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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

civil (but insane) servants, tasteful candles, and (till) death us do part. ) death us do part.

"Yesss, it's very nice and tasteful, verrry, BUT NOW, you can't be having any mention of God, or religious   matters, or...or .. anything like that", the  marriage  registrar (I assume that's his title) (though who knows,  we were hailed  by a red faced, expansive porter  at the desk coming in, who greeted us by christian  name, and told us what was what   in avuncular fashion) is so earnest as he says this, that I find myself assuring him, equally earnestly that  there will be none of that.. "And" I add "could we see the eh.. um.. marrying room, too?"   "Yes." he beams,  " when the paper work is done, I   will show you. Very nice too.  Oh very tasteful.  I mean, you know" pushing his glasses up on his nose "I'm married myself IN the church  (properly) but if I was  to do it again, I don't mind telling you  that's the   the way I"d go".

 He is as good as his word, and, having told us to call him Timmy,  proudly ushers us into a dim chilly, pretty featureless room, the rows of seats  suggestive of an audience for pretty much anything from a union meeting, to a lecture on health and safety at work, etc. He explains when we ask, fascinated and somewhat at sea, that we will exchange vows, and that  anything else, like exchanging rings, or (mistily) HAVING CANDLES , has to be elected for as an extra. "Candles?". "Yes, oh yes  they sometimes like to have the candles. And its verry nice, verry nice. eh she has a cande and he has a candle and they.. they.... I can hear my intended husband snort, behind me, as Timmy  comes to a complete standstill, overcome presumably.

"I mean they ARE  making it up as they go along, aren't they" I ask the dear man , as we emerge from the very functional,  spanking  new,  red brick County Council building afterwards. "Well, now I"d say Timmy  was most recently promoted from the plumbing department and is just thrilled with his new job" he smirks "but, let me tell you, there will be NO candles".  We laugh hysterically, not having realized what an ordeal was in prospect, regarding paperwork and jargon, and now feeling that we are in a state of almost marriage. We restore ourselves with good strong coffee, and much giggling over Timmy, "BUT, I still say MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG" I  sternly tell  my (almost)  husband.

Oh I had started out innocently enough by  phoning  a local registry office to make arrangements. I knew we were required to give three months notice to the registrar, and, as we wanted to marry in June, and as I was applying in early february, I didn't foesee a problem. HAH. . "Um well,  June? yes we have your date. Will I write you into the book....Of  course,  you see now,  you have to make an appointment for Notification with  the registrar three months before. "  "Um,  right, can I have an appointment for that so?"  "Ahh, well, you see now, we don't have  any appointments for Notifications for at least four months" "Oh but..but then  we can't marry till three months after that, can we? (just checking)  "No. You can"t.. you see, we're inundated... inundated ...with people wantin" to get married, you know yourself, and there's only like  two of us, and we only do it on tuesdays and friday afternoons, and.. and you can always try Dublin, or (mentioning neighboring counties) and sure  you can do it (Notification) there maybe, and THEN we will marry you. In June. Eh is that OK?."

 We get a similar spiel from at least four  registry offices, INCLUDING  Dublin. Finally I snap "I CAN  marry WHOM EVER I like,  WHENEVER   I  like, as long as we  give three months notice, not seven months, or...or..six months or  whatever other  arbitrary  period you are effectively imposing! AND  I can and WILL   make a court Application to abridge time and dispense with the notice  requirement, on the basis that you  can not  accommodate us."( "HAH"!,)   "Oh, ah, OK. Well,... But you will still have to make a notification appointment with the registrar, and you ll have to  bring along the court order along with your other documents?".  "Thats just fine", I say carefully,  "because, if I have a court order,  that can be ANY  time before the wedding in June, Can't  it.?  Fine... So... you want to give me a date in April, or when ever, for that.?"  "Yes, yes. Hold on there  till  I have a look. Oh,.. you re in luck, I can put you in for that in February" and she proceeds to give me a date which would have allowed us  give the   three months notice required. Now, you, dear reader might have argued, might have quibbled and set the whole glad merry go round in motion again, but I have seen the light, the lay of the land, the way this cookie crumbles  and so proceed to get the court order and turn up on the appointed date. Which didn't disappoint. See above.  And anyway, I don't care so long as I can marry this man who is my other, on the day chosen by both of us.

That's if my children let us. Oh they have not  actually  forbidden our union, but are busy with  the kind of head wrecking,  devilish  war of attrition only three strong minded solipsistic teenagers can wage.  "I DONT think its too much to expect to have my mother to myself, until I leave home" the boy opined loudly, as an  opening shot, followed by muttered enquires as to why we would bother, anyway,  at our age.  The girls are more subtle "Of course, you should be able to  have your (little)  friends mum, but ah, do you actually LIKE  being a mother?" Ouch. We have good days (the prospective stepdad is kind  and  interested) and  bad days, ( " WE  NONE OF US THINK   its to much to ask to have our  mother to ourselves  till we  leave home...)  as the momentous day looms. It"s a work in progress,  and my almost husband and I have slightish  tremors of pure  panic at the madness, and the  enormity of it all, and we  promise  each other we will never ever do it again. Under any circumstances,  With anyone else.  Only this marriage to each other in June.   Ever.  Til death us do part. At least.