It was ten years ago, but it seems like only yesterday!
That’s what Ricky said when he got up this morning. The first word out of his mouth was, “Doomsday”. You see, we both took off work this morning off to go get our marriage license, and for one certain confirmed bachelor, it was a devastating experience.
He was quiet as a mouse driving to the courthouse in downtown Phoenix until he parked the truck and we started walking toward the courthouse. That’s when he asked, “Do we HAVE to do this, Honey?? Couldn’t we just sacrifice a pig or something?”
“Yes, Ricky, we HAVE to do this, and no, we’re not sacrificing any pigs.”
“How ’bout a lamb? They used to do that, ya know…instead of getting married, they’d just sacrifice a pig or a lamb or a goat and wash in the blood or jump over a broom or something and call it good! Just like that, they’d be married!”
“No, Ricky. They don’t do that anymore. Besides…those little parasites and stuff…you just can’t…and there’s the Humane Society, PETA and all those activists!”
“Well I know how you like ancient history and ceremonies and stuff, and I just thought…”
Approaching the courthouse steps, Rick said, “I think they’re closed.”
“No, Ricky. Go ask the guard at the door.”
“Marriage Licenses? Right down those stairs, Sir. Empty your pockets into the dish there,” the guard directed.
“Why’d they have to search us??”
“It’s a courthouse, Ricky. Walk. See? Right there’s a sign that says ‘Marriage Licenses’…”
“DOH! Dear God, what am I doing???”
“Rick, just take the clipboard and we fill out this form.”
“Guys first. Guys always go first. Okay? Got that? I am NOT losing control.”
“Okay. Now my part’s done, let’s take it to the lady at the counter.”
Approaching the counter, Rick looked plaintively at the clerk and asked, “Ma’am, I just have one question…”
“Yes, Sir?” she responded.
“Is it too late to RUN?”
“Yes, Sir,” she replied.
“You women are all in cahoots. I knew it all along.”
“Have a seat, Sir. We’ll call you when it’s ready.”
“Are you SURE we can’t sacrifice a pig?”
“I’m sure, Ricky. Sit down.”
The Deputy of the Court appeared from behind a cubicle wall.
“Rick and Mary?”
“Oh, God help me.”
“Please review the information and make sure it’s correct.”
“Can I run now?”
“Okay I need you to raise your right hands…”
“Ricky, raise your hand. All the way. Above the table. Stop bending it at the wrist and raise your hand!” (Punch!)
“Do you both solemnly swear that the information you have given to me, a Deputy of the Court of the State of Arizona, on this form is the truth, so help you God?”
“Sign here, please.”
“Ricky, stop shaking like that!”
“Can I sign it in BS&T?”
“BS&T? What’s that mean, Honey?”
“Blood, sweat & tears?”
“Knock it off!”
“Ma’am, I need a witness,” I said to the Deputy.
“Yes? For what?”
“Please witness that he is signing this document of his own free will; that I have no weapons on me and that both of my hands are above the table.”
“There you go. That will be $50, and the person who performs your ceremony will fill in the rest and return the lower half to us.”
“Are we done?”
We walked out of the courthouse and Ricky kissed me right in front of God and everybody and said, “My life is over.”
We walked to the truck holding hands and drove away….head-on into traffic on a one-way street. If I didn’t know him better, I’d have said he was rattled or something.
God help us.
The rings should be here in a day or two from the designer, and I’ll keep in touch about the “blessed event”.
© Copyright 2011 Mary Watson