Saturday, September 23, 2006

Seven good years

Tuesday marks the seventh anniversary of my marriage. My wife and have been together for twelve years, but it took five years for her to convince me to go for a big wedding (actually only eighty or so guests, so not that big by local standards). For the record, I proposed to her on our second date and I would have been willing to get married at City Hall at any time during those first five years.

So, we didn't get married at City Hall (and thus we missed-out on Kommandant Giuliani being able to perform the ceremony, damn), but we did get our marriage license there. Our friend Peter came along to record this trip for posterity and the picture above was taken by him. The marriage license bureau in Manhattan is actually located in the Municipal Building, across Centre Street from City Hall. The office had not been redecorated since the 1960s by the looks of it, save for approximately a dozen thick coats of paint on the walls (note the painted light switch cover below the sign in the picture). In short, it looked like most of the government offices I have ever been to.

If one does choose to get married at "City Hall" in New York, the ceremony is actually held in the Municipal Building, down the hall from the marriage license bureau (unless one is a friend of or campaign donor to the mayor). The State of New York imposes a twenty-four hour waiting period after the acquisition of a marriage license before a couple can get married. It's not like in Las Vegas. I don't know if this mandatory waiting period reduces the number of divorces, although I assume that was one reason why such a law was passed. For what it is worth, New York is a state where the divorce laws are notoriously punitive. "No fault" divorce laws have never made it through the state legislature. This situation is perhaps related to the fact that New York has some of the harshest drug possession laws in the U.S.

At any rate, I came to praise marriage (at least to praise my own marriage), not to bury it. Here's to many more good years.

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