We got our marriage license today.
Actually, it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, as there aren’t too many places in Los Angeles to fill out this form, and the Beverly Hills one is only open about twelve hours a week total. I appreciate how often they stress that both bride and groom must be in attendance to get one of these things, so you can’t send your bride out to get the license as one of her errands, and a woman can’t find herself somehow married to a guy with too much time on his hands.
It’s very romantic at these service centers. Beautiful Van Nuys stopped making porn long enough for us to stand in line with our photo ID’s and birth certificates (which weren’t needed), and a form we had downloaded and filled out in advance (that they said we couldn’t use even though it was exactly the same as the form they made us fill out at the office). All around us romance was bubbling — from the young couple filing bankruptcy, to the sketchy man attempting to open his own DBA (the hilarious initialism for “Doing Business As,” which is like calling a Ph D “People Hoo Doctor.”) Pregnant women and couples covered in babies were waiting in line for the chapel services. A young girl of about five bounced out of one of the rooms and announced, “They’re married now!” which was very cute, indeed.
Note the security guard. Also this room had about six thousand individual pieces of paper tacked to the walls, telling us how to get our passports, where to wait in line, what to do with our children, where to park, how to file for an alias, and when exactly the cell phones need to be turned off during this process (before approaching window). We filled out another form and handed it over through window number four. We were given a piece of paper and told to wait in the “holding room.”
Yes, he’s reading The Fountainhead. Re-reading it, actually. Try not to dwell on what all that means.
I wish we could have taken a picture of this tiny, tiny room, so you could have met the group sitting beside us. A young couple (they later discussed how the oldest one of the four there was twenty), waited with rings in hand for their turn at the chapel. They were all dressed in suits and dresses, fidgeting nervously with the various pieces of paper they had just received from window four. The other two guys goofed around, asking them when they were going to have kids. When they saw the rings, one of the boys raised the roof to celebrate his buddy’s good taste.
The couple on my other side were waiting to file some kind of paperwork that would turn over a housing property to someone else. It appeared that nobody in the dwelling could afford the rent or mortgage due to someone’s illness.
Yes, I’m that nosy.
Then they called us up. Stee was, of course, outside on a cell phone call during this blessed moment of our impending nuptials, so I congratulated the young kids and ran out to fetch my “groom,” as they continued to call him through this process.
Then we went to another window where we had to sign paperwork. My hands were shaking, which I couldn’t have predicted. The guy behind the counter congratulated us and made stee take off his hat while we raised our right hands and swore to the state of California that neither of us had ever been married before. Then they gave us a stack of paperwork for Tara to handle after the wedding, and we were on our way. The whole thing costs almost a hundred dollars, and apparently if you don’t sign everything in black ink, the entire wedding is void. I’m not kidding. They said it about five times. If we don’t sign everything in black ink — the witnesses, the minister, etc. — we have up to a year to redo the entire thing or our marriage will be void. Note to future Britneys — just sign it in red, bitches. Save yourself some hassle.
And I picked up my dress today, which means this is the biggest wedding day we’ve had so far. The seamstress was very helpful this time, informing me that I’ve been putting it on incorrectly all this time, which is why it would gather in a strange place. I promise to impart my wedding dress wisdom once stee’s seen the thing, but for now know that the dress is in my care, and the seamstress told me a horror story as a warning, about a bride whose cats shredded her dress because the fabric felt good under their claws.
After seeing what Olive has already done to our beloved new couch, that dress isn’t going anywhere near something with fur. I’ve got it locked in a secret location where it will soon move to a second secret location before arriving at the third location, which is where it will coast down an aisle and become a wife.
Wait. I filled out the wrong form. My dress isn’t the bride. DAMMIT!