag. Consider, if you will, the following:

Four months prior: Our justice of the peace - the mother of one of my fiance’s dearest friends - e-mails to say that her license has expired and will not be renewed.

Two months prior: A bunch of our invitations are lost in the mail, prompting some hurt phone calls and tentative e-mails from friends and family members who thought we’d simply opted to exclude them. This list of not-receiveds includes my fiance’s mother.

One month prior: My brother, an Army lieutenant, is subject to last-minute changes in his orders, rendering it impossible for him to attend. This is a devastating blow, as I rarely see him and, of course, I love him fiercely.

Three weeks prior: The friend we’ve hired to DJ the reception texts me . . . to ask if we’ve hired anyone to DJ the reception.

Two weeks prior: My face breaks out into the kind of dermatologic pus-fest upon which Wes Craven builds cinematic empires. There is no wash, no antibiotic, no steel wool pad strong enough to combat it.

Twelve days prior: I receive four e-mails from four different friends who all have to back out of attending.

Ten days prior: I notice that I have sprouted several chin hairs. Peach fuzz, mind you, but chin hairs nonetheless.

Nine days prior: My antique engagement ring snaps in half at a karaoke bar while I’m singing Jewel’s syrupy break-up ballad “Foolish Games.’’

Eight days prior: I am typing “wedding’’ into this very article when my index finger snags on the “g’’ key and is sliced open by the cheap plastic cap, causing me to bleed all over the computer and leave the word, unfinished, as “weddin’.’’

On paper, these are nuisances that barely chip away at the bigger picture, that I am committing my life to a person whom I love and trust and respect and blah blah blah. But what if . . . I’m wrong? What if I’m making a mistake, and some invisible force is trying to keep me from making it?

It’s easy to make decisions based on perceived signs. Entire faiths have been built upon this technique, this system of interpreting coincidence and happenstance. But . . . dude. What if there’s something to it? What if there is an invisible man with a cryptic plan?

What’s the lesson here? That love conquers all? That the universe knows something about the future of my marriage, and is trying to protect me? That I’m a self-absorbed millennial brat who’s looking for an excuse to get out of her marriage before she even gets into it? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. What I do know is that each time one of these freak-out moments has cropped up, I’ve asked myself “Should this wedding still happen? Should this marriage?’’

So far, the answer has always been an emphatic YES.

I’ve decided that’s all the cosmic message I need. Unless the chapel ignites on Saturday morning, in which case look for a half-crazed woman in a white dress, wandering the streets of Cambridge and pointing angrily into the sky while shrieking “J’accuse! J’accuse!’’

Sara Faith Alterman can be reached at