Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Day of No Great Consequence


So, yesterday was pretty boring. Dave slept in for a couple of hours, recuperating from our flight. We spent the morning with my Dad and stepmother, and in the evening we went to dinner at a local Spanish restaurant.

And in between -- oh yeah -- we GOT MARRIED.

Finally, after all our preparations and bureaucratic complications, we were able to push our 5 1/2-year-old civil union over the finish line and turn it into a marriage. And you know what? Surprisingly, it does feel different. Our commitments to each other haven't changed a bit, but just calling it marriage makes it feel firmer and more solid. The social construct of marriage has a much longer shelf-life than civil union, after all, and thus all of us have a clearer picture of what it should entail.


For us, it entailed going to a Mediterranean restaurant afterwards and having lunch and sangria. This is our official wedding photo. Who needs a fancy photographer?

The process was fairly effortless. We drove into downtown Tampa and went to the courthouse, where we filled out a license application and waited only briefly before being called to a clerk. He asked for our identification, entered all our information into a computer (our foreign addresses didn't faze him one bit) and performed a brief ceremony. We didn't do rings or anything -- just sat at his desk, said "I do" and kissed.

We're not big on formality.

The only hiccup came while the clerk was working on the computer. While making chit-chat, he asked us about living in London and brought up terrorism in Europe. "Did you know," he said, "that there are whole neighborhoods in Paris where the police won't even go?"

Dave immediately shot back, "That's not true."

And I thought, oh lord, we're going to have a political disagreement -- which we could not afford because we needed something from this guy. So beneath the counter, I put my hand on Dave's knee and said something bland like, "Well, there's certainly some tension. But we love Paris." And I steered the conversation in a different direction, and all were spared.

Dave is right, of course. That story about police no-go zones in Paris is a right-wing misunderstanding at best and fiction at worst. But we didn't need to go there on our wedding day!

Anyway, marriage is significant, but for us it is truly a formality -- a necessary step to allow the newly changed laws to catch up with our existing relationship. We'll still count July 21 as our anniversary, and we are not changing our names. Maybe someday we'll get rings, but there are so many other ways I'd rather spend that money -- I suspect it won't be soon!

(Top photo: A taco restaurant in Tampa. A new take on the food truck!)

19 comments:

Lynne said...

Congratulations you two! What a great photo. Somehow I had it in my head that you were going to have a "wedding wedding" with guests and two grooms on top of a big cake. :) Good for you for going simple!

Ms. Moon said...

I thought you were going to have more of a ceremony as well!
Honestly though, that sounds like a pretty perfect wedding to me. I am just happy as can be that you have made this final leap and it IS different. Yes. A marriage is as committed as you can be in this culture.
Congratulations and all best wishes for always-love. Feels right, doesn't it?
Love from Lloyd...Mary

Marty Damon said...

CONGRATULATIONS!
And hey, we got married in a USO club in Waynesville, Missouri, and the justice of the peace had to haul someone in from the back room to act as witness and here we still are 46 years later.
It's now where or how, but who.

Vivian said...

Happy for you both. Celebrate!

ellen abbott said...

so what happened to all the plans you were making? I thought there was going to be, you know, like a garden party or something, a reception. anyway, yay!

Linda Sue said...

It is so refreshing to know that folks still want to get married , even if one of them is not pregnant...I get it though, Marriage does make a big difference, vows taken seriously, in sickness and in health...( there's the rub.) Anyway , could not be more pleased that same sex marriage finally has become the thing that makes sense in these nonsensical times. Congratulations! You two are courageous and lovely and so utterly cool! I also love that Dave tried to set the guy on the path to truth re: Paris and the big lie. I assume that you have been avoiding corporate media and Mr. Rumps latest, this country has indeed gone mad. Get out of here!!!

Sharon Anck said...

Congratulations! The day might have been low key but, its an important milestone for the two of you! Love the wedding photo. Now when is that party?

jenny_o said...

Congratulations! I was a bit puzzled by your post until I followed the links and got straightened out on your previous status (before my time here) ... great photo ... big sigh of contentment from both of you now ... and enjoy your big party that is coming up!

e said...

I was wondering when you were going to say something. Congratulations, again!

Jan said...

Congratulations. Looks like it was a beautiful day. Jack and I didn't have a fancy wedding either - we were married in Ms. Moon's back yard and Kathleen made the wedding cake and flowers. A glorious day. And you're right - even after being in love for many years - it's just extra special when you're married.
Happy days and Merry Christmas.
Jan

Joanne said...

A beautiful wedding photo even if you didn't take it yourself! Much love to you both always!

Red said...

Well, congratulations! All the best for the rest of your married life. Yes, there's far too much fear mongering. There's far more danger from all the guns that are owned by ordinary citizens. Now that's a bit political!!!

alphabet soup said...

Well done men!! Congratulations. And I have to say I have never before seen such sartorial splendour on a wedding couple....

Just kidding.

Ms Soup (who wouldn't know sartorial splendour if it bit her on the ankle.)

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Congratulations Steve! It was, in reality, a day of consequence even if it was pleasantly understated. I have never owned a wedding ring myself. My father never had one and nor did my grandfathers. Rings catch on things. Men wearing wedding rings is, I would humbly suggest, a rather modern affectation.
P.S. Why are Dave's fingers like pork sausages?

Steve Reed said...

Lynne: We ARE having a party on the 29th. That's probably what you were thinking of. But we always intended the marriage itself to be a simple courthouse affair!

Ms Moon: It does feel right, indeed.

Marty: What a great wedding story that is! We didn't even have witnesses. I'm not sure why we didn't need them.

Vivian: Thanks! Woo hoo!

Ellen: The party is still upcoming!

Linda Sue: Well, Dave IS pregnant, but we were trying to keep that quiet. Thanks for blowing the surprise! :)

Sharon: Thanks! Yes, milestone it is.

Jenny-o: It surprises me sometimes that so many years of my life are documented here and I can so easily link back to past events. Time marches on!

E: Thanks! :)

Jan: Ms. Moon's back yard might be the perfect place for a wedding. I would have liked a couple of chickens in attendance.

Joanne: It IS indeed a wedding selfie. What more do we need?

Red: Thanks, and I couldn't agree more about the guns. Having all that weaponry roaming around out there is the biggest danger of all.

Ms Soup: Dave actually thought I was overdressed because I wore long pants. I'd been wearing my "Sunshine Bagels" t-shirt earlier in the day and he thought I should wear it to the courthouse!

Steve Reed said...

York: I'm going to say it's because of the camera angle and the perspective. Yeah, that's it. :)

Sabine said...

Congratulations on finally getting hitched properly! And lots lots more of that happiness you have shared so far.

Also, congratulations on talking back to that unfortunately misinformed clerk. Today, we got two more Xmas cards from friends in the US and Australia who felt the need to commiserate on our "dreadful conditions in Germany" what with "migrants and terrorists" and all that related crime apparently increasing every second. I think I don't get out enough because so far I've missed all that action.

37paddington said...

Congrats you two! Marriage does feel different. The commitment feels absolute and for me, the fact of two people choosing each other in love, for life, still blows my mind. What an act of faith. It's beautiful. I'm happy for you.

The Bug said...

Woo hoo! Good for you guys!

Mike bought a really lovely $20 titanium ring to wear on the cruise (he was paranoid about losing the "real" one) - and then he forgot to take it! Yes, he was single for our 25th anniversary cruise, the lout. Ha!