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Thursday August 31, 2006 // By Sandy

Marriage license? Did you say marriage license?

So shrieks Audrey Hepburn, at the end of the enormously entertaining Charade. Then she says, “Oh I love you Adam, Alex, Peter, Brian, whatever your name is.” Which is all very cute on screen, but will become quickly tedious if they decide to carry that shtick into the Cook County Marriage License office. Speaking now from experience, you gotta get your shit in order when you get in line there, or else you’re in for a world of government-prescribed beaurocratic pain.

The form itself isn’t terribly difficult to fill out. Just a few names, some places of birth, stuff like that. Some Cook County official must have noticed this years ago, thought, “Why do something easy when it can take five times as along?”, then added the following twist: you don’t get to fill the damn thing out yourself. Instead, you get to stand at the counter and dictate all the answers, strange foreign spellings and all, to your friendly government desk clerk, who does her best to misspell as many of those words as she can, and succeeds wildly. And who may also engage in one of the following side projects: complain about the behavior of her computer’s mouse; inquire about the lifespan of a webpage she made three years ago; become excessively apologetic about her spelling mistakes; and freak the shit out when you prematurely leave her station because you think you’re done.

Ultimately it only took about fifteen minutes, though that’s about thirteen minutes longer than it should have, considering I could have done all the heavy lifting myself. No matter, we’re now licensed to be married. In case any cop overhears us talking about wedding plans and asks to see some proof of eligibility, we’ll be safe.

There was a funny moment when she asked if we were related. I thought about explaining the whole truth, but decided not to get into it.

Posted by Sarah // Aug 31, 12:36
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