Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Yesterday I arrived at the county building close to 1:00. Two licenses were waiting for the next available person. Great happiness I was there to do the weddings. I looked at the invoice sheet and the attached receipt was different, and there was a sworn statement stapled to it also. What's up? Well, now instead of license and wedding as line items, things must be itemized, plus the certified copy has gone up to $16. The dumbest law/rule is if the bride and groom wish to receive a certified copy (which we always included in the wedding package), they must swear they are authorized to receive a copy of the marriage license. Think about that, the couple getting married have to sign a statement under threat of perjury, that they have the right to their own license.

These little changes slowed down the clerk considerably. She was slow as Christmas before, now she was slow and she kept making mistakes. I married the two waiting couples. When I came down from the second wedding, she was still working on the same license from two weddings back. And she hadn't recorded the first one I did. This is a very simple process and takes 2 minutes. Then she messed it up and she had to reprint and we all resigned. I apologized to the first couple and they were so happy to be married that they were fine with the delay.

The second couple I married were from Kenya, young and oh so in love. I was worried about her English and they assured me she understood, just wasn't confident in speaking it. The bride did fine with her I do and her vows. She was very quiet before and during the ceremony. When I pronounced them she jumped up on the groom, wrapped her legs around his waist, and planted a huge kiss on him. As we left the room, he swooped her up into his arms and carried her to the elevator. Jubilant is the perfect word for this couple. They were amazed how quickly getting the license and wedding went. They said in Kenya things are much slower. Just the license could takes 6 weeks or more, and then weeks for the wedding. And if you wanted a copy of the license, who knows. When we got downstairs to record the marriage and to get the certified copy was when I found out the clerk was so far behind. When I told the couple it could take 20 minutes or more to get the copy, they laughed. They then said, "Not six weeks like Kenya."

Then I sat for 2 1/2 hours, nothing. At 4:00 I went out to see if I could leave, or were couples waiting. Yes they were waiting, 5 couples. One I knew had been there 30 minutes. Since I hadn't gotten a license I thought they were another language wedding, No, they were just waiting on the slow clerk. One of the leads came out and helped process licenses. I did the 5 weddings. When I finished the last one and came downstairs at 5;15, the building was close to empty. Most of the clerks had gone home. Me the volunteer, I left 45 minutes after the building closed.


Joe said...

Any hint as to which clerk, so I know what I'm in for?

Janet A said...

I will answer that in an email. I may trash a clerk now or then, but don't name names in the blog.