What else, I asked Leanne this morning when we were in the county clerk’s office at San Francisco City Hall, can you do in a county clerk’s office besides get licensed to marry? “Register to vote?” she offered. We couldn’t think of a single other thing. Indeed, most of the couples we encountered today seemed to be just like us: going down to City Hall to get a marriage license. I never aspired to feeling so normal before, but there’s something so joyous in the fact that it is no circus, just the fact of a couple getting married, anymore.
Many of the pictures we took were nearly the exact same poses from that day in 2004 when Gavin Newsom opened up the licenses to everyone — except today when we got our marriage license, it was hardly as exciting — and yet very profoundly different. For one thing, we didn’t have to wait in line for five hours, but we simply made an appointment and showed up at 10am. For another, no news cameras. For a third, we don’t have to rush to actually have the ceremony on the same day as getting the license — and we can actually plan a wedding. Oh, and we have a four-year-old girl whom we adore (so we didn’t need the “planning for pregnancy” tips handed out with the license — thanks though!). Oh — and it’s legal.
It sort of sums it up, what we overheard while waiting for our form to be officialized (“now serving: number A40”): “After 20 years, I’m not nervous; I’m just excited!”
So there we have it. For the next three months, Leanne and I are officially licensed to marry. And we plan to execute it in style. Don’t worry — I don’t believe it’s lethal. In fact, after nearly 11 years together (and from those years, a huge pile of blog posts I migrated just today to WordPress that attests to how hard we’ve fought for our success), nothing could seem more regular, normal, human, and about time.
It feels weird even saying that. What I should really be congratulating you two on is your 11 years of relationship success, and being moms to a 4-year old.
But I’m really glad that you can be legally married, since that’s what you’d like to do.
To at least another 11 years, CHEERS!
thanks holden — so much —
implicit in your response is that not everybody wants to be married or needs to validate their commitment in this way. not everybody does! you don’t have to be pro-marriage to be pro-right-to-marry. conversely, you don’t have to want to marry to be able to see that “saying i don’t” adds as profound a dimension to committed relationships as “saying i do” does.
a future post, perhaps!