Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Manic Monday

Ken and I are finally going to get married, officially, legally, on April 25. We've been meaning to get around to it for around 4 years now. Last year, after our wedding bands had been sitting in the sock drawer for many months, we decided to just go ahead and start wearing them. And started calling each other "my husband" and "my wife". But it's not the same as being actually married.

Ken and I have never had an anniversary. We segued very gradually into our relationship. I've always regretted that, because we have a lot to celebrate - we just didn't have a date.

So now we're planning the world's smallest wedding: just the two of us, our pastor, and my mum and my sister as our witnesses. I'll get myself a new dress and a pretty bouquet. We'll have a professional photographer do some portraits. We'll probably go for a fancy dinner that evening, and a little day-trip honeymoon on the Sunday. And that's really all that either of us want.

My first wedding was more traditional: 50 guests, white gown and veil, etc. But it was a flop. The rabbi was drunk when he performed the ceremony, offending many of the guests and causing my maid of honour to flee the room with a massive attack of giggles. Various branches of fractured families (both mine and his) could not relax and enjoy the day together. In fact, more than half of my family members made excuses to leave early. There were so few people left by the time we got around to cutting the cake that the dancing part didn't even happen. I went home and cried.

My family members who left early last time won't even be informed of this wedding until after the fact. So far as they'll know, we eloped. They'll probably be righteously offended by the situation, but I don't care. They'll have plenty of chances to be snarky and divisive at many other family gatherings. Never again at a wedding of mine.

On Monday Ken and I went to pick up a marriage license. We live within a 15-minute walk of our municipal city hall, so we figured it would be a snap. I had all my papers prepared the night before, checked and double-checked against the requirements listed on the government's Service Ontario website.

I was NOT impressed to discover that the website was wrong. The clerk asked to see a divorce certificate. I showed him a Final Judgement of divorce, which was supposedly allowable. But, not so. I had everything else. My birth certificate, two change of name certificates... I thought I had gotten a divorce certificate back in 2003, but there were no odd-shaped pieces of fancy paper, covered in squiggles and watermarks like my other certificates. Just some random 81/2 x 11 papers floating around in my "Divorce Stuff" envelope.

Suddenly this pleasant task that should have taken 30 minutes on my way to work had turned into a red tape nightmare. The clerk told me I had to go downtown to the Family Law Courts to get a divorce certificate, and then I could come back uptown to get the marriage license. Ugh. Fine.

So, Ken and I got on a train and went down to the courthouse, which took us close to an hour. We rode a crowded elevator to the 10th floor, at which point I started having some seriously stressful flashbacks of being there for my divorce proceedings many years ago. Sweating and stressed out, I waited for my turn to speak to a clerk. Finally I was called up to the counter. I pulled out my envelope and started yanking everything out in search of the Final Judgement, while I told the clerk I needed a divorce certificate.

One long, pink, manicured nail came down on one of the other papers that had drifted out of my envelope.

"This," she said, "is a divorce certificate."

I looked. On this otherwise non-descript sheet of white copy paper, there was a heading in Times Roman stating "Divorce Certificate".

"You're kidding me," I said.

"No. You don't want another one, do you?"

I smacked my right hand over my eyes and took a moment to process this information. Indeed, I had had the stupid certificate all along. What fooled me was that it looked nothing like the other certificates. Birth, Marriage, Change of Name - they're all as fancy and impossible to forge as banknotes. But the Divorce Certificate... anyone could mock one of those up with a black and white inkjet printer. The only "official" bit was a red stamp that left a raised impression on the paper. I had completely overlooked it.

I gathered up my papers and shuffled back to where Ken was waiting. I said:

"I don't think you're going to want to marry me anymore."

I explained that I had had the paper the whole time, and that our trip downtown had been a wild goose chase. I apologized profusely for wasting his time. Of course he forgave me, and said many soothing things.

At that point we took a break for lunch, which helped get me back to a more normal state of mind. Then we took the train back uptown and FINALLY got the freaking marriage license.

Well, something had to go wrong. That's just how things go. Now hopefully we've gotten it out of the way, and we'll have a perfect wedding.

That evening, after work, Ken was home waiting for me with a homecooked meal and two vases filled with beautiful flowers. My favourites are the pale pink roses with baby's breath. I'm looking forward to our wedding. He's already the best husband I could ask for.


Anonymous said...

Well, let me be the first to cyber-congradulate you and Ken. I love your wedding, small, just a couple of witnesses and nobody else needs to know. That's the way it should be.

But I hope you realize that you can never win the prestigious Wouldee award. Can't give that to married woman. I won't rub another man's rhubarb.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

I'm sure I'm mistaken here.... I don't see my invitation anywhere... Let me check my e-mail again, nope. Hmmm... seems my invitations must be lost somehow.

LOL, Congrats and have a nice simple calm wedding. Sounds wonderful.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I've had one of *those* days today. And I've got to tell you, this post brought tears to my eyes. You're in such a loving and supportive relationship. And I know it's going to feel so wonderful to finally have your own official papers and date to prove it.

BTW, this wedding is supposed to be all about you. And Ken. And the people you chose to share it with. Forget the other family members. They're so not worth it.

Aurora said...

I was wondering if something was going on :)
lots of love and happy wedding!

LL Cool Joe said...

Congratulations!! I hope this Wedding is everything you hoped for.

When you mentioned your first Wedding and all the guests leaving and no one dancing, that gave me the cold sweats! I do discos at Weddings and I know how important it is to make everything go well and to introduce the cutting of the cake and playing the special record for the newly weds to dance to etc, but to do that to an empty room, or just a crowd of people who don't want to dance is soul destroying for me, let alone the Bride and Groom.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...


NicoleB said...

Ach, you guys are sweet :)!
Small is good.
And well, I'm glad I'm not the only one that always thinks Murphy was there before me ;)
Congrats on getting the date set and the papers ready :)!

Keera Ann Fox said...

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Now, do you guys need a toaster or set of steak knives? ;-)

Kate said...

It is as it should be.

Katie said...

Congrats... I hope it is everything the first one was not. It sounds divine to me to have a small, intimate ceremony!

Karen said...

Who the heck know that you weren't married? You totally tricked me. I am going to need some time to process.


Ok. Now I am ready to say Congrats.

Sparkling Red said...

WIGSF: I'm a little disappointed about not being eligible for the award. I only wanted it in the most hypothetical way. But I have to respect your moral and ethical stance. Stick to your own rhubarb, eh?

Ron: You can come, on the condition that you wear a powder blue tuxedo and a pink shirt with ruffles all down the front. And white, shiny shoes. And you can't bring any other clothes. You have to drive up in that outfit, and sleep in it. Why? I dunno, I guess that's my inner Bridezilla taking over. ;-)

Nilsa: Thank you for your support and understanding. There are some people who will think it's all wrong to exclude our families. But if they met our families, they'd understand!

Aurora: Thank you! After many years of all talk, no walk, we're finally taking action.

LL Cool Joe: It's sad that that ever has to happen. On the other hand, that tells me I'm not the only one! I should start a support group for survivors of traumatic weddings. ;-)

Thanks, Syb and Unsigned! :-)

Nicole: Life must have been sweet before Murphy's Law was written.

Keera: First we'd need a bigger home - then maybe we'd have room for some fancy kitchen stuff. As it stands, all we want are blessings and smiles. :-)

Thanks, Kate and Katie! :-)

Karen: Yeah, we're sneaky like that. ;-)

Scarlet said...

Wow! That's a BAD Monday, but ended well and that's what's important. :)

Btw, Congratulations to both of you! April's right around the corner and your future husband sounds like a great catch! (I could say the same thing about you!)

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!

jameil1922 said...

awww. i'm glad you guys are getting hitched! :) rabbi was drunk the first time??? wow. good to just do it with the most important people in your life.

Jenski said...

Congratulations!! I'm so behind, what with not keeping up with blogs and all. I am glad you got lunch and a marriage certificate out of your trip downtown for clarification that you already had your divorce certificate. :) It sounds like your wedding, dinner, and day honeymoon will be wonderful