What Do You Mean, We’re Not Married?!

Twelve years of marriage, missing?

Twelve years of marriage, missing?

I swear to God, my life resembles a bad sitcom at times.

And yesterday was totally one of those times.

Wolf and I, despite being married for over twelve years, never bothered to get a copy of our marriage certificate. Let me explain, for those who may have a different process where they live.

We got our marriage licence, his uncle performed the wedding.

We received, from the uncle, a hand written proof of marriage doohickey, so that I could go and get my name changed, before the provincial government was done processing the marriage registration, which is needed before you can get an actual marriage certificate.

Make sense?


Now, way back when, there was actually a problem with the handwritten thingamabob. I went to get my name changed on my SIN number (for US folks, that’s our version of the SSN). Guy basically tossed it back at me, telling me that it was no good. Uncle hadn’t filled it out properly, it didn’t have his registrant info/number on it, wasn’t proof of anything, and oh, by the way, was I sure that this guy actually had the legal ability to marry anyone?

So, uncle redid the whatsit, I took the redone one back, all was fine.

Which brings us to yesterday.

The province of British Columbia demands a copy of my marriage certificate to issue me photo ID. They need proof as to when, how, and why my last name changed from what’s on my birth certificate, to what I have now. I pointed out that my SIN is issued by the FEDERAL government, so if it’s on that ID, why isn’t that good enough?

Cause it’s not.

Ok, fine.

We’ve joked about needing to prove that Wolf ‘owns’ me, and that gee, we really need to get a copy of my ‘ownership’ papers. Since we live a day trip from the Alberta border, we finally got around to doing that yesterday.

Was supposed to be a simple thing. Wolf goes in, hands over his photo ID, fills out a form, and BOOM, certificate ordered.

Except, it wasn’t.

He came out, and announced that they couldn’t find a record of our marriage.

The clerk had searched three different ways, and nooope, couldn’t find it. They were going to do a more extensive search (aka, something above her ability) and we’d hear from them in two weeks or so. But…if they can’t find the registration, then we’re not actually married.

I’ll be honest here: Neither Wolf nor I doubted for a MOMENT that we were going to find out that something had gone wrong, and whoopsie, the last twelve years we weren’t actually married.

My brain started churning on the possible legal issues. I had a friend, who, back in the 90s, was declared DEAD by the government. Which came as quite a shock to her. Phone calls, and showing up, in PERSON to government offices wasn’t good enough to have them reverse it. She actually had to get a LETTER from her dr to prove that, yes, she was still alive. And not a zombie. (Just guessing on the last part. I think.)

And then I started crying.

Somehow, the idea that gee, no, you’re NOT actually married, totally screwed with my head. I know for some folks, they say, “Marriage is just a piece of paper.” but yesterday proved, if I’d ever had any doubt, that to me, it’s so much more than that.

But, we also share a twisted sense of humour.

Wolf: “Well, we always talked about a wedding ‘do over’. Now we have to.”

Me: “I dont’ WANT to have to. And if our first wedding didn’t count, you’d better damn well up your game. Get all romantical and shit. This proposal better be GOOD.”

Wolf: “I need to propose again?”

Me: “Damn right. And after twelve years, you’d better make it convincing. Plus, I’m gonna need more jewellery.”

Wolf: “Want half of my sandwich?”

Me: “I don’t share with men I’m not married to.”

Further investigation, and involving the Alberta government office of Vital Statistics, showed that the clerk at the registry office screwed up. She had our last name switched with Wolf’s first name. Despite the fact she was taking the info off of his driver’s licence. Right there in front of her.

So, we’re married. Still.

I told Wolf, “I have the urge to watch Armaggedon again.” and he laughed at me, suggesting, “Just listen to the song.”

Yes, this was our wedding song.

Glad it still is…and that we haven’t missed a thing.




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What Do You Mean, We’re Not Married?! — 10 Comments

  1. This is so hilarious I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
    And it reminds me of a much milder situation I found myself in many years ago when the only legal form of ID I had was a passport. This ID flummoxed most people who asked for ID when I was buying alcohol or writing a check as well as some official types. A state issued driver’s license–which is significantly easier to acquire–is the preferred form of ID. When told “We can’t accept this” I came up with a snappy answer: “Do you accept dollars? Because they come from the same place.”

    • I don’t drive, so that’s a whole ‘nother issue for folks.

      I’ve been asked, “Do you have a passport?” when needing photo ID. I’m always tempted to ask, “Do I LOOK like I can afford to travel?” but I’m scared of the answer, LOL

  2. Oh my gosh what a STORY!!! I’m SO glad everything was all cleared… unbelievable that the clerk made such a ridiculous mistake. Wow.

    You are hilarious and such a great story teller!!! LOVED reading this!!

  3. My heart went in my stomach the further I kept reading. At the parts you were crying I wanted to cry with you. I love your husband’s optimistic view, and was sooooo happy to hear it was a mistake. Great story here (I’m only writing that because there was a happy ending, and who doesn’t love a happy ending?)

    • I wasn’t really calm. Going btwn dripping tears, and laughing. Internal freak out, b/c we had kids with us. Wolf being matter of fact, “We’ll just get married again.” helped.

  4. This paperwork stuff is for the birds. My marriage isn’t valid in the state of California because someone got a spot of orange soda on the right hand bottom corner of our marriage license and I’m too lazy to go back and make everyone resign everything again. So, the moral of the story is don’t drink orange soda because it is a filthy little home wrecker.

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