Wednesday my much beleaguered life partner, Natalie, called from Washington D C and said, "Since we both have Friday off, what do you want to do?" Granted it wasn't just any old Friday but Friday, March 4, which has the distinction of being my birthday. My 45th birthday if you are counting. And if you are counting, the last two years my birthdays have been days marked by grief. I wanted to do something special, something memorable, something to mark the change of luck in my life. I really can't fully explain why, but as soon as I heard this question I only had one answer.
"Let's go to Iowa and get married," I said.
I heard Natalie say, "B...b...B..." Silence and then, "We will talk about this later."
Friday morning with my mother (and her white mini-van) in tow we hopped on highway 61 and headed north. I will admit to you my friends, I was positively simmering over with excitement. I know my two favorite ladies in the world (mom and Natalie) were ready to make me ride on the roof to get me to shut up. However, happiness brooks no deterrent, so they suffered my gushing patter on the four and half hour drive to Iowa City with no incident.
|The very awesome Carrie|
This trip also required three trips to the county court house too, an awesome old building with old woodwork, vintage tile, beautiful stained glass, and stairs, lots of stairs. We met an amazing bailiff named Sue who made sure everyone knew we needed extra attention. Sue kept the machinery of county bureaucracy moving for us. By 2:00 pm central standard time Natalie and I were spouse and spouse.
Judge Karen performed a beautiful and simple service, which I cried through. We exchanged our wedding rings we bought for each other in 1992 and kissed in front of Judge Karen, Sue, and my mother. Hugs went all the way around the court room and there it was we were after so many years MARRIED. On our last trip to the Recorder's Office we picked up the actual Marriage Certificate and I said to Carrie, "I am so excited."
Carrie gave me a smile and said, "Do you think?" I just can't thank the wonderful civil servants of Johnson County enough for all the help and attention, they truly were my heroes on my wedding day.
|Judge Karen, Mom, and the newlyweds|
I could only say, "Yes, I feel empowered!" What I didn't say then and I will say now, I feel lucky. Lucky Natalie would have me. Lucky my mother was with me. And very lucky we live close enough to make it to Iowa in a day to get married. I wish all non-traditional couple could be this lucky.