I'm feeling nostalgic and romantic these days what with the children reminding me every thirty seconds that Valentine's day is upon us (I think the school system is in on this marketing ploy, honestly) and asking me, "Who is your Valentine? You can tell us. We won't tell Daddy!" So today I'll tell you the story about the day we went to get our marriage license.
It was July, 2003. We went to the courthouse to get the license in anticipation of our upcoming wedding, which was held on July 12th. We went at around 10am, it seems like. Fortunately both of us had jobs that were pretty liberal with our time off (read: he was self-employed and my boss worked in a different state so she didn't know if I was at work or not...hehe!). Anyway, we parked, walked through the building (which was set up like a maze) and went into the office that had a big sign on the door that said, "MARRIAGE LICENSES"
We went in and stood at the counter. There were seven people behind the counter. All of them looked up at us, but no one made any move to "serve" us.
Jason said, "Excuse me! Can we get some help here?"
One of the women looked at us in disgust and horror, rolled her eyes and then pointed to a sign on the counter.
The sign said: Please sign in and then take your seat in the hall.
We both looked at each other and then looked around the empty office. Literally, I'm not kidding, we were the only people there.
Jason said, "Excuse me? Can't you just help us?"
The same woman who had pointed said, "No. You have to sign in and then go take your seat in the hall. We'll call you when we are ready for you."
Jason, looking exasperated said, "But we're the only ones HERE."
The woman looked frantic, "But you have to sign in and go take your seat! That's the way we do it!"
We signed our names on the register and took our seat in the hall. The seat was immediately outside the door.
Less than 15 seconds after our butts hit the seat, they called our names. I'm not kidding.
We go back in and they give us a form to fill out and direct us to...guess where? Back out in the hall!
Why they couldn't just GIVE US THE FORM and have us take a seat without having to call us, I have never figured out.
Anyway, we go back out into the hall and begin to fill out our form. Our conversation went much like this:
Chick: How is it that we've been dating for over three years, we've lived together for a year and a half, I've seen you naked and stuff and I had no idea what your dad's name was?
Chick: You never TOLD me what your dad's name was! And he was born in Yonkers New York! What? I totally never knew that!
Jason: I thought I told you that.
Chick: You never told me that. So you're like a long-term Yankee? How is this going to work?
Jason, sighing: I promise I will work on being more Southern, okay?
Chick: Okay. And you have to stop talking so fast.
Jason: If you promise to learn to make cheesesteaks.
Chick: And you have to stop laughing at the way I pronounce the word "right".
Jason: Well and you have to stop laughing about me telling the kids to "shove over".
Chick: You have a deal.
So we finished our paperwork (which also included him saying, "I never knew your dad's real name was Ira!") and took it back into the office. We were then told to, surprise!, give them the paperwork and go wait back in the hall.
We went back out and less than a minute later they called us back in. And made us stand there for no discernible reason while they talked about some television program they had seen the night before and how they liked it real good.
While standing there trying not to kill anyone, I noticed a large yellow sign on a placard that was bolted to the desk. It stated the following:
ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS ON MARRIAGE LICENSES. NONE!
Okay, I started laughing. I could not stop laughing. I was holding my sides I was laughing so hard. I pointed it out to Jason and gasped, "I wish I had brought my camera!"
He, typically, did not think it was funny. "I think that's very sad Chick. Divorce is no laughing matter."
Which, of course, made me laugh even harder.
My laughter stirred some interest in a woman standing behind the counter and she came to tell me the reason they had that yellow placard in the office. Apparently several young couples "from over to the college" had come in after nights of drinking and decided the would get married. Once they sobered up, they realized that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to agree to spend the rest of your life with someone wearing a hat that says, "Rock out with your cock out!"
Apparently, some of their parents had intervened and tried to come in and get their $50 or however much it was back.
Which made me laugh even harder. Because clearly, if you need your parents involved, you are TOTALLY ready to get married.
Finally, our license was ready. We took it, went back to work, and got married the next Saturday. Our rent-a-preacher signed the license and so did my mom and Jason's mom. The preacher was afraid to ask Jason's mom to sign it because she "clearly did not approve of the marriage."
But that's a story for another time.