On this date in 1970, the first Earth Day is celebrated.
This was another slow week for performing wedding ceremonies. But the Clerk from Hell (CFH)spiced it up. On Monday she gave me a license and said, "Good Luck with this one". I told her she couldn't say that and leave, what's wrong. Now this is not racist, this is to clarify her right to slam this couple. I can call people white trash because I am Southern and know how to use the term. The CFH is African American and she said the couple were "ghetto". I said, "What do you mean by that?" She described them as loud, rude, and crude. Bless her heart she was right. In the elevator the groom was patting the bride's pregnant tummy as she was yelling at him. Alot of yelling going on. Then he pulled up his shirt (visualize the below the hips pants he wore), slapped his stomach, and said, "I'm pregnant". It was a stomach turning sight. And they continued to yell and curse and just really make me rush through the ceremony. Very unpleasant.
The second couple was adorable. They were from Slovakia. They were worried about their English. After talking to them I told them their English was better than mine and not to worry.
Wednesday I nearly walked out in the first 10 minutes I was there. When I arrived there was a license on the desk. I was not due to work for 25 minutes and the other volunteer was doing a wedding. So the room is in use and I couldn't marry them then anyway. I proofed the license for her but when I show up, she is done. So I was to do the ceremony. There was an error on the license, so back to the CFH to fix it. She said she would fix it later . . . and I better get the couple upstairs and married right now. They had been waiting too long. Consider folks, I had just walked in the door, not due to work for 20 minutes. And the bitch is yelling at me. Not good to yell at a volunteer. But I am a trooper and love this gig, so I sucked it up and went with the flow.
Sounded good didn't it? Well, first I explained to her I had just arrived and it wasn't my problem things were backed up. Then I mellowed out and went with the flow.
The second couple had lots of people with them. I asked is everyone here? Yes, we are ready. As we get on the elevator the bride is on the phone and I hear her yell, "Hesperian! Well, we are going up now and you might as well just go back home!" (Hesperain Blvd is several towns south of the County Building. Wednesday was a stormy day and traffic was a mess everywhere.) The groom grabbed the phone and started talking to the person, who turned out to be the bride's mother. The bride falls apart. I got everyone back in the lobby and started calming the bride down. I told her we could wait, there was plenty of time for her mother to get there before we closed. Everyone is happy, I go back to my desk and then the groom asks for me. Her father has to leave for dialysis, we are going to do the wedding with out the mother. Then the father says no, he can wait another day. Back to my desk. Finally mother arrives and we do the wedding.
The last couple of the day are from India. I talk to them and the groom does most of the talking and the bride speaks a little bit, and nods and smiles. Do you see this coming? I begin the ceremony, the bride says I do, and then to the vows. She can't even repeat them. I stop the wedding and ask the groom if he forgot to tell me his bride doesn't speak English? He says, "Is that a problem?" The top of my head blew off.
I tried to see if she understands but doesn't speak English. Everytime I asked her something one of the guests started answering for her. I told them to sit down and let me talk to her. I told them if I felt she didn't know what was going on, I legally could not do the wedding. They sat. Turns out she understood some English, spoke very very little. I told the groom to translate every word I said and began the ceremony from the top.
Why do people think the non English speaking person does not need to understand what is going on? I never want to insult people by asking if they speak English. But everytime I wonder if I should but I don't, it blows up in my face.