Today, POB and I went to the marriage bureau in New York City, 141 Worth Street. We asked for guidance at the information desk and a City employee who did not speak English very well kept repeating the instructions, growing louder and slower with each repetition.
Sidebar: I learned something new: it is not merely an unfortunate American custom to try to communicate with someone who speaks no English by repeating the same words, each time incrementally louder and slower. We may have spread this linguistic disease like cholera, but now we don’t own it anymore.
We ultimately understood that we had to take the ticket
We passed the wedding space with a painted backdrop of the New York City skyline and thought fleetingly of eloping. But we weren’t dressed for the occasion. And POB wanted to be a June bride and as the saying goes, we were a day short.
I felt like we were at a family-style restaurant in a strip mall. Someone calls out the name 3 times, each time putting the emphasis on a different word: “BLOGGER, party of two. Blogger, PARTY of two. Blogger, party of TWO.” Then you go to the station as indicated on the big screen. And you best get there by the third call or — or — or you go to the back of the line (maybe).
Except there was no pleasant Musak (ok, oxymoronic) or harried “lounge” server asking for your drink order. Nope, just the din of waiting room.
I was fascinated by all of the people there:
- The two men getting married with twin sister bridesmaids in identical lime green short dresses, which matched the color of their ties.
- The proper Southern woman marrying her woman partner who had the most atrocious Long Island accent.
- The man who lost his family on the way to the counter when called to the numbered station:
- the tragic straight couple with the veil thing
- the adorable little boy watching his parents get their license.
Then, we heard: ” A zero 96, A zero 96, A zero 96. Station 2.” We ran to the station.
The clerk was so lovely. He said he was proud that same-sex marriage is legal. He asked if we were changing our surnames. I said no, but I would happily answer to “Mrs. [POB]“. POB blushed. He wished us well in a heartfelt way that I extend my hand to shake his. He smiled and squeezed my hand a little.
I am no longer angry at having to be grateful for a right that the state had no right to withhold. (See, IFOB, I have come around.) Now, I am just so happy that the big day is upon us. I never, ever, in my life (after coming out) thought this day would come. I am getting married in my hometown to my hometown sweetheart. And our son is walking us down the aisle (at his request). It doesn’t get better.
Well, maybe it could get better if I didn’t have to drink the detoxifying elixirs POB gives me as a condition to her making me coffee in the morning.
Right after the wedding, I am going on strike. But until then, hmmmm good. And I will have a shot of espresso in that coffee, please.