On Marriage

Today I “gave notice” of marriage, which in the UK requires a period of publicity, during which the public can raise legal objections. These seem primarily to consist in lying to the registrar, but the most important seemed to be whether either of us had ever married, and whether we were related by blood. First cousins, we were told, can marry, but there's an additional form. It doesn't come up often, but it does come up, the registrar reported.

The notice period is twenty-eight days. We're to be married in thirty-three. The registrar found this delinquency amusing. The process was strange, two parts quiz and one part thoroughly British bureaucracy. My proof of address was summarily rejected, which necessitated emailing and printing a PDF in order to placate a boorish and maddened mandarin. In the interview itself, my partner ascribed to me a profession from which I do not yet make money, while I struggled to pronounce her patronymic. We at least got each others' birthdays right, just, and nationalities, though I sort of got my own wrong.

In other words it was something like our relationship: amusing, unlikely, haphazard, unconventional. And at the same time beautiful in our own attitude towards even the most important parts of life.

If you're reading this and it's the first you've heard, don't despair, we've only really told people we've seen in person. She takes a somewhat spartan attitude, desirous of symbolism over any ancillary adornment. My attitude of one is complicity in our own dear domesticity, an unknown but promising world, and a kindred kind of kindness that is yet beyond my ken.