Legally Married

“So, how do you feel?”

“Nervous. Why am I nervous? Ishouldntbenervous we’ve beentogether three years…”

Alice chuckled at me. The plaque on the door said 120. The date was 9/20. Don’t forget this date. Edward and Bailey were hunting down an ATM. I continued reading the walls. I read and reread a flyer demanding to have your IDs and the fee of $81 handy. Behind the desks were figurines of couples and an upside-down heart that Alice and I couldn’t help but eye warily, pondering the intentions of the artist. My hair was pissing me off again and I was mad at my shoes and why didn’t I take a little more time getting ready.

They returned. Bailey played with the bills in her hand as I addressed the clerk behind the counter. We weren’t the only lesbian couple. No one seemed to care that we came with another couple, either, even though we seemed to be the only ones who did. Plural marriages are still not legal, but now we can all be married. I never considered, especially given the nature of my relationship, that I could actually get married.

The best part was when Bailey and I waited for the judge after having run down to the basement. My heart was racing and it wasn’t from running. Look normal. I did my best to recline against the back of my seat instead of perching at the edge like I tend to, distracting myself by focusing on my posture. Bailey was a little pissed that she didn’t have any time to get ready, having been picked up straight after work. She gives more of a shit about this kind of stuff than I do.

The bailiff recognized us. “Where are the others?” he asked us.

“They’re outside.”

“How’s it going with the kids?”

“The Girls are with us for a few weeks, and then they go back to their grandparents. But now the Boys are with their mother, who’s suing us in another state.” He gave his condolences, and his congratulations. Then the judge called us up.

He looked at our paper with scrutiny and back at us. “Why are you doing this now, you know you have three days.” It felt accusatory, like we were committing a crime. Since gay marriage was legalized, there’s been this wariness, wondering what’s the catch, where are they going to try to stop us? He asked again why we couldn’t wait. I said we’d been waiting three years. “I need a little more than that.” And that’s where I realized he only sounded mean because he was a man of authority, and that he was coaxing us into giving him what he needed to be able to sign it now. Probably some legal loophole we don’t know about. “Is this the only time you have to do this?”

“Yes, I start my shift tomorrow and don’t get out until after the court closes.”

“Okay.” He scribbled in a brown marker above the line. “Congratulations.”

Edward reminded us that his best friend was an ordained minister, and suggested that we get White Russians for the occasion after Steve married us. Bailey threw a bit of a fit. “I want cake and food and people and dresses, and I was not given enough time to plan this out.”

I didn’t care about organizing a huge event. In fact, I could see it going south trying to have a planned wedding in less than two hours of deciding to plan it. All I wanted was to go to work tomorrow and rave to my colleagues that I was actually married. I called up my two best friends, even the one that was in Japan despite that I had no idea what time it was for her, just to have her in the loop. She didn’t answer, so much for that. The other one got out of work just before I called her. I realized I hadn’t even kept her posted about moving to the new property, either. It’s hard to remember stuff like that when you’re working full time, tending to a baby, and moving in shifts in the only free time you have.

We threw together French bread pizza (I’ll have to share the recipe, huge bang for your buck and a healthy alternative) and had premixed White Russians, as well as lovely dresses in the thrift store, which we found faster than we usually find anything half as good. We bought fake flowers for the ‘flower girls’ to hold, and our friend that works at the bakery in the grocery store gave us roses for the occasion. It’s surprising how many of our friends were able to show up with two hours’ notice, and even though Bailey did have a small melt down from the pressure of ‘planning’ (what did I tell you?), the ceremony was beautiful, and we had it just in time for the sunset.

Disclaimer: this is the getting married part. We will still have a wedding that’s actually planned out, and with more than two hours’ notice.

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