There is a certain euphoric and/or contented look on the face of a man about to be handed a marriage license that will send him on his way to a lifetime of wedded bliss. And there is a certain look on the face of a man who has been forced to get that marriage license from the District of Columbia in a three-month-and-counting, at-times-extralegal process:
Yep, we took lunch hour Number Three today in the hopes that we would actually get our marriage license. (For the time being, I’ve shelved my quest for my $10. Temporarily, I assure you. But my main goal until the wedding is getting the document itself into my tiny clenched fist.) Long story short: we got the license. At least twice during today’s field trip to the Marriage Bureau, our kindly (and genuinely trying to be helpful) helper said, “I couldn’t believe it; it was right after y’all left the other day that we found out the law had changed!” And my fiancé and I just kept exchanging glances that loosely translated to: “Yes, it was right after we left because a city reporter called to find out why you were demanding documentation for a test no longer required by law.” But we stayed silent. The Future Mr. and Mrs. Bridal Bird, smiling politely.
Whilst we were in hellthe Marriage Bureau, they played four songs:
1. “Fire and Rain,” James Taylor – Maudlin tune about Taylor’s own substance abuse and the suicide of a former acquaintance. (Not a girlfriend’s plane crash as folklore would have us believe.)
Suitability for a marriage license office: -1
2. “If I Can’t Have You,” Yvonne Elliman – Eh, not a bad choice. Obsessive maybe. But could work.
Suitability for a marriage license office: +1
3. “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay – Are they using this to ascertain if couples are secretly gay, thus preventing them from marrying?
Suitability for a marriage license office: 0
4. “You’re In My Heart,” Rod Stewart – Yes, the song from So I Married an Axe Murderer. Awesome. Someone at the D.C. Marriage Bureau has a sense of humor.
Suitability for a marriage license office: +15
I’ll let Rod sing us out, because seriously, the lyrics to this song are pretty cool when you’re about to get married in 17 days.