August 12, 2009. I woke up knowing it would be memorable. My calendar entry said “City Hall with Leti and Mauri” which is NOT an everyday event. They got engaged in October 2008; in July 2009 they set a date and asked me to be maid of honor (plus witness on the application for marriage license). Who could say no?
The appointment at City Hall was for 11. I was nervous about the whole “official business” thing and even got to City Hall about 10 minutes before the lovebirds. We walked into the office at 11, and the lady behind the desk started asking for documents. Rummage, check, here ya go. She’s filling out the forms … full name, date and place of birth, wedding date? “THIS Saturday?” Her eyebrow went up, and she said something like “well, you need to go to the County courthouse for a waiver of time.” Two cities away, the County courthouse.
Walking out of City Hall, Leticia called the officiant to see if he had this happen before. Thank goodness, he knows what to do. A phone call to the next level person at City Hall, who says she can get an answer. We just have to wait 2 hours – overlapping lunches and whatnot.
** Now if you’re wondering, let me tell you why Leti & Mauri are two of my favorite people on the planet. They balance and complement each other, they make me hopeful about love as an action verb. In the face of bureaucracy, when told to wait, they looked at each other and said “well, everybody else is having lunch, let’s go eat”. Off we went for a delicious Peruvian brunch, then to find clothes for the wedding day, pretending to ignore the clock.**
Incoming call. There’s a Judge at the County courthouse who will be happy to sign the waiver, as long as we get there by 2:30. Um, yeah .. it’s 2:10. Leti calls for a cab, which appears almost by magic. Hold on, now the show’s on the road! We speed down the highway as raindrops start to fall. We made it to the County building at 2:25, walking through security Mauricio set off the metal detector with his belt. Never expected that – Leti and I had been joking in the cab, wondering which of our underwires would beep. Quickly to the elevators, get upstairs, find the Judge’s chambers. Not so fast. Leti’s calling me back. The lady at the desk, as it turns out, has the form that needs to be filled out before seeing the Judge. Fill it out, call the officer, he comes out to escort us…
Into an empty courtroom. The officer has gone back to get everybody. Now here he is, then the Judge, clerk and secretary. Swear in the participants. Judge asks “so what happened here, why do you need a waiver?” Leticia explains what happened at City Hall, plus how the family is expecting something to happen Saturday night. The Judge asks Mauricio “You sure about this? Because as soon as I sign and enter this, there’s no backing out for you.” Giggles from the staff, Mauricio says “yes, of course”. The order was signed, stamped and copied, Leticia invited 4 extra people to her wedding.
We walked a block for the bus, made it back to City Hall before they could close for the day. We tried not acting smug when Leticia gave everything to the lady. The marriage license will be ready on Friday, and the wedding is still Saturday. Leaving City Hall, each headed our own separate ways, we exchanged a look and said “see you at 7”. We both knew that after such a day, it was time for mojitos and margaritas! Let’s just say last night, we had enough mojitos and margaritas to lose track…