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!)