We Ain't Hitched?

P and I have been married over 12 years now. A few weeks ago, the HR person at his place of employment advised him that he had to provide proof that A is his kid and that I am his wife. Failing to show such documentation would result in us getting booted from the medical insurance. We fork over something like $6,000 a year out of pocket for the insurance, so I find it amusing that they think we'd pay that kind of money illegitimately.

I handed my husband a copy of our daughter's birth certificate (when you adopt a child, the birth certificate is re-issued after the adoption is finalized to reflect the names of the adoptive parents as well as the child's legal last name - ours). We also have a separate court document that proves she's ours. If she's not ours, that kid owes us a lot of money. Ha! I also gave him a copy of our marriage certificate. I felt a little bit iffy about the marriage certificate because I noticed it had no seal on it. However, it had never caused a problem before (we had used that same certificate to buy a house and adopt a child) so I figured it would be fine. After all, who would go to the trouble to forge a document like this and then hang onto it for 12 years?

As luck would have it, the certificate was not, in fact, accepted. The HR person notified P via email that we had not shown proof that we had filed the certificate with the court in Fairfax County, VA, where we were married. I went into complete and total panic mode when I saw that email. What? We were supposed to file something? The momentary thought that we were not legally married - well, it was like a bad sitcom. A completely unfunny one at that.

Then it occurred to me that if every couple had to file paperwork after their wedding, virtually no one would be legally married. I dug through filing cabinets and boxes, looking for some official-looking wedding-related document. Then I remembered that I have a plastic Rubbermaid tote full of stuff from the wedding itself. I had to dig out the entire closet in the office/guest room to get to it. The good news is that I found a watch I lost last year as I was digging.

I opened the bin and found the ring bearer's pillow, extra copies of the invitations, honeymoon planning brochures, and lots of other goodies that I saved from the festivities. I also found a form that indicated that we could send it in and receive an official copy of our marriage certificate. Oops. It would have cost me a couple bucks to do it in 1997, but lots and lots of bucks to do it online (and have it sent by second-day air) in 2009. I immediately placed the order, of course. I also ran across a sheet explaining that the officiant (not us) had to send in the paperwork to the county within five days of the service. I was relieved to learn that we are, in fact, legally married. I didn't want to have to explain to my daughter that she is illegitimate. Now that I think about, it, though, a second wedding would have thrilled her. She is always handing me flowers "for your wedding, Mama" and picking out dresses I can wear to my wedding (usually frothy yellow numbers that would make me look like death warmed over). She gets mad when she sees photographs from our nuptials, because we didn't invite her.

Since I had my wedding stuff out, I thought the kid would get a kick out of it, so I called her in and showed her the bin and all the relics therein. She, however, was interested in only one item in the bin: the knife we used to cut our wedding cake. I don't know what to say about that . . .


Susie said…
Oh Claudia! That's hilariously like a bad sitcom! I, too, have a box of wedding crap--so tacky and out of style now that I want to have a new wedding just to have all the neat new stuff that they have now--maybe A could be my "flower girl"?! So glad to hear that your really hitched, but as an HR professional, that's just silly of them not to accept the other certificate. Nuts really. Who does she think she is? That's what gives us HR peeps a bad name . . . :)
Anonymous said…
My mom and Dad realized that they were missing one of their witness' signatures therefore never filed theres and after 25 years may have never been married. She passed away in January so it doesn't matter now, but we still find it kinda funny :)

Mary said…
Ha Ha!! I must say I was getting a bit worried for a second or two!! Illegal marriage then illegal children, what's next?;) Are your dogs legally adopted??;) I want to see the stamp!!! Gosh, what a predicament to be in, glad it all worked out. You might want to hide that knife....;)

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