Last week, my partner and I went to city hall to fill out our marriage license. We didn’t yet (and still don’t) have a definite plan for how we’re going to do this thing, other than we want to do it legally and simply by the end of this year. And then we want to have a celebration with a big bunch of people and include a performance piece in lieu of a “ceremony,” this coming summer.
So the actual getting of the document was a little stressful – we were crunched for time and unsure about how these things go. We gave ourselves time to get down there right when they opened at 9, and then I was going to drive her to work directly from there, by 10. We were the second ones in line and everything went smoothly with filling out the form itself. In the section where you mark either “M” or “F,” it said, “Sex (optional)” which was super fucking amazingly awesome and unexpected and we both purposefully left it blank. My partner joked that it meant sex is optional in a marriage, and they want to make sure you know that going into it.
We brought up the form, and then a clerk basically typed up a new form, from what we had handwritten in. She then asked us to check for errors. We found two and she made the corrections before printing it out, having us sign it, and putting it in an envelope with some other information. It was heart-racing exciting; we walked quickly out of there and talked about how we had time to spare to have some coffee at her place of employment before she started her shift. I kinda did a victory leap down the steps and she laughed.
As we were walking back to the car, we talked about the fact that there had been errors. Then she said, “I hope she didn’t fill in our sex markers.” My stomach kind of dropped, because, honestly, I forgot to check that. She pulled the document out of the envelope, and sure enough, there were two F’s typed into that section. It felt devastating. By this time, we were already in the car. Our meter had run out, and we had no more change anywhere on our persons or anywhere in the car. I started driving away, going back and forth in my mind about the logistics of getting this corrected vs. the importance. In the end, importance won out. My partner felt more flexible, but I needed mine to be blank. So we parked elsewhere illegally, ran back inside, waited (because there was now a line), explained in an out-of-breath manner, crossed our fingers we wouldn’t be charged an additional fee (we overheard it was $10 for later corrections), got the changes made, and didn’t have to pay!
I did a double victory leap off the stairs, and upon seeing a man in a safety vest walking along the cars, sprinted toward ours so I could put the flashers on: just standing, not parking illegally, sir! Turned out he wasn’t a meter maid anyway, and I got my partner to work with zero minutes to spare.