Clerk C brought me the license and said "Watch your purse and belongings." I said, 'What?" And she explained the groom got out of prison yesterday. The bride was yelling at him for stealing money out of her purse. Sounds like a great beginning to their life.
I went out, got them and their witness, bride's mother, and we went upstairs. The couple is still ticked at each other, lots of tension in the room. I do my questions slowly in case anyone wants to back out. No, they are ready.
I begin the ceremony. The groom is watching the bride's mother who is behind me. She is to bring up the rings when I tell her. Suddenly she just walks up between me and the couple. And then she freezes like when we played statues as children. I ignore her, I am a pro, nothing fazes me. I then come to the ring ceremony and ask for the rings. And the bride asks for them, and then the groom. The witness, Mom, has zoned out of life. Finally she kicks in and gives the groom the bride's ring. And then she is gone again. We go through it again and finally get the groom's ring. Then we have to sign the license.
I give Mom the non legal souvenir license to sign, I point out the line. Mom can barely hit the line, and she doesn't sign what is on the legal license. I realize this woman is stoned out of her mind. Since this is not a legal document, I ignore the name.
Then we come to the real license. I tell her it must match the typed name. She has trouble hitting the line, and then adds nonsense letters. We can't use the license. No way the state will accept half a name and then random letters. We have to print a new one and try again.
Re-signing is harder than the first time. She can not hit the line, tries to sign else where. But we get it done and the marriage is legal. I leave to get my next couple. When I come back upstairs the clerk tells me they had trouble getting Mom out of her office. She zoned out again. The couple kept saying Mom let's go. Nothing going in. She was rooted to the floor.
I teased C that she warned about the groom but not about Mom. She hadn't really met Mom. But did know Mom was the one driving. I think Mom is still sitting at a stop light on Jackson.