Joe and I applied for our marriage license on Friday. Since I am always extremely suspicious of authority figures and ALSO afraid they will question me about something innocuous that will end with me landing in jail, I made sure we were prepared. We had all of our documents, which turned out to be far fewer documents than I thought we'd need, and I knew what time we had to be there and how much everything cost (highway robbery, btw).
We had to go downtown, to the county courts building, which seemed easy enough because downtown Dayton? It's not that big. However. They are doing construction EVERYWHERE right now, so when we finally found the street we needed, it just ended. Like, BOOM, no more street. But it continued a bit farther up so we scooted around the block and found the street again AND THEN IT ENDED. AGAIN. At this point, I was struggling not to freak out because we had to be there by 4, it was 3:45, and we had to have time to park AND find the right office AND THE BUILDING IS HUGE AND OH MY GOD WHAT IF WE RAN OUT OF TIME AHHHHHH.
We finally found it, thanks to Google Maps, and I did not melt into a puddle of anxiety right there in the passenger seat, which I hear is hell on car upholstery. The Universe took pity on us and there was an open parking spot right across the street from the court house AND we had about ten minutes to find the right office, which turned out to be more difficult than anticipated because apparently neither of us can follow simple instructions.
We walked into the building and up to the metal detector because of course there's a metal detector. As soon as we walked in, the guard said, "second floor," and we were all, "huh," and he was all, "trust me, we can tell." Apparently we had The Look of soon-to-be-marrieds. The other guard waved us through and told us where to find the elevator, and then we walked right by the elevator because, as I said above, simple instructions, THEY ARE HARD, YOU GUYS.
We took the elevator to the second floor and found the right office with minutes to spare. They gave us one of those buzzy things that you get in restaurants that tell you when your table is available and pointed us to a waiting room. I busied myself with triple-checking all of the necessary documents I'd brought while Joe made jokes about penal codes or something I DON'T REMEMBER because I was too busy worrying about what would happen if they refused to give us a marriage license. I have no idea why I was worried about this. It's just what I do -- I worry.
"I hope it's our turn soon," I said and then the buzzy thing did its buzzy thing and we were up. We sat down across from the only person standing between us and marriage. Luckily, she was very nice.
"Marriage license?" she asked. We nodded. "I have to ask you a few questions, are you ready?"
BUT FIRST we had to raise our right hands and take an oath. We had to promise not to lie about anything important, so I couldn't like joke around and say my name was Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock, which is a shame because I really like to lead with a joke. Anyway, she asked if we were over 18 or if we'd been married before. She asked if we had picture ID and if we lived in the county. Then she asked if we had a social disease. In my head, I was all, "what, like being awkward at parties?" but it turns out she meant syphilis.
We gave her all of our information and $55, which is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a piece of paper, yes? She did stamp it, though, with this big fancy stamping contraption, so maybe that's why it cost so much. And those little buzzy things they give waiting couples don't just pay for themselves, you know.