part 3 of a multipart series about our 3-weddings-3-states-1-day BFGW anniversary extravaganza (click here for part 1)
well you can blame holly for my shameful tardiness on part three. she got a cold that basically shut down Planet Earth and our entire household b/c i was making her tea every 5 to 10 minutes. then i got a cold. then it was christmas. then it was new year’s. then i was in a bad mood and didn’t feel funny or like doing anything, including writing.
my last post detailed our whirlwind trip to brooklyn & the anderson cooper show, home of lispy anderson cooper psychofans, one of which said i was just like his bitch sister-in-law (whatever, i’m sure she’s not actually that much of a bitch). the post before that was about our first stop in northern new jersey for my BFJHSR (Big Fat Jersey High School Reunion) where i actually managed to convince my former classmates that i invented post-its. (actually, i didn’t mention it b/c i didn’t want to make everyone jealous. between that and how good i look in jeggings–yes i wore jeggings to my reunion–i figured i might start to alienate people and really, who wants that?)
so we wake up the day after the anderson cooper show on our three-year BFGW anniversary riproarin ready to go get married THREE times, starting in new york, new york at the brooklyn municipal building.
we skip breakfast (lattes only; bad idea). we didn’t do research on parking (another bad idea). so we’re not actually first in line like we thought we’d be and in a city of 8+ million people i guess november 15th–or any other day, for that matter–is a pretty popular day to get married.
before we even get in line we hit a snag: despite holly’s online research to the contrary, we need a witness. we look around and zero in on a friendly-looking woman about our age. she’s accompanied by just about the cutest little button of a girl i’ve ever seen. blinded by hunger (that was only mildly eased by an overly sweet chocolate milk i bought downstairs while holly stayed in line) and the need to get married as fast as humanly possible (after all, we have to make it to three courthouses in three states–before 5pm. and the last courthouse is in vermont. and at that point it was almost 10am) i blubber out: hi! would you be interested in being a witness for our wedding?!
without hesitation–and with a thousand-watt smile–she immediately says yes, she’d love to. you gotta love new yorkers.
here they are:
so we finally get to the front of line and we’re praying we get the nice lady at the window, but of course we got the grumpy one. WE ALWAYS GET THE GRUMPY CASHIER LADIES. it doesn’t even matter where we are. we could be on the freakin moon and we’d get the grumpy cashier lady. the kind that don’t even bother answering you when you ask them how they’re doing.
me: hi! how are you?
grumpy cashier lady (GCL): mmm-hmmm.
me: we’d like to get married today!
GCL (sighing): can’t get married the same day you apply for a license without a waiver from a judge.
both of us: what??
GCL (louder sigh): can’t get married the same day you apply for a license without a waiver from a judge.
holly: but we didn’t see that on your website.
GCL: (blank stare) (goes to get equally grumpy supervisor)
equally grumpy supervisor (EGS): how can i help you?
holly: we’d like to get married today. we have all the necessary paperwork. we’re already legally married in washington, dc.
EGS: you can’t get married the same day you apply for a license without a waiver from a judge.
turns out, we’d need to go to another building to get this waiver–if we could even get it signed. and it wasn’t just any judge. it was a supreme court county judge.
good luck, said the equally grumpy supervisor. they almost never sign them.
so we run out of the building, run across the street and go up to the fifth floor of this other judicial-type building where we wait in another line to present a form to another front-desk person. except this time it was a guy and he was really nice.
he tells us that he’ll need to tell the judge why we want to get married today. we explain that we’re celebrating our wedding anniversary by getting married in three states in one day. and all before 5pm.
he says he loves the idea and starts typing up the form. then we wait some more. my blood-sugar is already low and i’m starting to panic. then i start getting emotional b/c i’m so happy we’re doing this. holly takes a photo of me as i wipe away tears with a crumbly paper towel from the ancient ladies room, then tells me she’s posting it to facebook. the lighting is exceptionally bad & the photo makes me look pale and blotchy. i threaten to elbow her in the teeth if she posts it. she tells me to lighten up. i threaten to divorce her in multiple states and she does it anyway. it never uploads and i tell her that she’s lucky b/c it was a close call.
the nice man comes back before she can try uploading it again and gives us a form with instructions on where to go next. good luck! he shouts after us. happy anniversary! (you really do have to love new yorkers.)
we get to the room, open a heavy wooden door and…it’s a big, scary courtroom. in session. with incredibly high ceilings and a very serious looking judge sitting at a huuuuuuuge wooden desk.
the judge looks at us. the lawyers turn around. the trial stops and the clerk motions to us to come up to her desk. it was kind of like the movies except for there was no jury, no popcorn and i was feeling kind of scared. was our wedding blitz about to end before it even got started?
holly hands the form to the clerk lady, who looks at it, nods and tells us to please sit down.
we walk back to the seating area–they’re kind of like church pews–and the trial continues. i look around the cavernous courtroom, wondering how long this is going to take and if i could make it to lunch w/out fainting. the trial has something to do with medical malpractice. something about x-rays and fingers and bones. just as i start to panic that we might be here til lunch, the judge stops and asks us to approach the bench. gulp.
the clerk hands her the form. she puts on her glasses and reads it, then looks over her glasses and down at us and asks us what the hurry is. she’s a distinguished, middle-aged african-american woman that looks like she has more important things to do than stop a supreme court trial to listen to a couple girls who want to celebrate their anniversary by getting married a gazillion times in one day.
holly and i explain quickly. we both hold our breath. please say yes please say yes please say yes, i repeat over and over in my mind. i’m sure holly’s thinking the same thing. every second feels like an hour.
the judge pauses, then breaks into a huge smile. why that’s a lovely idea. of course i’ll sign the waiver. congratulations on your anniversary!
yes, you really do have to love new yorkers.
we thanked her, sighed a huge sigh of relief and ran back to the municipal building, waiver in hand. the grumpy supervisor actually broke out into a smile when we handed her the waiver. and there was mary and her daughter, still waiting after all this time to be our witnesses.
we paid our marriage license fee and holly, mary, her little daughter and a young couple we befriended in line earlier all filed into the little chapel. and who turns out to be the local judge that marries us? the grumpy supervisor! and she even gets a little bit friendlier.
the other couple goes first. holly’s offered to be their witness. mary and i both snap photos of them. here they are, post-wedding, outside the municipal building. i wish i remembered their names! they were adorable.
we’re up next. we take off our wedding rings and give them to the judge. as we’re standing there in the official chapel, i feel the waterworks coming on. and i fear it’s going to be bad. mary is beaming. this makes me want to cry even more.
this is what i’ve always wanted, i think. just a plain, legal ceremony. nothing fancy. just the two of us, a judge and a witness. and here i’m finally doing it.
the judge asks holly if she’ll take me as her lawfully wedded spouse.
i do, holly says, putting my wedding ring back on my finger.
the judge then asks me if i’ll take holly as my lawfully spouse.
i do, i say, finally breaking down in a blubbering pile of tears.
i don’t remember what the judge said in between, i don’t remember what she said before and i don’t remember what she said after. but it was exactly what i always wanted to hear. just like the the movies. except real life.
officially married in the state of new york (and washington, dc), we said goodbye to our new friends, ran out of the municipal building, grabbed a couple sandwiches and jumped in the car, connecticut-bound, for wedding blitz wedding #2. HOLLA!